Jean De Florette / Manon of the Spring (MGM World Films)
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Product Description

Disc 1 Side A: **Widescreen Feature Film - Jean de Florette

Disc 2: **Widescreen Feature Film - Manon of the Spring

Customer Reviews:

  • Greatest movie(s) ever>
    These two films, really one story, are perhaps the greatest and most perfect movie ever made. I wish my French were better, so I didn't have to rely quite so much on the subtitles [which are almost always wrong, translation being what it is]; but otherwise, I can't think of a thing to criticize about them. An awesome achievement!...more info
  • Very Favorite Films
    When my son, a 4th year French student, invited me to watch these movies with him, I was totally uninterested, but finally agreed, just to shut him up. I said I would just watch the first one "Jean De Florette". It took about 15 minutes to get used to reading the subtitles, but after that I was totally immersed in this fantastic film. In fact, when "Jean De Florette" ended, I was so "into" the story line that I insisted on watching "Manon" immediately after. The ending was, for me, a total surprise, which just added to the pleasure I received from watching it. I have now bought my own set, and have watched it another 6 times, and each time I get more out of it. Do yourself a huge favor and buy this set. You'll love it!...more info
  • DVD Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring
    Finally this classic diptych has made it to DVD in a form that does not bowdlerize the one short scene featuring Emanuelle Beart's nudity. The films speak for themselves, and are as close to timeless as the cinema has to offer. The quality of the transfer to DVD is superb. I played it on my HD player and monitor, and the upconversion gave the image better than satisfactory sharpness. Well worth the purchase for anyone who cares for good cinematic literature that is matched by technical presentation....more info
  • Manon of the Spring
    My family and I just LOVE this Video - Manon of the Spring - I recommend it to everyone....more info
  • My favorite French films period.
    These are two of the greatest French films I've ever seen. Beautiful scenery, a heart-wrenching story, great acting. If only it were on Blu-Ray! But then again, it wouldn't be such an amazing deal. Go for it. ...more info
  • Yes, These ARE Anamorphic... but still not quite perfect
    Two big steps forward, and one 1/2 step back. Contrary to the impression from the disc specs on the back of the jacket, the new MGM/Fox double feature disc DOES present the films 16:9 enhanced. They are also, surprisingly a big step up from the earlier R2 PAL discs , which for the longest time were the only way to satisfyingly watch these on a widescreen display or front projector.
    Unfortunately they still aren't a home run. The picture in general consistently looks a little too 'hot' - contrast is jacked up which blows out the details in the highlights in many shots- also there is an at times over bearing yellow tint to the image in the countryside exteriors. Some EE and ringing are also visible in a few shots. Fine detail on the other hand is much improved over the PAL disc and artifacts related to compression are a monumental improvment over the first MGM release.
    These should have been color timed a bit cooler- but on the whole, this new release easily represents the most watchable versions of these two classics yet (at least, not counting the widescreen Image laserdisc set that is now long out of print).

    Its a shame that this release is so close, and yet still misses the mark. At least this one will suffice for a few years until the film are (hopefully) properly presented on one or both of the High Def formats.
    The films themselves get 5 stars easy- the new disc gets 3.5 for PQ and AQ....more info
  • These ARE anamorphic and picture looks great!
    Just wanted to write a quick review to let people know that these are anamorphic and the picture looks great. I was almost scared off from buying this by all the reviews from people who obviously hadn't seen this disc yet but decided to write a review anyway claiming it was not anamorphic. ...more info
  • +20 for the movie, -15 for the package.
    I'm editing my review. In my case, I'm an obsessive fan of these movies, and maybe nothing would've met my expectations. If you haven't seen these films, buy this DVD IMMEDIATELY! You will not be sorry, and more than likely you'll find my criticisms baseless and nit-picky.

    I wrote the original after skipping around the discs and being extremely disappointed by what I saw. Since then, I've sat down and watched both movies on this disc and my opinion has changed somewhat. The problem was my expectations, not the actual product.

    On the whole, these films DO look fantastic when compared to every other DVD release available (MGM and the R2 Pathe discs from France). However, they don't look nearly as good as I believe possible. I think this film deserves the royal treatment, an all new, high definition transfer by seriously skilled people.

    Unfortunately, while the resolution is good, it is anamorphic, and appears to be a straight NTSC transfer (and not a PAL-to-NTSC conversion as I previously thought), there is just something not right. The colors are way too hot when compared to the actual film, and there just seems to be a layer of fuzz or blur over the whole thing that is not present on the big screen.

    I give it 5 stars because the films are fantastic. The two greatest foreign films I've ever seen. I've watched them each about 15 times, and never grow tired of them. I pretty much learned French watching these movies.

    However, this DVD seriously lacks. This movie is in dire need of a new and improved subtitle translation. While the subtitles make sense on the whole, I've studied the French script, and there is a great deal missing in the translation.

    There are no special features.

    For YEARS, these films have been out of print in America, the originals going for upwards of $50 a piece on ebay. Clearly someone was paying attention and realized there's enough people who enjoy this movie to make it available again. But slapping this set together, while allowing new viewers the opportunity to see the films, is an insult to fans who've waited a LOOOONG time for a proper American release. But a cheap release is better than none at all.

    Caveat: Perhaps if enough people buy this DVD, MGM will wake up and release a proper special edition. For $14, it's a great deal for two masterpieces, but we could've done better than this....more info
  • Anamorphic and better than the first release
    I had the original non-Anamorphic DVDs and I wan't sure what to expect. I wanted to buy the new release - if not better, at least I could let friends borrow two of my favorite movies for long periods of time. Yes - the 2 movies are on separate sides of the same DVD yet I still deem this superior to the original DVDs due to:
    1 - Anamorphic Image
    2 - Smaller, less annoying SUBTITLES (the original releases used huge letters for the subtitles). ...more info
  • I hope this edition is not dubbed in English
    An amazing achievement. It must be in French with sub titles, I hope it is not dubbed in English. You don't have to speak French (or read the English subtitles, for that matter) to understand this movie. It is that perfect. I don't remember when I first saw this movie. I consider it one movie in two sequels with each sequel standing on its own as a complete cinematic drama. The acting is superb. At the climax of the drama, in Manon des Sources, the realization of the horrible truth on Cesar's (Yves Montand) face and in his eyes needed no words and had none. For me, everything that Gerard Depardieu has done pales to his portrayal of the happy but unlucky Jean De Florette. Daniel Auteuil is nearly unrecognizable in his protrayal of Galinette. This is a classic. Insular, provincial Provence provides the perfect backdrop for this drama spanning generations. We are all flawed, imperfect beings capable, through our actions, of terrible things that have horrible consequences. Every time I watch it I see something new. And, I've watched this one a lot....more info
  • Great movie
    It is one of those unforgetable movie, one that will leave you thinking. A great classic, great acting, a must see. Both movies need to be seen as they complement each other....more info
    This movie is surely a masterpiece. I was introduced to this from my French teacher when we watched it in class. I loved the movie so much that I was so sad when it was over. I showed it to my brothers and later my mom, and both of them just loved it! I want EVERYBODY to watch this if they can and I am sooo happy thatI bought it! If you don't speak French the subtitles are pretty much 100% accurate. Most people who do speak French still might have a little trouble understanding some words because of the accent these characters have since it is in the Countryside of France. Anyways, GET IT EVERYBODY!!!
    Sebastian...more info
  • Two beautiful and moving films -- how could you possibly pass this up?
    This is a very exciting new package -- two delightful and compelling films that tell the tragic and moving story of the lovely Manon and her father. Each story can stand on its own -- I actually saw Manon of the Spring first -- but they belong together and Jean de Florette sets up the backstory of Manon. You have to wait for the conclusion of Manon, however, to understand fully the story of Jean de Florette.

    The performances are stunning, the stories are powerful, and I challenge anyone to be unmoved by the end of either film. I saw these two during my freshman year in college and was amazed and stunned, and after seeing them I couldn't get enough of foreign cinema, catching every new release at our local arthouse theater.

    If you haven't seen them, this release creates the perfect opportunity -- and they will be films you will want to return to and watch again and again, and will want to introduce to your family and friends. ...more info
  • I heart this story
    I think back on the first time I saw this movie. When it got to the end I just sat there, almost unable to move. I had so many emotions and thoughts processing in my little head that I'm sure that's why my body felt immobile.
    This story has *everything*! The acting is superb. If you're not used to foreign films with subtitles give it a chance. After the first 30 minutes you don't even realize they're speaking french.
    I have told so many people about this movie (and I mean both movies combined)I waited for years for this combined dvd. Thank you!
    I love movies and whenever someone asks me "What's your favorite movie of all time?" I always say "Gee, I have so many favorites, but if I had to choose one it would be Jean De Florette/Manon of the Spring!" So many people have never even heard of it.
    I recommend that you set aside 4 quiet hours(a rainy afternoon, a day off from work, perhaps) without interruption so that you can focus on this fabulously told story....more info
  • A French Favorite
    Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring are two of my favorite French movies. The stories are compelling, the casting is perfect, the performances subtle and moving. This duo, and at least Jean de Florette, should be in every true Francophone's DVD collection. ...more info
  • Great movie:)
    I love this movie! It's in French with English subtitles, but after a while I stop noticing and even forget that I'm reading while watching. I remember it in English! It is sort of a slow watch, really more an artistic film, a nice change from Hollywood. Makes you breathe slower and think clearer, and the theme and overall story is so refreshing, yet sad... Keep some tissues with you, especially on the second part. Some really good life lessons here....more info
  • Masterpiece
    A magnificent film....subtle in it's cruelty, beautiful in filming. An overall enjoyable evening. The superiority of foreign film making continues to make American films, with few exceptions, our second choice for viewing....more info
  • Euros know how to do it!!!
    How poetic is THIS film ...timeless and the picturesqe view of this region is stunning....Love French films and there was a lot of thought behind this little gem...if you are a yoga practitioner this is classic Ignorance that the Sutras mention...Even your husband will enjoy it!...more info
  • Two of the best foreign films
    It's hard to know where to start with these films. It's wonderful that MGM has put the two of them together, as they really should be watched in succession for the full effect. The films themselves are wonderful. The cinematography, acting, music and story are phenomenal.

    As for this DVD release, it does the films justice. The video and audio are great. A few things to note are that the films come on a single, double-sided DVD (I personally would have preferred two discs), there are English and Spanish subtitles (oddly, no French) and there are no special features to speak of. However, the films more than make up for these shortcomings, and I cannot recommend them more highly. You owe it to yourself to see these films....more info
  • Beautiful story
    A look into real Provencal living! Beautiful story line and worth every penny to own!...more info
  • Classic films
    When I first saw Jean de Florette I was hooked forever on foreign film, never again to be daunted by subtitles.Still one of the best films I've ever seen.Then I found Manon of the Spring, the companion film.Equally as wonderful.A MUST-SEE for serious film lovers....more info
  • Great French Cinema
    I remember when these movies first came out in the theater. Jean was first followed in at least a year by the release of Manon - an insufferable wait, but well worth it.

    I had lent out my copies of both the DVDs and the VHS and never got them back! I was delighted to see that BOTH were now on one disc for a nice price.

    A great story with some interesting twists. I highly recommend the purchase!...more info
  • A four-hour French epic.
    These are two of my all time favorite French films. Adapted from the 1966 two-part novel by Marcel Pagnol, Jean De Florette and Manon of the Springs, Jean de Florette and Manon of the Spring (Manon des Sources) are award-winning 1986 companion films. Set in Provence in the 1920s, Jean de Florette tells the story of unscrupulous C¨¦sar "Papet" Soubeyran (Yves Montand) and his nephew, Ugolin (Daniel Auteuil), who are desperate to buy a neighbouring farm for its water supply from a spring. After they accidentally kill the farm's owner, the title character (G¨¦rard Depardieu) then inherits the farm and decides to pursue his naive city dream of growing vegetables and raising rabbits by living there with his wife (Elisabeth Depardieu) and beautiful daughter, Manon (Ernestine Mazurowna). Depardieu's performance as Jean, the hunchbacked tax collector from Paris, brings real heart and soul to this film. Upon learning of this inheritance, C¨¦sar and Ugolin block the spring with concrete to force Jean to sell his land to them. Although he struggles to bring water from the well many miles away to irrigate his farm, Jean fails and ultimately C¨¦sar and Ugolin obtain the farm and force Jean's family off of the land. Always suspicious of the Soubeyrans, the film ends with Manon watching C¨¦sar and Ugolin opening the spring that could have saved her family.

    The 1986 sequel, Manon des Sources, follows the events of Jean de Florette by roughly ten years. Jean's daughter Manon (Emmanuelle B¨¦art) is now living in the countryside of Provence near Les Romarins, the farm once owned by her father, where she tends a herd of goats for an elderly Piedmontese squatter couple. She is an educated though feral young woman, who lives off the land by hunting for birds and rabbits. Meanwhile. the Soubeyrans have become successful at growing carnations at Les Romarins, using water from the spring. Dim-witted Ugolin (Daniel Auteuil) is lovesick for the beautiful Manon, but she is repulsed by him. While searching for a lost goat, Manon discovers the source of the spring, and decides to block it with mud and rocks to take her revenge on the Soubeyrans. She then publicly accuses C¨¦sar (Yves Montand) and Ugolain of the death of her father, and the Soubeyrans are disgraced. The film ends with two unexpected twists, a death and a discovery, leaving C¨¦sar a broken man, prompting him to return the farm to Manon. Emmanuelle B¨¦art's performance is superb (and although Daniel Auteil's Ugolin may not have won her heart in the film, he won B¨¦art's heart in real life).

    These two slowly-paced films are as brilliant as a Greek tragedy or a Thomas Hardy novel (Jude the Obscure (Penguin Classics), Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Penguin Classics)). Those who enjoy these films might also enjoy two other films based on Marcel Pagnol's books, My Father's Glory & My Mother's Castle: Marcel Pagnol's Memories of Childhood: My Father's Glory and My Mother's Castle.

    G. Merritt ...more info
  • The genius of Marcel Pagnol and the beauty of Provence
    The gorgeous landscapes of Provence form the backdrop to a wonderful story filled with well-drawn characters, small-town politics, poetic irony, humor, pathos, and compassion. There are detestable villains you can't help liking and a protagonist whose naivet¨¦ makes you want to wring his neck. All three of the male leads are fabulous, and Emmanuelle B¨¦art is impossibly luminous as Manon. I enjoyed the films when they first came out, but watched them again recently and was dazzled by how well they have stood the test of time....more info
  • Jean de florette/Manon of the springs
    These movies are one saga. It's Under the Tuscan Sun meets Electra. Romance and Greek tragety all rolled into a well shot well acted story. It is a masterpiece....more info
  • Wonderful in Every Way
    US-released "Jean" and "Manon" with English subtitles have been hard to get for some time, so this combined set is a long-awaited opportunity to purchase reasonably priced copies as gifts. Don't delay, they disappeared before and may do so again!

    Like the Marcel Pagnol novels upon which they are based, these two films are greatly enhanced when treated as a proper storytelling whole.

    That storytelling is masterful from start to finish, and the acting -- including that of every minor character -- superb. The same goes for the settings, cinematography, and music. Wonderful in every way.

    These are among the greatest adaptations of book-based storytelling to the screen. After the magnificent lead performance by the Depardieus in "Jean," "Manon" carries on flawlessly with the continued brilliant performances of Montand and Auteuil, enhanced by the new leading role of B¨¦art. As with engaging novels, these films offer a perfect balance of suspense and surprise as the tale is told.

    Regarding the earlier review which stated

    "warning- young children should probably not wtch [sic] the first 15 min of the second part" :

    It is true on the one hand that brief nudity early in "Manon" can be seen as an unfortunate flaw, rendering what could have been a "perfect" G-rated family film into a "PG-rated" film. Before this latest American MGM re-release, one frequently saw a "cleaned up"(censored) South-Korean version of "Manon" for sale, a viable option for those with objections to the nudity.

    On the other hand, "Manon" is a rare instance in which film nudity does not seem blatantly salacious but rather natural and beautiful. Parents of young children know that some "PG" films are really "G" films, while others are more accurately PG-13 (or worse). Of equal if not greater concern in this regard is a potentially unsettling use of needle and thread and an associated bloody wound, not so long after the aforementioned nudity in "Manon." This probably has more to do with the "PG" rating than nudity.

    Despite considering myself hyper-vigilant about what films my children can watch (from early childhood through teen years), I decided that ages seven and up in my family could watch those two potentially objectionable scenes. No great discourse was required other than helping to explain the character's state of mind and/or emotion in the second scene.

    ...more info
  • great films
    A great pair of films which should be viewed as 2 parts of the whole. The DVD quality is quite good and at a very good price. There are no extras, but I don't feel I need them - the films speak for themselves. You must select the subtitles - each time I stopped the film I had to reset them - a minor bother. I was very glad to have them on DVD....more info
  • A Masterpiece
    Profound and moving. A victory for mainstream french cinema! It would be difficult to comment fully on these films without ruining the ending. Just watch them - It is impossible to be disapointed....more info
  • Simply the best
    If you are a lover of foreign, character-driven movies, you'll love these two. You must see both, because "Jean de Florette" sets up the conflict, and "Manon des Sources" resolves it [in a most unexpected manner, I might add]....more info
  • Amazing Films Re-Released
    For those who haven't seen these films originally released in the 80s, I give them my highest review. They're well worth seeing and everything from the story to the characters to the beautiful cinematography in the French village and countryside is exceptional. Another reviewer pointed out that the translation is a bit off in the subtitles. I've watched these films many times over the years both with and without subtitles and while there are obvious differences, I don't have a problem with them to the extent that the other reviewer did. Examples of differences that I picked up are quoting lengths in inches (presumably for an American audience) rather than the original centimeters. Several slang terms and phrases are also not translated literally sometimes eliminating little jokes and so on, but I don't think that detracts from the film at all.

    Now as for the packaging, this new release is bare bones. Technically the picture, and sound are improved over previous releases in my opinion. It's presented in widescreen though not in an HD format. Refer to the other reviews for the technical mumbo-jumbo, but it looked great to me. The two subtitling choices are English and Spanish. Jean de Florette is on one side of the disc and the sequel on the other. That's it. There's nothing else. They could certainly have dome more here, but for the price, who's complaining?

    Highly recommended!!!!! (one exclamation point for each star)...more info