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This review originally appeared in issue 14 of THE CINEMA LASER.


THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY ($40) is one of Clint Eastwood’s finest accomplishments as a director. THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY is a beautiful and sensitive film, which most will find to be a complete antithesis to his action oriented Dirty Harry films or his westerns. Eastwood has created a meticulous film, with a slow and deliberate pace, that woos the audience with a tale that proves one is never too old to fall in love. The story, told in flashback, is the memoir of a four day love affair between a photographer assigned to shoot the bridges of Madison County, and the married Iowa farm woman he meets while he is there. Meryl Streep again loses herself in the character of Franscesca, the Italian war bride who finds herself dissatisfied with her lot in life as a farmer’s wife. Eastwood is perfectly suited to the role of Robert, the National Geographic photographer, who on the surface appears cool, but underneath is romantic, passionate and able to sweep Franscesca off her feet.

With THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, Warner Home Video is able to deliver the goods with a Laserdisc that is as meticulously crafted as the film. The Letterbox transfer recreates the 1.85:1 aspect ratio quite well, with the composition appearing very well balanced. The image is razor sharp and the colors faithfully recreate the look of Jack N. Green‘s beautiful cinematography.

The digitally encoded Dolby Surround soundtrack has an intimate mix, which perfectly captures the atmosphere of this film. THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY is also Dolby Digital (formerly AC-3) encoded. The Pioneer pressing was very clean, with only an occasional speckle.

THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY is a fine example of Clint Eastwood’s growth into one of the finest directors currently working in Hollywood. Fans of both Eastwood the director and Eastwood the performer will certainly want to add this Laserdisc to their collections.


Laserdisc reviews are Copyright 1997 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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