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Design for Living Blu-ray

United States
The Criterion Collection Criterion | 1933 | 91 min | Not rated | Dec 06, 2011

Design for Living (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Audio
English: LPCM Mono

Subtitles
English SDH

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Playback
Region A (locked)

Price
List price: $39.95, Price history

Amazon: $25.99 (Save 35%)
New from: $25.22 (Save 37%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8.0
38
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 4.0 of 54.0
Audio 4.0 of 54.0
Extras 4.2 of 54.2
Based on 1 user review

Movie appeal

 
Romance100%
Comedy-
58%
popularity
603
collections
8
fans




Design for Living

 (1933)

Design for Living Blu-ray offers solid video and audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins play a trio of Americans in Paris who enter into a very adult “gentleman’s” agree­ment, in this continental pre-Code comedy freely adapted by Ben Hecht from a play by Noël Coward, and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. A risqué relationship comedy and a witty take on creative pursuits, it concerns a commercial artist (Hopkins) unable—or unwilling—to choose between the equally dashing painter (Cooper) and playwright (March) she meets on a train en route to the City of Light.

For more about Design for Living and the Design for Living Blu-ray release, see Design for Living Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Writers: Ben Hecht (I), Noel Coward, Samuel Hoffenstein
Starring: Fredric March, Gary Cooper (I), Miriam Hopkins, Edward Everett Horton, Franklin Pangborn, Jane Darwell

» See full cast & crew


Design for Living Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.5 of 5

Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Ernst Lubitsch's Design for Living arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion.

The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this Blu-ray disc:

"This new high-definition digital transfer was created on a Spirit 1K Datacine from a 35mm fine-grain master positive. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, warps, jitter, and flicker were manually removed using MTI's DRS and Pixel Farm's PFClean, while Image Systems' DVNR was used for small dirt, grain, and noise reduction. Image Mill's Steady was also used to reduce film weave.

Telecine supervisor: Maria Palazzola.
Telecine colorist: Gregg Garvin/Modern Videofilm, Los Angeles."

I think it is fair to say that time has not been kind to this classic Hollywood film. I think it is also fair to say that there wasn't a whole lot Criterion could do to have the film look better than it does. Clearly, there are a number of limitations with the existing master which the company had to work with.

Some close-ups look quite pleasing (see screencapture #19), but elsewhere the image is rather soft and textures are problematic (see screencapture #6). Clarity, however, is mostly adequate, and, with a few minor exceptions, contrast levels stable. Some extremely light grain has been retained, but some of it is quite inconsistent and some also mixed up with light noise (see screencapture #5). The good news is that there are no traces of serious post-production sharpening. Unsurprisingly, the film does have a pleasing organic look. It is often a weak organic look but nevertheless certainly a preferable one. Finally, some small damage marks and tiny horizontal lines are occasionally present, but I assume that they could not have been removed without dramatically affecting the integrity of the image. All in all, considering Criterion's strong record and dedication to high quality presentations, I think it is fair to speculate that this is likely the best Design for Living could look at the moment. (Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 0r SA in order to access its content).


Design for Living Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.5 of 5

There is only one audio track on this Blu-ray disc: English LPCM 1.0. For the record, Criterion have provided optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature.

Generally speaking, the dialog is crisp, stable, and easy to follow. The few sequences where the music becomes prominent - such as the piano solo during Tom and George's preparations right before Gilda's visit - are also convincing. There is, however, some light background noise that occasionally pops up here and there. It is definitely not distracting, but its presence is certainly felt. For the record, there are no sync issues or audio dropouts to report in this review.



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Design for Living Blu-ray, News and Updates



Criterion Blu-ray in December: Lubitsch, Hitchcock, Suzuki - September 15, 2011

The Criterion Collection has posted their full roster of Blu-ray releases for December 2011. Titles include Ernst Lubitsch's Design for Living, Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes, and two films from Seijun Suzuki: Branded to Kill & Tokyo Drifter. Only Lubitsch's ...


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