Technical Issues - Film Runs Too Fast
G. Ratcheson | Washington | 03/08/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm going to comment more on the technical side of the disc, because the speed issue made it a bit tough to enjoy or properly judge the film.
Unfortunately, the film just runs too fast. I've never seen that before with a sound film; it normally effects silents due to the lack of a standard speed in the silent film era. My understanding is that this was originally shot as a silent, with dialogue & lots of sound effects added just before release. As this is the only print of the film I've seen, I am uncertain whether the frame rate was sped up in 1930 when they dubbed the dialogue, when they did this digital transfer, or at some point in between. The voices don't sound like chipmunks to me, but I am totally unfamiliar with French. The print is quite clear for the age, although there are a number of dropouts where a second or 2 is missing. My guess is that it's a largely unrestored 35 mm print in fairly good shape.
The silent version was also said to have been released in 1930 concurrent with this dubbed version. Brooks did not do any of her own dialogue, the speaking parts were dubbed by a French actress & the singing by Edith Piaf. IF there is an existing print of the silent version, I would be very interested to see it; I suspect it would be superior.
Just a couple comments on the film: The last 20 minutes or so is definitely the best part. I also was really surprised that they showed Brooks & her UNMARRIED boyfriend in bed together. The scene was totally non physical & they were both wearing heavy bed clothes; but this would have never happened in a pre 1960's US film, even pre codes only hinted at such things. Brooks is good, but it's definitely not her best performance. She appears somewhat bored until the last 20 minutes or so. Again, the film might have been more enjoyable if the motion wasn't so speeded up.
I'm a bit surprised that Kino would release something with this large of a flaw & no explanation as to why. I consider Kino to be #1 in quality of all US companies that specialize in silent film."
Louise Brooks makes this movie alone worth watching!
Beth | Mesa, AZ United States | 05/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although Louise Brooks is dubbed in this movie, it doesn't matter too much as the movie is essentially silent in itself. (Besides Edith Piaf dubs for her singing and I have no problem with that.)
The story is simple. Louise Brooks has a jealous boyfriend, whose anger only increases when she defies him and enters/wins the Miss Europe contest. Brooks has some great acting in this movie especially when she's crammed up bored in the apartment.
The only thing I would really change about this movie is the unflattering swimsuit Brooks wears."
Jay Dabbs | 08/31/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have heard the singing voice used by Louise Brooks in Prix de Beaute. Not only is it not Edith Piaf,singing in the film dubbed for Louise Brooks. Edith Piaf was not singing professionally in 1930,nor was she recording in 1930. Since when is Louise Brooks a soprano?"