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Finally a restored masterpiece...
on 19 July 2009
After "All Quiet on the Western Front", fans of Erich Maria Remarque, watched a movie called "A Time To Love and A Time To Die".
Based on the book with the same name, it is a love story set in last war years of World War II in Germany.
When others were drumming the Victor's side of things, this movie dared to look into German commoner's lives and their tragic fates.
This movie has nothing to do with pro and cons of German involvement and guilt about having unleashed the Storm.
It just deals with the lives of two selected young individuals, who witness at first hand what War is really all about.
Add a slight love story and tension caused by your own surroundings (Gestapo, SS, Propaganda machine, etc.), and you will see that this is far more than your common Drama.
Everyone can recognize him/herself in the two main characters.
It is a lesson of life versus death.
It tells you how destructive war can be, for those who are living it and have nothing to say about it.
The storms, or winds of war, are terrible companions, when they touch you personally.
This is the message this transliteration tries to convey, and may I say, rather successfully, despite the Hollywood cast included in it.
John Gavin plays the leading role, and for once, he is given a fair chance to prove that he was not just another "beau", but truly a full-bred actor who could incarnate a true-to-life character.
Liselotte Pulver, as his fiancee, bride-to-be, appears as a very young and very inexperienced girl, overwhelmed by this immense tide of war.
There is nothing romantic in all this, no pink dresses, no sweet lulls.
Just the harsh realities in war-torn Germany.
How to survive the bombings, how to survive the political police, and so on and so forth.
This is truly another Anti-War movie.
For those who understand what War is really all about.
As I started writing this, I had mentioned that it is finally being decently transferred onto DVD.
I did own an old PAL VHS tape of this movie, which was decent, but not satisfactory, considering that this movie had a very wide screen ratio.
Pan & Scan had marred the entire action and the desolated landscape scenes of this movie.
Now, on DVD, you get the best transfer ever.
It is in the correct 2.35:1 anamorphic aspect ratio, sports a conventional but full and crisp 2.0 Mono soundtrack and has been digitally restored in High Definition.
You also receive a second DVD with tons of extra material for your eye's delight.
Did I mention? It was directed by one of the masters of the genre: Douglas Sirk (Imitation of Life, Written on the Wind, Battle Hymn, etc.)
and the score is by the great master of spectacular film music himself, Miklos Rozsa.
I must insist on this. Get a copy before it's gone.
You won't regret it one bit.
It is part of our cultural heritage, and as such, it has to be collected.
This is film history.