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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Germany > Carbide & Sorrel

Carbide & Sorrel


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C    Film: B-



Frank Beyer’s comedy Carbide & Sorrel (1963) follows a tobacco/cigarette worker named Kalle (Erwin Geschonneck) in his quest to deliver several barrels of carbide back to the factory to save it through rebuilding with that material.  Of course, he has hardly any resources to do so and the amusing attempts to get there begin.


Though this is a good film and has some authentic laughs, the far superior Henri-Georges Clouzot classic Wages Of Fear and William Friedkin’s underappreciated remake, Sorcerer, haunts it.  Both offered the same scenario with higher stakes, dirtier situations, trickier traveling and more explicit politics.  Still, I enjoyed Carbide & Sorrel for what it was because Beyer is a good filmmaker, but don’t expect much otherwise and you’ll enjoy this competent East German Cinema work.


The 1.33 X 1 image has a slight haziness in the detail throughout suggesting a second-generation transfer and even a PAL to NTSC translation problem.  This does not do justice to Frank Beyer’s longtime cinematographer Gunter Marczinkowsky, who does consistently good work.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is surprisingly clean and clear for an older film from 1963, and we have heard some good film soundtracks from that time.  Extras include text on the film, its makers, a text essay by Karen Kramer, the original DEFA trailer and installment from the Das Stacheltier series about News From The West with good 1.33 X 1 black and white.  It is silly, but interesting.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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