THE STENDHAL SYNDROME  [La Sindrome di Stendhal]

Director: Dario Argento

Starring: Asia Argento, Thomas Kretchmann, Marco Leonardi

A young police detective afflicted by a rare psychiatric disorder hunts for a serial killer.

Dario Argento’s 1996 movie was initially released in the UK (in May 1999) on DVD by Marquee Pictures in an uncut version, which ran for 113’30”. The film’s original distributors, Guild Pathe submitted the film to the BBFC for video classification in a version that had already been cut by almost three minutes. The BBFC passed this version “uncut”, (i.e. they made no cuts of their own), and lists its authorised running time as 110’42”. The uncut UK disc was withdrawn, and reissued with the Guild Pathe cuts. Copies of the uncut version have black and white disc artwork. The reissue had colour disc art, but this in itself will not guarantee that a particular disc is uncut. Copies of the uncut disc are collector’s items, even though the disc has now been superseded by an uncut American (Region 0) version, which offers a mildly letterboxed transfer (at 1.66:1), and a bunch of interview clips.

The disc itself is crudely presented, by a company obviously not terribly experienced in DVD authoring. The picture is full-frame only, and is of below-average quality, (a poor film-to-video transfer rather than poor DVD authoring would seem to be the problem). The sound is in digital stereo, in English, but lacks gloss. Guild’s tape version was in mono, but in a mild widescreen ratio of about 1.75:1. There are chapter markers on the disc, but no accompanying listing, and the “autobiography” option turns out to be a single page of text describing the plot. 


Unless explicitly stated, DVD screen captures used in the reviews are for illustrative purposes only, and are not intended to be accurate representations of the DVD image.   While screen captures are generally in their correct aspect ratio, there will often have been changes made to the resolution, contrast, hue and sharpness, to optimise them for web display.

Site content copyright © J.A.Knott - 2002-2004