• Icy Breasts (Kino Lorber) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Kino Lorber
    Released on: July 6th, 2021.
    Director: Georges Lautner
    Cast: Alain Delon, Mireille Darc, Nicoletta Machiavelli, Claude Brasseur, Fiore Altoviti
    Year: 1974
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    Icy Breasts – Movie Review:

    Also known as Les Seins de Glace and as Someone is Bleeding and based on a novel by Richard Matheson, Georges Lautner’s 1974 picture Icy Breasts is a French-Italian co-production that tells the story of a writer named François Rollin (Claude Brasseur) who travels to the beaches of Nice, France in hopes of finding some inspiration for his latest endeavor. Here he meets Peggy Lister (Mireille Darc), a beautiful woman recently widowed. They hit it off and while it’s clear to anyone paying attention except for maybe François that Peggy isn’t exactly what she might at first seem, he falls head over heels for her.

    François is a bit of a stalker…. literally. He decides to follow Peggy to her home where he runs into her lawyer, Marc Rilson (Alain Delon). He tells François what we already know – that Peggy’s past is more than a little shady – even violent! As François pursues his relationship with the woman he’s become so quickly obsessed with, it soon becomes clear that there is a murderer in their midst.

    A stylish and suspenseful thriller directed with skill and precision by the prolific Lautner, Icy Breasts is a solid story of intrigue and mystery. The story does a really nice job in its first half of setting up what is to come in its second, and there’s a pretty solid payoff for those who stick with it. The pacing is tight, the character development handed out in perfectly timed intervals and the production values are quite strong across the board. Cinematographer Maurice Fellous does a great job of framing the scenery and the performers alike, knowing just when to go in for that dramatic close-up and, just as often, when to pull back for a wider shot. The locations used for the production suit the story really nicely, and they’re lit and framed very effectively. Additionally, Philippe Sarde’s score is a strong one, never overdoing it and sometimes taking a surprisingly low-key approach to accentuating the more dramatic moments, but it works.

    The cast are strong across the board. Claude Brasseur, recognizable for his work in Jean-Luc Godard's Bande à part, plays his part well. We can see why his character is intrigued by Peggy and wants to know more about her. He plays the obsessed man that François becomes with believability. Alan Delon is as cool here as you’d expect him to be, he’s one of those actors who always makes it look easy and natural and his work here only solidifies that ability. It may not be as iconic a turn as some of his other performances but he’s great in the part. Mireille Darc, who also worked with Godard in 1967's Weekend, is also excellent here. She’s attractive in a slightly unconventional way, it isn’t hard to understand why François would find her Peggy so alluring, and she keeps an air of mystery about her right up until the end that suits the movie really well.

    Icy Breasts – Blu-ray Review:

    Icy Breasts, which is taken from a new 4k restoration of the original 35mm negative from Studio Canal, comes to Blu-ray from Kino Lorber framed at 1.66.1 in AVC encoded 1080p high definition taking up 34.6GBS of space on the 50GB disc. If colors look a tiny bit flat, that’s the only gripe here as the picture is otherwise very good. Rife with natural film grain, it looks proper and organic and shows very strong detail, depth and texture throughout. Skin tones look good and black levels are solid, there’s no noticeable crush here. Compression artifacts and edge enhancement are never an issues and the picture is free of any noise reduction. All in all, it looks very good.

    Audio options are provided in 16-bit English and French DTS-HD 2.0 Mono tracks with optional subtitles offered up in English only. Unless you’ve got an aversion to subtitles, the French track is the way to go as it isn’t dubbed and therefore suits the movie better. Clarity is fine, and both tracks are clean, clear and of good quality, free of any hiss or distortion and demonstrating proper balance throughout.

    The main extra on the disc is a new audio commentary by Howard S. Berger, Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson. They talk about how they came to know the film, with Berger in particular obviously having a pre-existing affintiy for it and for Lautner's work in particular. From there, they go over how Georges Lautner's work evolved over the years to the point where he had stopped doing thrillers and focused more on comedy films, how the film is the only French adaptation of Richard Matheson's work (Cold Sweat, as they note, 'kinda/sorta' counts), differences between the movie and the book that inspired it, where the film exploits some of its eye candy versus when it goes bleak, how Lautner made Mireille Darc's career and the importance of her work in the film, intricacies of Delon's performance and his character, the differences between the movies made with Jean-Paul Belmondo and the ones he made without him, some of the more subtle aspects of the cinematography, notes on the backgrounds in the film and the wardrobe, the neo-noir aspects of the picture, how the film did well in its native France but didn't do much outside of its home turf, how Delon wound up acting in the film and serving as one of the producers, the tragedy of Darc's final years and quite a bit more. Berger dominates this track, which is fine as he clearly has a lot to say about the film and Lautner's work in general. It's frequently very observational but the three participants offer up plenty of details and trivia on the picture as the track plays out. It's quite interesting and definitely worth your time.

    Aside from that, the disc includes a theatrical trailer for the feature, bonus trailers for a few other Kino Lorber releases (Diabolically Yours, Farewell Friend, The Sicilian Clan, The Widow Couderc, Texas Across The River and Le Professionnel), menus and chapter selection.

    Icy Breasts – The Final Word:

    Icy Breasts is a really solid thriller, shot with style and with a few neat twists along the way. It’s a good looking film that offers up some strong performances, particularly from the leads. Kino’s Blu-ray looks and sounds good and the commentary is pretty interesting as well. Recommended!

    Click on the images below for full sized Icy Breasts Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Spaghetti Monkey's Avatar
      Spaghetti Monkey -
      Nice, i was curious about this one.