THE NIGHT HEAVEN FELL
Review by Michael Jacobson
Brigitte Bardot, Stephen Boyd, Alida Valli, Pepe Nieto
Director: Roger Vadim
Audio: Dolby Mono
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Studio: Home Vision Entertainment
Features: Theatrical Trailers
Length: 93 Minutes
Release Date: September 25, 2001
may have created woman, but Roger Vadim and Brigitte Bardot created the stir.
After the husband directed the wife in what became a titillating landmark
movie, the two creative talents joined forces again for another attempt to
recapture the magic.
Night Heaven Fell boasted a good cast, including American Stephen Boyd of
Ben-Hur and Italian Alida Valli of The Third Man.
A cast, however, is usually only as good as the material it has to
work with. Night is a film
that is visually colorful, but dramatically gray.
plays Ursula, a young woman fresh out of a convent who comes to stay with her
aunt (Valli) and uncle. With a few
broad stokes, we are given a plot: there
is animosity between local stud Lamberto (Boyd) and the uncle over the suicide
of Lambertoís sister. They fight,
and Ursula begins to fall in love with the handsome stranger, while at the same
time evading the lecherous comings-on of the uncle.
triangle is complex: the aunt loves
Lamberto too, and when he kills the uncle in self defense, he believes she will
provide him an alibi. She does not,
and soon Ursula rescues him from the clutches of the law and joins him as a
meandering storyline never really draws interestÖthe characters are flatly
drawn, and frankly, we donít have enough background to really appreciate their
ideals and motivations. All that
really matters is that Ursula loves Lumberto enough to allow Bardot to bare her
breasts, which is the filmís real attraction.
Vadim and Bardot would go on to make better and more memorable films.
The Night Heaven Fell simply doesnít have enough going for it to
be considered one of them. Itís
too bland to be romantic, too rigid to be sexy, and too broadly drawn to be
anamorphic transfer comes from a Technicolor print that shows its age a little
bit. As a result, flesh tones
actually look more natural, but other colors, especially reds and greens, always
seem a click or two below what their normal hue would be. The print suffers from some grain, dirt, and splotches here
and there, which causes some flicker and inconsistency in the images.
Detail is generally sharp and good, however.
is a standard monaural offering: perfectly
suited to the film, but unremarkable.
disc includes trailers for And God Created Woman (dubbed), plus Plucking
the Daisy and The Night Heaven Fell, which are neither dubbed nor