WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Coup De Torchon

Reviewed In Issue 16 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Philippe Noiret, Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Stephane Audran, Eddy Mitchell, Guy Marchand & Irene Skobline

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 3
Sound Rating: 2.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Criterion Collection
(Catalog Number): CC1427L-275
(MPAA Rating): Not Rated
(Retail Price): $$49.95
(Running Time In Minutes): 128
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): No
(Theatrical Release): 1981
(LD Release Date): 9/1/95
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Bertrand Tavernier
(Screenplay/Written By): Bertrand Tavernier & Jean Aurenche
(Story): NA
(Music): Philippe Sarde
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): NA
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Armand Psenny
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Adolphe Viezzi & Henri Lassa

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.66:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.57:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Mono Sound
(Theatrical Sound): Optical Mono
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Jim Thompson’s novel Pop. 1280, is the story of a corrupt sheriff and his mistress in a small town in the American south in the early 1900’s. Bertrand Tavernier’s film Coup de Torchon moves the local to French West Africa and the time to the 1930’s. The main character is an inept chief of police by the name of Lucien Cordier (Philippe Noiret) and we watch as he goes slowly mad. Despite his position, nobody treats him with respect— not even his wife who openly cheats on him. The town’s citizens look upon him with contempt because he has never made an arrest, and the two pimps who make monthly payoffs to Lucien humiliate him at every opportunity. This is a classic study of amorality and values or lack thereof.

LaserDisc Picture:
The matted 1.57:1 picture was digitally transferred from the 35mm Intermediate Positive (IP) made form the original negative and the original 35mm magnetic audio track. The picture is natural looking with softly focused imagery. Fleshtones are naturally rendered and the color fidelity is good but for generally muted colors. The picture exhibits some minor noise and artifacts.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The sound is undistinguished mono.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz):
(Aggressive System Surround):
(Intense 25Hz Bass):
(Deep Bass Challenging):
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield):
(Aggressive Split Surround):
(Center Back Surround Imaging):
(Directionalized Dialogue):
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: