François Truffaut's "La Peau Douce" may have been a critical and box office failure upon release, but time since has realised a unique film that now gains an important new DVD release.
Picture The film looks better than it did on the slightly faded UK video release. Stronger contrast offers better definition for the absorbing black and white cinematography.
Sound A solid 2.0 mono mix handles both music and dialogue with good clarity.
Audio Commentary Screenwriter, Jean-Louis Richard talks about his collaboration with Truffaut in an interesting commentary that reveals plenty about the working methods of the influential director.
Richard reveals that the writing process for the film was fast. He concedes that it had been naïve to make a film about adultery that treated all the characters as equals, with no judgement passed on any of them.
Actor Jean Desailly blamed the film for wrecking his career due to this clinical approach. Richard nevertheless feels that it was Jean's best performance, even though Desailly still sulks every time they happen to meet.
Introduction to the Film A short featurette precedes the movie and fills us in on Truffaut's career up until this fourth film. He explains how it was made as a result of Truffaut not being able to get a deal together to make "Fahrenheit 451" (he eventually made the film in 1996).
Having spent a lot of time with Hitchcock working on his famous series of interviews with the director, there are plenty of Hitchcock influences to appreciate in "La Peau Douce".
Truffaut Discusses Selected Scenes In this vintage featurette, Truffaut establishes the inspiration for the film from envisaging, or perhaps seeing, an image of a couple sharing a greedy kiss in a taxi.
Time, and the passing of it, in this film is highly significant. While for most of the film time passes quickly, it's stretched out for the lift scene. This allows Desailly and Dorléac to share a series of stolen glances. Despite the passion of such a moment, Desailly was under strict instructions to maintain a neutral expression throughout the film, while still conveying great emotion.
Françoise Dorléac This short featurette covers Dorléac's acting career and her work on "La Peau Douce".
Trailers As well as a trailer for this film, there's a trailer gallery for other Truffaut movies in the Metro Tartan collection.
Ratio: 1.85:1 (anamorphic)
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono)
Audio Tracks: French
Menus: Static, with audio from the film.
Special Features Subtitles: All of the special features come with subtitles including the commentary.
This DVD was reviewed on a JVC XV-S57 DVD player.