Two months ago, I pre-ordered this movie from my local store. According to the Criterion website, this edition of the movie was supposed to contain the french audio track. When I received the movie, one week ago, I played it in my dvd player. No french audio track.
Even on the back cover of the dvd, there was an indication that this edition was supposed to contain the french audio track. I can prove it. I scanned the cover before sending my movie back for a refund. I got my refund because the product didn’t match the specifications.
When I asked Criterion if this situation was normal, I got no answer at all. So I wonder… Isn’t it fraudulous to publish inacurate technical information about this edition of the movie on their website?
It is a misrepresentation yes, and is techincally fraudulent but I don’t really see what the big deal is. Unless French is your preferred language I can’t see any reason why you would be upset. It is also perfectly reasonable that they decided not to use it OR it may even be an error.
But, but, wouldn’t a French audio track mean that it was….DUBBED??!!!!!????
Yes, French is my preferred language. So when I order a movie that is supposed to contain the french track, I want this information to be acurate,
weird! has anybody else had this problem?
I don’t know, but I always want to hear the original voice/language. Subtitles are more than enough.
Totally unrelated to the Wings of Desire controversy, but I recently watched Rashomon with the English dubbed soundtrack. It didn’t make the movie better, that’s for sure, but did give some indication of what mainstream American audiences experienced when they saw this film back in the 1950s (presumably that’s when the dub was made – I do wish the documentation provided info on who was responsible for it and when it was made.) The voices of the dubbing actors weren’t quite to the level of offensive racist stereotypes but they came close. The voice tones were exaggerated and the apparent necessity of having the characters on-screen speak with heavy Japanese accidents, in slightly broken English, gave some indication of where the audience was at and the size of the cultural gap that a film like Rashomon helped to bridge. So in that sense, I thought the dub soundtrack offers some interesting historic value.
But back to Charles’ point, I do wonder why Criterion advertised and labeled their DVD packaging with the promise of a French audio track but failed to deliver.
Gunnar, the point is that Criterion pretends that this edition of the dvd contains the french dub. So Criterion does a misrepresentation on their website and on the dvd packaging.
I just went to the Criterion website which lists the films this way on the top of the page:
Color, Black and White
English, French, German
I didn’t see any mention in the actual features of a French audio track for the film itself but there is a reference to a French TV program:
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
•New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Wim Wenders (with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
•Audio commentary featuring Wenders and actor Peter Falk
•The Angels Among Us (2003), a documentary featuring interviews with Wenders, Falk, actors Bruno Ganz and Otto Sander, writer Peter Handke, and composer Jürgen Knieper
•“Wim Wenders Berlin Jan. 87,” an episode of the French television program Cinéma cinémas, including on-set footage
•Interview with director of photography Henri Alekan
•Deleted scenes and outtakes
•Excerpts from the films Alekan la lumière (1985) and Remembrance: Film for Curt Bois (1982)
•Notes and photos by art directors Heidi Lüdi and Toni Lüdi
•New and improved English subtitle translation
•PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Atkinson and writings by Handke and Wenders
So I think the “French” in the top listing was just indicative of the fact that there are French language bits on the DVD. It would be pretty unusual for Criterion to include a non-English translation from a film’s original language. The only exceptions I can think of are the alternative French versions of Threepenny Opera and Testament of Dr. Mabuse, which were actually different films using French actors but shot on the same sets. But the web pages for both of those films list only German in the top section! (not even English even though there’s a commentary track in English on those DVDs.)
… I think Criterion should explain their decision to put French/English alongside German on the WoD DVD listing!
Weren’t there parts of Wings of Desire in French (the same way there were some parts in English)?
Yes, the listing “German, French, English” indicates a single, multi-language soundtrack, not three separate DUBs. Any DUB would be listed under special features, as is Criterion’s standard practice (See Cries & Whispers and Forbidden Games for two examples).
“Yes, the listing “German, French, English” indicates a single, multi-language soundtrack, not three separate DUBs.”
Yup. This is standard, not a misrepresentation in any way.
The trapeze artist’s character speaks french in the movie, while the others characters speak mostly german and Peter Falk speaks english.