Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 12th, 2018
BluRay Release Date: February 5th, 2018 (UK), February 6th, 2018 (USA)
Approximate running times: 100 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC (Both Versions)
Rating: PG (UK), NR (USA)
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 French, LPCM Stereo French
BluRay Release: Arrow Academy USA
Region Encoding: Region A,B
Retail Price: $34.95 (USA) / £19.99 (UK)
“In 1964, Henri-Georges Clouzot, the acclaimed director of thriller masterpieces Les Diaboliques and Wages of Fear, began work on his most ambitious film yet.
Set in a beautiful lakeside resort in the Auvergne region of France, L’Enfer (Inferno) was to be a sun scorched elucidation on the dark depths of jealousy starring Romy Schneider as the harassed wife of a controlling hotel manager (Serge Reggiani). However, despite huge expectations, major studio backing and an unlimited budget, after three weeks the production collapsed under the weight of arguments, technical complications and illness.” – Synopsis provided by the Distributor
Throughout the history of cinema, though there have been numerous films that were never completed. The majority of these films have all but been forgotten. With only a handful of films attaining a Holy Grail like status. And one such film that falls into this latter category is Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno.
This documentary gives a detailed overview about the film and why it was never finished. And this is done via test footage, archival and new interviews from those who were involved in the making of this film and newly shot dialog exchanges to help flesh out some of the moments that were filmed.
Needless to say, this film was in its very early stages when everything fell apart and what was filmed is best described as fragments. With that being said, the footage was shot and featured in this documentary is extraordinary.
Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. There are three sources that are used in this film. These include, newly shot interview footage, archival footage and outtakes / footage shot by Henri-Georges Clouzot. With the best looking of these three being the latter. Overall the image looks crisp, black and contrast levels look solid throughout and colors are nicely saturated.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in French and a LPCM stereo mix in French. Both audio mixes sound, clear and balanced throughout. With the differences between these two audio mixes being minimal. Included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include, a stills gallery, a trailer for the film (1 minute 44 seconds, in French with English subtitles), an introduction with co-director Serge Bromberg (8 minutes 56 seconds, in French with English subtitles), an interview with Serge Bromberg (18 minutes 9 seconds, in English), an video essay with film cinema expert Lucy Mazdon, who discusses Henri-Georges Clouzot and Inferno (21 minutes 48 seconds, in English) and a “Making of” featurette titled They Saw Inferno (59 minutes 43 seconds, in French with English subtitles).
The extras give a detailed account about Inferno, why the film was never completed and information about its rediscovery.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art and twenty-four-page booklet with cast & crew information, an essay titled Welcome to Hell written by Ginette Vincendeau and information about the transfer. Overall Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno gets an excellent release from Arrow Academy, highly recommended.
Note: This film is also being released by Arrow Academy on DVD.