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Anchor Bay presents
Brigitte Bardot....Take One (Brigitte Bardot Une Premiere) (1996)

"Any audience is wonderful!"
- Brigitte Bardot

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: November 09, 2000

Stars: Brigitte Bardot
Other Stars: Roger Vadim, Gunther Sachs, Julie Delpy
Director: Allain Bougrain Dubourg

Manufacturer: Crest National
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (language, nudity, sexual situations)
Run Time: 01h:04m:01s
Release Date: April 25, 2000
UPC: 013131115093
Genre: documentary


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B A-B-C D

DVD Review

In the late 1950's, a pouty French sex goddess took the world by storm. Brigitte Bardot, the poster girl for excessive mascara, was visible everywhere, amid controversy as to her acting talents, her comfort with frank nudity on film, and her scandalous private life. In this documentary, presently available only in Anchor Bay's boxset of Bardot films, together with Please Not Now!, Come Dance with Me, Naughty Girl and Les Femmes, we get an interesting and highly informative look at Bardot's career and influence.

This French television documentary features a great many interview clips, with Bardot herself as well as ex-husbands Roger Vadim and Gunter Sachs and a variety of others. A few clips from Bardot's film career are included, from such films as Le Trou Normand, Nero's Mistress, And God Created Woman, Le Mepris, Love is my Profession, Clouzot's The Truth, Godard's Contempt and Viva Maria. The clips are well- selected and demonstrate quite nicely the seductive allure of Bardot. In many of these clips, she is absolutely luminous; the camera obviously loves her.

The emphasis here is on Bardot's early life and film career; her now mostly forgotten musical career is also touched upon with a number of video and audio clips. Her work on behalf of animals and wildlife in the decades since her retirement are left for another time. Home movies from Bardot's childhood in the 1930's are included; luckily her father was interested in film and thus we see her charm appear immediately. Although a somewhat homely child, with glasses and braces, she quickly began to mature through her ballet classes (where she was in the same class as Leslie Caron). Before long, she was a model and a budding actress, molded into a sex symbol by her first husband, director Roger Vadim. So pervasive was her influence that the Pope felt compelled to identify her with Satan!

In all, the documentary presents a highly sympathetic picture of Bardot, with a decent sense of humor thrown in for good measure. Bardot's disappointments in her marriages and her unhappy relationship with her son, Nicolas, are also touched on; she has a certain amount of perspective and acknowledges that she made mistakes, but also tends to rely on the pressures of being constantly pursued by the paparazzi as taking much of the responsibility for her errors of judgment. The betrayal of Bardot by her secretary of five years and ensuing suicide attempt are addressed as well, with frankness and directness.

This disc nicely made clear how Bardot became such a phenomenon and provides an excellent grounding to put the films of the boxset into perspective.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The image is highly variable, depending on the source materials. Oddly enough, some of the film looks quite bad here; the excerpt from And God Created Woman is smeary and ugly. The contemporary interview materials are obviously shot on video and thus limited in quality. Anchor Bay does give us a nice transfer despite the source materials, with excellent blacks when available and naturalistic colors throughout. Bit rates are uniformly high, ranging about 7-8 Mbps.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Frenchyes


Audio Transfer Review: Both the original French mono track and a partially-dubbed English mono track are included. The interviews in the English version remain in French; only the voiceover is redubbed. The interview segments are remarkably free of hiss and noise; the film clips tend to be quite noisy indeed. The end result is acceptable for a television documentary, but nothing better than that.

Audio Transfer Grade: C

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 25 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
Packaging: Alpha
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Extras are nonexistent, although the disc itself is in a sense an extra to the Bardot boxset from Anchor Bay. Chaptering is excellent, with 25 cues for an hour-long program. English subtitles are burned in to the French interviews, and no subtitle track for the narration is available.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

An informative and interesting presentation. This disc helps make the Bardot boxset a highly attractive package. Recommended.

 


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