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As much as I liked the Elite Entertainment Laserdisc edition of LADY IN WHITE, I found their $29.95 DVD edition to be even better. As I stated previously in my review of the Laserdisc, I am a big fan of Frank LaLoggia’s marvelously warm and evocative fantasy film. LADY IN WHITE stars Lukas Haas as 10 year old Frankie Scarlatti, who on Halloween night 1962 finds himself locked in his school’s cloak room thanks to a couple of fellow students. While trapped in the cloakroom, Frankie sees the apparition of a young girl reenact the circumstances of her murder, which occurred in that very same room ten years earlier. Just as the ghostly visage disappears, the shadowy figure of the killer bursts into the cloakroom and begins searching for something. Instead of his objective, the killer discovers Frankie whom he attacks and almost kills.

While Frankie hovers in the twilight realm between life and death, the ghost of the young girl asks Frankie to help reunite her with her mother and finally put her soul to rest. Not only is LADY IN WHITE a great ghost story, director LaLoggia has created a film that is a warm remembrance of what it was like to grow up in an Italian household in small town America during the early 1960’s. LADY IN WHITE is a sweet and beautifully acted film, which features a marvelous leading performance from Lucas Haas, as well as outstanding support from Alex Rocco, Len Cariou, Katherine Helmond, Jason Presson, Renata Vanni, Angelo Bertolini Joelle Jacobi, and Lucy Lee Flippin.

Just as with their Laserdisc release, Elite Entertainment’s DVD edition offers the director’s cut of LADY IN WHITE which includes six minutes of footage not seen in the theatrical version of the film. LADY IN WHITE is presented in its proper 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio and the SuperScan transfer was supervised by Frank LaLoggia. The Letterboxed transfer is quite lovely and reproduces Russell Carpenter’s glowing nostalgic cinematography quite well. Images are richly detailed and the colors are vibrantly hued throughout. MPEG-2 compression artifacts were hardly noticeable on this DVD.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel mix was created specifically for Elite’s Laserdisc and DVD releases of LADY IN WHITE, and shows what is possible if one has the original sound elements for even the smallest film. I thought that his mix was superior to a number of Dolby Digital re-mixes done by the major studios for their "A" product. LADY IN WHITE makes the most of the discrete channel capabilities of the Dolby Digital format, filling the mix with little sounds that seem to emanate from everywhere. The mix also uses Frank LaLoggia’s musical score to great effect.

Elite Entertainment’s supplemental materials include a running commentary with the director. Fans will especially enjoy LaLoggia’s informative talk about this very personal film. Other supplements include a promotional short film that was created to interest potential investors in LADY IN WHITE. There are also a number of deleted and alternated takes from the film. Theatrical trailers, television spots, radio spots and a still picture gallery fill out the supplements that mirror the Laserdisc release. Specific to the DVD edition is the inclusion of the film’s "CD soundtrack" on a separate layer of the single sided DVD. The soundtrack includes a slide show presentation of stills to accompany Frank LaLoggia’s musical suites from LADY IN WHITE.

LADY IN WHITE is a wonderful fantasy film that truly deserves to be seen. Elite Entertainment’s DVD edition of the film is truly marvelous, thanks to its beautiful presentation of the film and outstanding array of supplemental features. Absolutely recommended.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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