The Take (Blu-ray)

  • Web Code: M2223180
  • Release Date: 02-07-2017
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Abel Gance's monumental tribute to the steady rise to power of Napoleon Bonaparte is a genre-defining breakthrough in cinematic history and a landmark of technical and artistic invention. The story of Napoleon's ascension from lowly Corsican outsider to emperor of most of Europe is fertile ground for Gance's outrageously daring and audacious style. From a snowball fight at the young Napoleon's boarding school to the siege of Toulon and the terror of the French Revolution, violent, beautiful, and unforeseen images are captured by Gance's mostly handheld camera, interspersing Napoleon's heroic posturing with dizzying verité depictions of breakneck action. Early uses of tints and color processes, unorthodox camerawork, and eye-popping superimposition and editing reveal Gance to be decades ahead of his time. In addition, a cast of thousands of incredibly real faces and characters is rounded out by forceful and inspirational performances by Vladimir Roudenko as the Young Napoleon, Albert Dieudonné as the mature Napoleon, and a handful of others (notably a cameo by Antonin Artaud as Marat). Originally intended to be screened as a triple projection, NAPOLEON relies upon the power of the image to forge enduring myth out of imagination and history.
This grand epic covers the life of the infamous French dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte.
Theatrical Release Date 1927
Format Laserdisc CAV
Number of Discs 1

  • Release Info
  • Collector Edition
  • Director Cut
  • Number Of Discs
  • Genre
  • Distributor
    Universal Studios Home Video
  • Video
  • Runtime (minutes)
  • Picture
  • Audio
  • Audio
    CX Audio Encoding, Stereo
  • Release Note
  • Notes:
    Silent with English intertitles.

    "Napoleon" is the first, and only, installment of a proposed six film series about the life of the famous French ruler. The great expense of the first film kept Gance from making any of the others.

    Aspect ratio for most of the film is 1.33:1. The climactic battle scenes were filmed with three separate cameras and projected onto three adjoining screens, a triptych often referred to as Polyvision, achieving a seamless 3.66:1 aspect ratio.

    Parts of the film were subjected to two of the first color processes, tinting and toning. Tinting involves the hand-painting of individual frames of film. Toning involves bathing entire sections of film in a single color, such as dying a strip of film blue for a night scene.

    According to film historian Kevin Brownlow, the full length version of the film was only shown in eight cities in Europe. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer bought the rights to the film but only screened it in London (in its definitive form). They then cut the film drastically and amputated the outer 2/3 of the widescreen sequences, so the film could be projected onto the more square screens that were standard in that era. This truncated cut was released in a small number of American cities. Over the years, many different versions of "Napoleon" have surfaced. Gance re-cut the film several times himself.

    "Napoleon" was re-released in the United States in 1981 -- in a 235 minute cut with the Polyvision scenes reinstated. The restoration was supervised by Brownlow, and this is the definitive version available on laserdisc and video. The Polyvision sequences were letterboxed for the home market, and Carmine Coppola wrote a new score for the re-issue.
    "I have pushed back the frontiers of glory. That's quite something." -- Napoleon Bonaparte (Albert Dieudonne)
  • Theatrical Release
  • Rating
    G (MPAA)
  • Format
    Laserdisc CAV
  • Unedited Version
  • Warranty Parts
    30 Day(s)

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