Not one of Lollobrigida's best, but a long way from being ba
Joseph A. Admire | Manassas, VA USA | 11/03/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Imperial Venus" is a diverting and sumptuously staged, if rather slight, biopic of Napoleon Bonaparte's beautiful and notorious younger sister Paolina that doesn't break much new ground. Gina Lollobrigida, at the height of her fame (this was right around the time she made "Come September" and "Strange Bedfellows" with Rock Hudson) and beauty, does do a more than creditable job as Paolina, but not an especially memorable one compared to, for example, her _tour de force_ as Lina Cavalieri in "Beautiful But Dangerous" (another of her classics that has never been released on DVD in the U.S.) Stephen Boyd is her co-star as her main love interest and Raymond Pellegrin costars as Napoleon, with Micheline Presle as Josephine.
Please note, as the other reviewer reported, that this is the English-dubbed version of the movie, not the original Italian-language version; Alpha/Madacy's stock in trade is releasing old public-domain movies on DVD, and those releases don't necessarily have the same quality as major-label releases. However, as they say, beggars can't be choosers, and this disc is certainly worth having for Lollobrigida fans, and of interest to those who fancy Napoleonic-era movies (Gina looks terrific in the flowing gowns of the period).
NOTE: The time as given in the listing is incorrect. The version on this DVD is 121 minutes, not 90 minutes."
A cut dubbed version of a fine film
R. de Aquino | Brazil | 10/24/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"IMPERIAL VENUS is a fine effort by the great late French director Jean Delannoy and shows Gina Lollobrigida at the peak of her beauty, at age 35. The Italian actress won the David di Donatello Award (the Italian equivalent of the Academy Award) for this film, a biography of Paolina Borghese, sister of Napoleon Bonaparte and one of the most fascinating women of her time.
Unfortunately, this is not the Supertechnirama 70mm version of the film, originally made in Italian. What we have is a cut, standard version which has not been digitally restored. The excellent cinematography by Gabor Pogany is not in pristine condition, showing faded colors and little definition.
Although Lollobrigida dubbed the English and French versions, it would have been better to have released the film in Italian with English and French subtitles, as the actress' line readings are far more natural and spontaneous in her native tongue.
The production is sumptuous, the screenplay is literate, and the acting of the supporting cast is generally good. If anything, the wonderful Micheline Presle could have had more screen time as Josephine. The editing impresses a slow rhythm to the film, which does not always serve it well.
On the whole, this DVD is worth having, especially if one is a Lollobrigida fan, since the film has not yet been rereleased in Italy or France in DVD format.
T. Botte | USA | 05/04/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The movie is very bad, it has cuts and it is not the original one, it seems like someone recorded it from TV, I think they should say on details all this things about it, because I wouldn't have bought it!