Stolen Kisses (Baisers volés) (1968)

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Released 22-Nov-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Drama Main Menu Audio
Short Film- Antoine et Colette (29:04)
Biographies-Crew-François Truffaut
Theatrical Trailer-Baisers volés
Theatrical Trailer-Truffaut Collection (8 Trailers)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1968
Running Time 87:01
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By François Truffaut
Studio
Distributor
Les Films du Carross
Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Jean-Pierre Léaud
Delphine Seyrig
Claude Jade
Michael Lonsdale
Harry-Max
André Falcon
Daniel Ceccaldi
Claire Duhamel
Catherine Lutz
Martine Ferrière
Jacques Rispal
Serge Rousseau
Paul Pavel
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $28.95 Music Antoine Duhamel


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 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

François Truffaut's 1968 film Baisers volés, marked the return of the iconic character of Antoine Doinel (François Truffaut's alter-ego) to feature film. We left Doinel as he saw the sea for the first in time in Les Quatre Cents Coups and with no where to run, he looked back into our eyes and seamlessly left behind his troubled adolescence and looked towards the possibilities of the future. In 1962 Truffaut depicted the maturity of Doinel at age 17 and his first ill-fated love affair in Antoine et Colette, which was part of a collection of short films featuring contributions by Shintarô Ishihara, Marcel Ophüls, Renzo Rossellini and Andrzej Wajda, titled L' Amour à vingt ans.

"To make love is a way of compensating for death, of proving you exist." Julien (Paul Pavel)

The wonderful actor Jean-Pierre Léaud, whose name is synonymous with the character of Antoine Doinel gives an effortlessly brilliant performance in Baisers volés. Within the opening scenes we learn Doinel is now in his early twenties and he is (amusingly) dishonorably discharged from military service as he is often (and unsurprisingly) AWOL. Upon returning to Montmartre and civilian life, Doinel looks for his sometimes sweetheart Christine (the luminous Claude Jade in her film debut) but it is later revealed that they have an uneasy relationship as Christine has rejected Doinel's romantic advances for over two years. However Doinel ever the fantasist finds himself working as a private detective after a series of mishaps, and slowly he begins to impress the wide-eyed Christine with his daring profession. But with the new job comes his new obsession as Doinel instantly falls for Fabienne Tabard (Delphine Seyrig), the sophisticated wife of one of his peculiar clients, Georges Tabard (Michael Lonsdale).

As the love triangle closes in on our sympathetic protagonist Doinel is forced to confront himself in the bathroom mirror and choose between the two women in one of the film's most memorable scenes; Doinel anxiously repeats the names of his loves and his own name, until he can no longer breathe. The film is filled with such spontaneous and magical moments, for example the scenes which feature the quiet menace of the character of Albani (Albert Simono) who is in search of the magician who disappeared from his life. When Albani learns the truth he violently tears through the detective agency, only to be slapped repeatedly by the dentist who works upstairs. Watch this scene carefully to see Léaud accidentally fall while the other actors try to stay in character.

There are too many glorious moments in this film to list; from Christine teaching Doinel how to butter his toast properly, to the children who randomly wear Laurel and Hardy masks, to the script-writer (Jacques Robiolles) who converses with Doinel on the street, to Doinel's friendship with the elderly detective Monsieur Henri (Harry-Max) and the weariness of Monsieur Blady (Andre Falcon), to his close relationship with Christine's parents (Claire Duhamel and Daniel Ceccaldi). A personal favorite is Doinel's instinctive and very romantic use of a bottle opener.

The film is a triumph and Baisers volés whimsical romanticism would certainly have been an influence on modern directors such as Wes Anderson and Cameron Crowe.

Baisers volés is a wonderful treat for cinema lovers.

Highly recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The Region 4 Umbrella release has the same transfer as the Region 2 (France) Mk2 release of Baisers volés.

The transfer unfortunately features edge enhancement, a saturated colour palette and assorted film artefacts.

Baisers volés is presented in the 16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.61:1.

The film has been encoded over a dual layer disc at the average bitrate of 5.35 mb/s.

There are no direct issues of MPEG compression artefacts, only mild edge enhancement (for example 40:53).

The colour palette is over saturated and skin tones appear unrealistically heightened.

Sharpness is average and black levels are average due to the softness of the transfer (for example 8:29).

The positive and negative film artefacts (for example 19:27) and film grain are expected due to the age of the film print, but they do not distract from viewing of the film.

The optional English subtitles are generally true to the French dialogue. There were some grammar errors evident and some subtitles appeared sometime after the dialogue was said, but overall the subtitles do give a good generalisation of the French dialogue and action. The subtitles appear in a thin yellow text and automatically appear when the film is selected.

Video Ratings Summary
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Shadow Detail
Colour
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Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

Like the picture quality the French Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono soundtrack is standard. There were evident crackles and pops as well as microphone noise (21:19), possibly due to how the dialogue was recorded.

Overall the dialogue remains clear and audible.

The mono soundtrack has limited use on the surround sound.

The key song for the film is Charles Trenet's Que reste t'il de nos amours.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio

The main menu is a static image of the cover-art with the following options; play feature, 22 scene selections and access to extras. There is no set-up menu option but the subtitles can be turned off if desired. The menu is accompanied with a section of the score.

Antoine et Colette (29:04)

The 1962 film features Léaud reprising the Doinel role. Through voice-over we learn Doinel was captured five days after his escape and placed in a strict detention centre. However after a psychologist takes an interest in Doinel, he is placed on probation and now lives an independent and controlled lifestyle. At age of seventeen Doinel is living alone and works for Philips making records. Doinel is passionate about music and one night while attending a concert he sees Colette (Marie-France Pisier) and falls in love for the first time. The beautiful Colette begins a platonic friendship with Doinel and her parents (Rosy Varte and François Darbon) even welcome Doinel in their home. But as Doinel continues to try to woo her with very romantic (yet fanatical) gestures, she begins to distance herself from him.

This short film appears in 16x9 enhanced 2.35:1 widescreen with optional English subtitles. The black and white short film features heavy film grain and telecine wobble.

Truffaut filmography

An extensive Truffaut filmography listing the works of the director from 1957 to 1983 in a backwards chronological order.

The original theatrical trailer (3:15)

Truffaut Collection Trailers

The following trailers can be viewed individually: Les Quatre Cents Coups (16x9), Tirez sur le pianiste, Jules and Jim (16x9), Baisers volés, Domicile conjugal (16x9), L' Amour en fuite (16x9), Le dernier metro (16x9) and La Femme d'à côté.

R4 vs R1

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

The Criterion Collection has the best release of Baisers volés.

The title is available exclusively in The Adventures of Antoine Doinel 5-Disc Boxset.

The Criterion Edition of Baisers volés features the following specifications and special features: