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A Time To Love And A Time To Die (Masters of Cinema) (Blu-ray)
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Synopsis Douglas Sirk - the master of the Hollywood melodrama - turns back to his native Germany at the time of the Second World War for the film that would stand as his penultimate American feature: A Time to Love and a Time to Die. A CinemaScope production staged on a grand scale, Sirk's picture nevertheless pulsates with an intimacy that has known longing for too long, and seethes with the repression of emotions poised to explode like bombs.
John Gavin plays Ernst Gräber, a soldier on the Russian-German Front in 1944 venturing home to Hamburg on a rare furlough. Upon arrival, he discovers a city that bears little resemblance to the one he left behind - and so, through the rubble of the air-raids, he searches desperately for fragments of his family's shattered lives. But amid the shards, he falls in love with Elisabeth (Liselotte Pulver), the charming daughter of his parents' doctor, and thus activates a magnetism that compels both individuals toward one another in love, even as it hurtles them headlong into epochal death.
Adapted from the novel by Erich Maria Remarque (the author of All Quiet on the Western Front, who also makes a cameo appearance in Sirk's picture), A Time to Love and a Time to Die takes its literary source and sculpts it anew out of matter made from color, decor, and performance - and arguably bests the novel on all aesthetic levels. Yet perhaps nothing can better summarise the power of Sirk's film - or of his entire body of work - than these words from the movie's trailer: " Their pounding hearts drowned out the sound of chaos thundering around them." - The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Douglas Sirk's 1958 masterpiece for the first time on Blu-ray anywhere in the world.
SPECIAL BLU-RAY EDITION:
- Gorgeous 1080p presentation of the film in its original 2:35:1 CinemaScope aspect ratio
- English SDH subtitles for the hearing impaired
- Optional isolated music & effects track
- OF TEARS AND SPEED: ACCORDING TO JEAN-LUC GODARD - a 12-minute, visually annotated recitation of Jean-Luc Godard's seminal essay on Sirk's film.
- 19-minute video interview with Wesley Strick, screenwriter of Scorsese's Cape Fear and author of the novel Out There in the Dark , a roman- à-clef based upon Sirk's life in Hollywood and his relationship with the estranged son who took a starring role in Hitler Youth propaganda.
- IMITATION OF LIFE [MIRAGE OF LIFE]: A PORTRAIT OF DOUGLAS SIRK - a 49-minute film portrait from 1984, directed by Daniel Schmid and photographed by Renato Berta, of Douglas Sirk and his wife Hilda in conversation, and reflecting, from their apartment in Germany, back upon their lives in Hollywood.
- The original trailer for the film, from the time it retained the provisional title of simply " A TIME TO LOVE "
- 36-page booklet containing the complete text of Jean-Luc Godard's essay on the film, writings from critic Tag Gallagher on the film and Sirk's career in general, and an assemblage of notes that includes excerpts from Sirk's reflections upon the film, remarks upon visual motifs inside the movie, the CinemaScope process used to photograph the picture, and more.
"Sirk's penultimate masterpiece" --Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Top Customer Reviews
The two leads are remarkable, John Gavin for his good looks and very believable code of honour, and Lieselotte Pulver for her humorous expression and perkiness, even though she is depressed throughout over the disappearance of her own father.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Except a mistake on my part "A time to love and a time to die" was the first big Hollywood production showing the World War II from German point of view, and even if Remarque was a declared anti-Nazi (he was a wanted man in the Third Reich and spend all the period of 1933-45 as a refugee in Switzerland), making this film in 1958 was a pretty courageous thing.
An important thing to know before watching this most excellent film is that IT IS NOT a war movie. The story happens of course integrally during World War II, in 1944, and yes, there are some scenes from Eastern Front at the beginning and at the end of the film, but other than one big artillery barrage falling on German soldiers no actual fighting is showed. German soldiers march a lot in the mud and talk a lot about war and life in general, but the only shots they fire are directed against defenseless Russian civilians they execute "just in case" if they are partisans...
This film describes mostly the story of one soldier, private Ernst Graeber (John Gavin), who in the spring of 1944 receives his first leave in two years. Most of the film describes the eventful three weeks he spends in the town where he was born. However, although not a big city, this place is now regularly raided by allied bombers, targeting local industries, but slowly flattening the whole town in the process. When looking for his parents, Graeber meets a girl, Elisabeth Kruse (extraordinary German actress Liselotte Pulver), whom he knew once when they were together in the same class in high school.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A Time To Love And A Time To Die is one of a very small group of American films made during the 1950s, i.e. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Sebastian Palmer
A very long and drawn out almost epic of a movie, with some good editing it could be brought back to life, but I fear it will never happen . Read morePublished 15 months ago by D. Lloyd
Films by Douglas Sirk, with their subtle manipulations of surfaces, may not present themselves with the gravitas of, say, a Bergman or Herzog, but they are deadly serious -- and... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Chris C. Hill
Quite gritty and realistic portrayal of Germany falling apart at the end of the war, given this is 50s Hollywood. Sumptuous music creates the melodrama. Read morePublished on 14 April 2015 by jonthom
Not your normal type of war film, about love and the chance that fate can play in life, intelligent story from a well written book and watch for the author who plays a part in the... Read morePublished on 7 Dec. 2014 by Alan Randall
I'd read this book a few times in German but could not find a good English
translation as I wanted my father to read this book. Read more
Prompt delivery and in good condition, which after all are the main requirements of a customer. Happy with the purchase. Great the see the old films being so well restored.Published on 14 Dec. 2013 by John Burke
For those who like this movie in particular or Douglas Sirk in general, this blu-ray edition is the best it can ever look. Read morePublished on 10 Dec. 2013 by Francisco José Poyato Ariza