Madame DuBarry 1919

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Silent film by Ernst Lubitsch about the life of the infamous mistress of King Louis XV of France. Pola Negri plays the provocative couriter Madame DuBarry who seduces the King of France (Emil Jannings), charming her way into his lavish lifestyle. Harry Liedtke and Edward von Winterstein also star.

Starring:
Else Berna, Pola Negri
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 54 minutes
Starring Else Berna, Pola Negri, Harry Liedtke, Edward Von Winterstein, Gustav Czimeg, Reinhold Schunzel, Fred Immler, Emil Jannings
Director Ernst Lubitsch
Genres Drama
Studio Eureka
Rental release 22 September 2014
Main languages German
Subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 54 minutes
Starring Else Berna, Pola Negri, Harry Liedtke, Edward Von Winterstein, Gustav Czimeg, Reinhold Schunzel, Fred Immler, Emil Jannings
Director Ernst Lubitsch
Genres Drama
Studio Eureka
Rental release 22 September 2014
Main languages German
Subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By G. Ratcheson on 17 Aug 2014
Format: Blu-ray
As far as I can tell, this is the first release worldwide of the 2001 Murnau foundation restoration of Madam Dubarry & the first release of the film in any form in the UK (Makes me wonder how many other gems are sitting in the Murnau foundation vaults!). The only other versions I can find are Public Domain low quality discs from USA indie Grapevine (great intentions, but they tend to use Public Domain quality prints), & a German PD edition that appears to have gone out of print.

The importance of this film is due to the 3 principles: Director Ernst Lubitsch, & stars Emil Jannings & (Polish actress) Pola Negri. The print quality is very, very good for 1919. As the booklet makes clear, the film is about entertainment, & not about historical accuracy. I appreciate MOC making that clear, as I am not a student of French history.

Dubarry held my attention completely, though it isn't Negri or Janning's best work. Jannings in particular didn't take on his usual intense persona until his death bed scene. I think part of the issue is that the long white historical French court wigs tend to anonymize the actors a bit.

Negri (& for collectors) Lubitsch are the main reasons for watching this film (She has some very good scenes); along with it being a very good print of a previously all but unavailable classic film. While much of Jannings & Lubitsch's work is available today on home video, there is little Pola Negri available (especially to the English speaking fan).

In fact, a quick check seems to show that for Americans such as I the only currently available restored Negri are Sumrun & The Wildcat; both with Lubitsch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter M on 4 Dec 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Note: I'm not going to reviewing the actual movie here, but considering this item as a product.

I've found this title a bit of a disappointment from MoC. It’s the first ever proper release of this film in the UK, as represented by a restoration carried out in 2001. The film looks gorgeous in HD, and it’s good to finally see a non-bootleg version. I had this pre-ordered as I was looking forward to seeing it.

But it’s a very underwhelming release. Where are the extras?! Aside from the short film included (which is an interesting little footnote in the career of the director) there is nothing else on this disc. Nothing at all. I don’t require a lavish documentary or full-length commentary, but even just a little filmed introduction by a film boffin wouldn't have gone amiss. Are there any quotes from Lubistch concerning the movie that could have been included on screen in a manner akin to early DVD releases, even? The scores on both movies are also sadly in stereo only, and not 5.1. I find this a bit unacceptable for a BluRay released in 2014 - especially when the quality of other MoC titles in taken into consideration. The booklet is the only real ‘extra’ and it’s a very, very good little one with both of the films examined individually.

All in all, a rather underwhelming release. So much so I actually sold my copy on after watching it. For what amounts to the début of this film in UK since effectively 1919, I was hoping for much more than this. MoC will hopefully revisit this title at a later date and give it a bit more attention.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rob Simpson on 19 Oct 2014
Format: Blu-ray
This early biopic and Ernst Lubitsch film is remarkably close to what we consider the modern "historical biopic" to be. This 1919 telling of Madame Dubarry takes a while to find its way. The first half falls firmly within the genre box that made Lubitsch the enduring name he became. Nothing wrong with the light comedy, it just doesn't sit well with the subject matter. In the second half, when the tone becomes darker and altogether more critical of social climbers, Madame Dubarry begins to work its magic. Pola Negri and her magnetic presence and the impressively conceived scale and ambition of the french revolution. Its in these that things that I began to ask what would've became of Lubitsch if he continued to act on his amazingly rounded dramatic chops. If only. And if only the film wasn't capped by a classic bit of "I've been killed, better act dramatically" acting famously parodied in Godard's Breathless. Petty quibbles aside, well worth catching the Masters of Cinema print.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gerald H. on 19 Nov 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Fine example of this director's early work
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