The Widow Couderc (Veuve Couderc, La) (1971)

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Released 23-Sep-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1971
Running Time 85:35
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Pierre Granier-Deferre
Madman Entertainment
Starring Alain Delon
Simone Signoret
Ottavia Piccolo
Jean Tissier
Monique Chaumette
Boby Lapointe
Jean-Pierre Castaldi
Pierre Collet
Robert Favart
André Rouyer
François Valorbe
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI Box Music Philippe Sarde

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 1.0
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

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Plot Synopsis

    La Veuve Couderc is an excellent melodrama based on a novel by Georges Simenon.

    Set in Pre War France 1934, the late Simone Signoret is remarkable in her role as the title character - a lonely bitter middle-aged widow, who begins an unlikely relationship with the mysterious stranger Jean Lavigne (Delon).

     The two meet fortuitously when Lavigne comes to town looking for work and Coudrec, although fearlessly independent, offers Lavigne odd jobs around her farm and welcomes his friendship.

    Both loners eventually become lovers, and the relationship is unsurprisingly not encouraged by the other members of the community – particularly Couderc’s- in-laws with whom she has a torrid past with.

    Directed with attention to detail and a sense of authenticity by the late Pierre Granier-Deferre, in relation to the daily happenings of the rural location, the film is driven by enigmatic performances from both leads.

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Transfer Quality


     Presented in 1:66:1 16x9 enhanced widescreen, the transfer is satisfactory considering the age of the film.

    The colour scheme is natural, although it may seem overly bright and washed out at times.

    The transfer remains at most times sharp and defined.

    Shadow detail is equally adequate.

    Mild film grain and assorted artefacts appear throughout the feature film.

    The subtitles for the French dialogue are presented in a clear yellow font.

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


    There are two audio soundtracks available; one is 1.0 French mono, the other a 1.0 dubbed English soundtrack. Both soundtracks are clear and don’t exhibit any problems. The original soundtrack score was composed by Philippe Sarde.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu

    A still from the film with options for 12 scene selections and subtitle options.

R4 vs R1

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

   This title is currently only available in R4 as part of the ‘French Screen Icons – Alain Delon 1’ series from Madman. Overseas this title is also available in the US, UK and France as part of similarly themed barebones boxsets.


     La Veuve Couderc is an excellent melodrama featuring intense performances from Signoret and Delon. The DVD is adequately produced with decent picture and sound.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDOPPO DV-980H, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

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