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676 - I Married A Witch


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#1 masterofoneinchpunch

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 03:58 PM

676_box_348x490_w128.jpg
I MARRIED A WITCH
René Clair

United States • 1942 • 77 • minutes • Black and White • 1.33:1 • English
Veronica Lake casts a seductive spell as a charmingly vengeful sorceress in this supernatural screwball classic. Many centuries after cursing the male descendants of the Salem puritan who sent her to the stake, this blonde bombshell with a broomstick finds herself drawn to one of thema prospective governor (Fredric March) about to marry a spoiled socialite (Susan Hayward). This most delightful of the films the innovative French director René Clair made in Hollywood is a comic confection bursting with playful special effects and sparkling witticisms.

DISC FEATURES

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio interview with director René Clair
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by filmmaker Guy Maddin and a 1970 interview with Clair


#2 masterofoneinchpunch

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 03:59 PM

NOTES:
  • DVD/BD Release Date: October 8, 2013
  • Blu-Ray cover artwork:

    676_BD_box_348x490_w128.jpg


#3 Moe Dickstein

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 04:12 PM

This looks great but how is it different from Ministry of Fear that it should be full price? Same with The Uninvited.
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#4 Izo

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Posted 15 July 2013 - 07:04 PM

Can't help but agree with you, moe, especially for a 77 minute feature. Perhaps more will be added, but it wasn't with the Delmar Daves films.

#5 clydefro

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 08:25 AM

Price lowered, making the two previous comments now irrelevant!

 

The good news is that this puts us one step closer to my long-held dream of having all of Veronica Lake's best movies in the Criterion Collection.

 

I'll be anxious to see what the transfer here looks like because I've never seen this film look terribly good. Though it's never been released on DVD in R1 there was an Australian disc from Madman in R4 that I had the opportunity to review a few years back. Here's a link in case anyone's interested in my thoughts on the picture.



#6 cfkane

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:10 AM

I look forward to this one. I too would like to see more of Ms. Lake's films in the collection.


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#7 CSM126

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 09:12 PM

I Married a Witch is a strong contender for the best film Criterion has released this year - a swift, sweet, hilarious and dazzling comic confection with zero fat on it. The special effects are delightful and very well done (the smoke wisps riding a broomstick is both lovely and very, very funny), Clair's directing manages to be very precise while still having a light touch that let's the actors shine... And those actors. Everyone is great in this movie, but let's be real: this movie is all about Veronica Lake, and she hits it right out of the park. She's funny and sweet and utterly lovable. You can clearly see how she laid the foundation for characters like Jeannie and Samantha Stephens, but as is often the case the original is superior. There's really no way to describe how perfect this performance is in words. You just have to see her own the screen and be dazzled by her yourself. A pity Ms. Lake's career was cut short by her inner demons, but man did she leave one heck of a legacy, even just in 1942 alone!

Witch runs a lean 77minutes, but all 77 of them are packed with invention and joy, from the silly montage detailing the misery of the Woolley men to the (largely harmless) mayhem wreaked by the witches as they learn about the present day, to Jennifer's downfall at her own clumsy hands (totally not a spoiler, by the way) and beyond. This movie is like a sugar high - it hits your bloodstream, makes you giddy and then it's gone just as soon as it came. I hate to make the pun, but - oh screw it. This movie is pure magic. As perfect as screen comedies get.

The general lack of extras is a pity, but the booklet is excellent, especially Guy Maddin's adoring essay. I have yet to listen to the Rene Clair interview but will soon. For the low, low sale price of $14, this is a great steal on blu ray. The soundtrack is tinny and flat but the image is lovingly restored and, aside from some light scratches and one optical with unfixable printed-in grime, it's a silvery nitrate dream to watch. Not as nice as, say, Modern Times is on Criterion blu, but considering how Witch has been poorly preserved through the decades, this disc is a real achievement on CC's part.

#8 Izo

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 12:28 AM

Well, I'm not quite as enthusiastic but I did enjoy it. I guess I just feel like this is kind of slight, like Lubitsch-lite.

#9 Moe Dickstein

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 02:29 AM

Threw this on and really liked it, I'll probably revisit it again soon. I generally agree with both of you lol
My Complete DVD/BD Criterion Collection as of 3/4/14:
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