The Age of Innocence (1993)

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Released 23-Jul-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Sense And Sensibility, The Remains Of The Day
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 132:45
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Martin Scorsese

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis
Michelle Pfeiffer
Winona Ryder
Alexis Smith
Geraldine Chaplin
Mary Beth Hurt
Alec McCowen
Richard E. Grant
Miriam Margolyes
Robert Sean Leonard
Si‚n Phillips
Jonathan Pryce
Michael Gough
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Elmer Bernstein

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

††† Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Edith Wharton, Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence (1993) is an elegant and moving film masterpiece. An intricately well-crafted film, with an astounding attention to detail, Scorsese achieves a level of subtlety and delicacy not usually seen in his work. As with most Scorsese films, the production quality is first rate. The acting, direction, cinematography, editing, lighting, costumes, art direction, sound recording, and music are all sublime.

††† As I noted in an earlier review, "originally studying to be a Catholic Priest, Scorsese left the Seminary in the 1950s to study film-making at New York University. With a directing career beginning at the end of the 1950s, some of Scorsese's more notable films include Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), The King of Comedy (1983), The Color of Money (1986), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Goodfellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991), The Age of Innocence (1993), Casino (1995), Kundun (1997), and The Gangs of New York (2002).

††† Scorsese's films tend to be set in the dark under-belly of New York, often featuring characters and locations of his home town of Little Italy, New York. His movies often focus on anti-social, loner protagonists, struggling with the difficult circumstances that they find themselves in. Scorsese has teamed up with actor Robert De Niro eight times, and for both of them, these tend to be their better films. Other actors who seem to shine under Scorsese's direction include Harvey Keitel and Joe Pesci.

††† Scorsese's far-reaching influence on other writer/directors over the last 30 years is obvious with the constant referencing and imitating of his work. Along with Francis Ford Coppola, he has helped define what a modern gangster movie should look and feel like, and along with Woody Allen, Scorsese has helped define New York's image in popular culture and film throughout the twentieth century."

††† The Age of Innocence discards Scorsese's typical black humour and cathartic violence, and replaces it with a lush and romantic vision. Similar to Pride and Prejudice and Dangerous Liaisons, The Age of Innocence is a story of passion and romance constrained within a world of privilege, scandal, gossip, and manners. A golden cage of high society, where self determination and freedom are sternly bound by the rules of society.

††† "I feel like I'm being buried alive under my future".

††† Set in New York in the 1870s, Newland (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a lawyer from a wealthy New York family. Newland is engaged to the prissy May (Winona Ryder), a young and naive socialite, also from a wealthy New York family. All is going well with their polite engagement and naive, courtly love, until May's cousin arrives in New York, the spicy, worldly, and sensual Ellen (Michelle Pfeiffer). At first Newland is confused at Ellen's effect on him, but soon she awakens a passion in him that he does not understand. Newland will be forced to choose between freedom, love, and passion or responsibility, honour and obligation.

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Transfer Quality


††† Overall, the transfer on this DVD is excellent.

††† The transfer is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced. It is also encoded with Auto Pan & Scan information

††† While some scenes appear to be a little soft, overall, the sharpness, black level, and shadow detail are all good, and there are many finely detailed and/or shadowed scenes to show this off.. The colour is excellent, which is important in this film. A good example of this is the beautiful colour composition of the scene in the florist at 34:40. The skin tones are accurate.

††† There are no problem with MPEG or film-to-video artefacts. Small film artefacts appear throughout. Strangely, on a few occasions a thin vertical white line appears in the transfer. This appears to be in the original print. There is also some slight edge enhancement at times, but I did not find it distracting.

††† There are plenty of subtitles present: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, and Turkish. The English ones are accurate.

††† This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed at 51:17, which is in-between scenes.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


††† There are five audio options on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

††† The dialogue quality and audio sync are excellent on the default English track.

††† The musical score is credited to the brilliant Elmer Bernstein, and it is a lush orchestral score that contributes enormously to the many moods of the film. The very talented Bernstein is also responsible for scoring movie classics such as The Ten Commandments (1956), The Magnificent Seven (1960), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), The Great Escape (1963), Zulu Dawn (1979), and An American Werewolf in London (1981).

††† Although surround encoded, the audio remains very front heavy, which is understandable for a dialogue-based movie. The rears are used for the score and some ambience. The LFE signal never caught my attention, which again, was not missed due to the nature of the movie..

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


††† There are a few extras


††† An animated menu with audio.


††† Trailers for The Age of Innocence, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Stereo surround audio, Sense and Sensibility, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 (non-16x9 enhanced) with Dolby Stereo surround audio, and The Remains of the Day, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Stereo surround audio.


††† Simple text-based Filmographies for Martin Scorsese, Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

††† The Age of Innocence was released on DVD in Region 1 in November, 2001.

††† The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

††† The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

††† I would call it pretty even.


†††With its delicate, intelligent, and considered presentation of the timeless story, The Age of Innocence is a moving and truly beautiful film.

††† The video quality is good overall.

††† The audio quality is very limited in its presence, but good.

††† There are a few extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Friday, January 02, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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