23.3 C
New York
Monday, June 24, 2024

Fedora [Masters of Cinema] [UK] (TheaterByte Blu-ray Review)

Fedora [Masters of Cinema] Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack PackshotAt the age of 73, director Billy Wilder, his career waning, set out to direct a film that would highlight Hollywood’s love all things youthful. Fedora in all its Golden Age trappings is that film. It’s namesake starlet, played by actress Marthe Keller, is a Hollywood legend whose age is rumored to be from sixty to seventy, yet she has defied the aging process, mysteriously maintaining her youthful appearance, sex appeal, and film career over the span of decades. Now, even as she has become a recluse on the Greek island of Corfu, hidden away in the secure confines of a protective countess’ estate, the public still clamors for her. Independent producer Barry Detweiler, played by then veteran William Holden, star of earlier Wilder films, has placed himself in debt and stalked the elusive Fedora all the way to Corfu in order to convince her to star in his latest effort, a production of Anna Karenina. When he arrives, he finds out the real secret behind Fedora’s enduring success and agelessness, and all has not been as it seems.

Wilder, alas, was not wholly successful at turning Fedora into the mirror on his industry he intended it to be. The film with its old-style Hollywood aesthetic of lavish sets, melodrama and syrupy romance was definitely out-of-place with the new Hollywood directors putting out gritty and big budget fare like Star Wars, Taxi Driver, and Jaws. The film, ironically, flopped, with audiences missing the point entirely. It wasn’t just the physical beauty and youth of the film’s protagonist that Wilder was warning audiences would one day be rejected once it had grown old, but in fact the entire style of artistic endeavor.

[envira-album id=”92695″]

The Video

This 1080p AVC transfer to Blu-ray is taken from a German 2K restoration that was done from the original 35mm camera negatives. The film looks rather good here taking its age and the artistic intent and style of the era into account. There is some softness, but for the most part we get a lot of detail and texture, good depth of field, and natural colors.

The Audio

The LPCM 2.0 monaural soundtrack is surprisingly punchy in the midrange and conveys the lavish film score rather well. Dialogue is clear, but there’s only so much one can do with a 1978 analogue, monaural film soundtrack.

The Supplements

  • Deleted Scenes (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:12:49)
  • Restoration Demo (1080p/24; 00:04:03; German)
  • Booklet featuring a new essay by film scholar Neil Sinyard, a new essay by critic and filmmaker David Cairns, a vintage piece on the film’s production and archival imagery.

The Final Assessment

Fedora has good elements and in another time and place with the proper studio system behind it, it may have been a classic during the Golden Age of Hollywood, but in 1978 it looked and felt out of place, and it still does today. It’s a film made by a director making a statement in an era where he no longer feels comfortable, and it shows.

Fedora [Masters of Cinema] [UK] (TheaterByte Blu-ray Review)
3.3 / 5 TheaterByte Rating
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 5 User Rating (0 votes)
PGRating Certificate
Billy WilderDirector
Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond, Tom TryonWriter
116 Mins.Run Time
26 Sep. 2016Release Date
1.85:1Aspect Ratio
AVC 1080p (24Hz)Video
English LPCM 2.0 MonoAudio
English SDHSubtitles
The Creative Content
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements
An elegant but ultimately unsuccessful attempt at critiquing Hollywood's fascination with the young and the new.
What people say... Login to rate
Order by:

Be the first to leave a review.

User Avatar User Avatar
{{{ review.rating_title }}}
{{{review.rating_comment | nl2br}}}

This review has no replies yet.

Show more
Show more
{{ pageNumber+1 }}

Related Articles

Join the Discussion on TheaterByte!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment "screeners" and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles