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Story of a Three Day Pass [DVD] [1968]

Melvin Van Peebles' first feature film has long deserved a release on DVD, and while this edition from Xenon Pictures is hardly perfect, it at least gives Story of a Three-Day Pass a much-needed digital upgrade. Story of a Three-Day Pass has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1; the source print shows some slight wear and speckling, but the image is clear and sharp, and the scale of grey tones is quite good. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Stereo, using the film's original monophonic sound mix; the track sounds good enough, though not quite up to the quality of the images. The dialogue is primarily in English, with optional English subtitles but no multiple language options. The onscreen introduction Van Peebles shot for the film's previous VHS release on Xenon has been included, but it hasn't been given a separate chapter stop and can only be accessed by starting the film from the main menu. The only additional bonus material is a collection of trailers (including previews for four Melvin Van Peebles films, among them Three-Day Pass). While this isn't a major improvement over the film's release on tape in terms of extras, it looks and sounds noticeably better, and given the film's scarcity, this DVD edition is more than welcome.

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    Special Features

    • Featuring a special introduction by the filmmaker: Melvin Van Peebles discusses the events that led him to France in the 1960s, and, ultimately, to write and direct this landmark interracial love story.


    The Story of a Three-Day Pass
    Artfully squeezing every penny out of a grant from the French Cinema Center, Melvin Van Peebles made his directorial debut with Story of a Three-Day Pass. Harry Baird plays a black American GI, Turner, who falls in love with French mademoiselle (Nicole Berger). Upon his return from an idyllic weekend, Turner is demoted by his bigoted captain for fraternizing with a white girl. Honored as the French entry in the San Francisco Film Festival, this poignant little romantic drama "made" Van Peebles, who on the strength of his newly established reputation was assigned to direct Columbia's The Watermelon Man. Story of a Three-Day Pass was based on Van Peebles' own novel La Permission. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Pierre Doris
      Pierre Doris - Peasant
    • Christian Marin
      Christian Marin - Hotelman
    • Nicole Berger
      Nicole Berger - Miriam
    • Harry Baird
      Harry Baird - Turner

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