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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Billy Wilder
U.S. 1960

Diamond-sharp satire with a brilliant performance from Lemmon as the insurance clerk who forges ahead in the rat race by lending his apartment out to philandering senior executives, only to outsmart himself when the girl of his dreams is brought there by his boss. Full of sly bits of business (MacLaine admitting to three affairs but betrayed by fingers unconsciously announcing four), and with its jaundiced vision leavened by a tender sympathy for the frailty of human motives. Even the cop-out ending (boy forgives girl and all's well) is rather moving, given the delicate skill with which Lemmon and MacLaine commute between comedy and pathos.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release Date: June 15th, 1960

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Comparison:

MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM - Region 2 - PAL vs. MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

 Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

MGM (Collector's Edition)

Region 1  - NTSC

MGM

Region 1  - NTSC

MGM 
Region 2 - PAL

MGM (Collector's Edition)

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 2:05:04 2:05:00 1:59:56 (4% PAL speedup) 2:05:12.463
Video 2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.65 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

2.32:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate:5.13 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

2.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.86
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 40,017,128,158 bytes

Feature: 36,033,761,280 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

MGM Collector's Edition

 

Bitrate:

MGM Original NTSC release

 

Bitrate:

MGM Region 2

Bitrate:

MGM Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Mono) DUBS: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), DUBS: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), DUBS: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) , German (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2633 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2633 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles English, Spanish, and none Spanish, French and none English, German, Italian, Spanish, French and none English, French, Spanish, and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by film historian Bruce Block

Featurette: 'Inside The Apartment' (29:35)
Featurette: 'Magic Time: the Art of Jack Lemmon' (12:47)

 

DVD Release Date:

February 5th, 2008
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: MGM/UA Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.32:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer - 4:3 - 2:16

DVD Release Date: December 18, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Ent. (Europe) Ltd.

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.33:1

Edition Details:
• Original Theatrical Trailer

 

DVD Release Date: 26 November, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 40,017,128,158 bytes

Feature: 36,033,761,280 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary by film historian Bruce Block

Featurette: 'Inside The Apartment' (29:35)
Featurette: 'Magic Time: the Art of Jack Lemmon' (12:47)

 

Blu-ray Release Date:

January 24th, 2004
Standard Blu-ray
Case

Chapters 24

Comments:

NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray (January 12'): This is a pretty sweet upgrade. As detail is a factor of contrast - this immensely improves the visuals via the 1080P transfer. Blacks levels remain at the heightened state as seen on the 2008 Special Edition DVD. It borders on, but doesn't achieve, moiring and there is some pleasing depth to the image quality. It's like everything comes into focus. Predictably, there is more information in the frame. There is a shade of gloss - but overall this is impressive in-motion. I felt, in this more film-like state, that I was seeing the film for the first time. It's spotless, sharp with pristine black levels. Big thumbs up.

 

The audio comes via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2633 kbps. The lossless sounds crisp including the original music by Adolph Deutsch. There aren't an abundance of effects to reach the rear speakers - just some party noises etc.

 

Supplements duplicate the last DVD edition with the commentary and two featurettes (both still in 480i). There are optional subtitles on the region FREE MGM Blu-ray disc.

 

Classic Wilder - supremely enjoyable performances - holding up substantially well over time - The Apartment is over 50-years old now. Absolutely recommend to those who can appreciate this classic in an amazing presentation.

 

***

ADDITION: Collector's Edition - January 08': Funny the things you don't initially notice - both 2001 releases now look vertically compressed to me - especially the shot of Lemmon on the couch. Anyway, the new Collector's Edition has far superior contrast (the old looked somewhat muddy) and with the black levels increased it has brought up the sharpness to a small degree. Grayscale is vastly improved - as is the bitrate. There is definite movement in the frame with the new having shifted somewhat to the left. Bottom line is the Collector's Edition image is significantly improved - I am quite surprised.

Audio offers a useless 5.1 upgrade but the mono is still included and it sounded fine to me. Unlike the old NTSC this new includes optional English subtitles.

What else? Well you get even more for your $14 - a new commentary from historian Bruce Block - he discusses a lot about Wilder and his demands for detail including a brief reading of the script and its meticulous mention of the actions of Lemmon's character. The commentary is full of good information and although not at Criterion level of proficiency - it is still well worth listening to.  Also we have two featurettes - 'Inside The Apartment' has input from Chris Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Walter Mirisch, Drew Casper and others. It has much to share in its 30 minutes. Finally we have 'Magic Time: The Art of Jack Lemmon' - a 12 minute spotlight on the actors craft and skills with input from colleagues.

I am almost shocked that MGM have done such a good job. This is a fabulous film and it never looked better the digital medium. Tack onto that the supplements and you have the best film-to-DVD value of the year at less than $15. Strongly recommended!

ON THE ORIGINAL NTSC VS. THE PAL: The Region 1 MGM DVD is much sharper than the Region 2 PAL. The Region 2 offers more choices for sound and subtitle options and perhaps this is why the bitrate is so much higher but the image quality lower. I don't know.  Both discs are anamorphic and the Region 1 is very slightly cropped along the right vertical edge. Unless you require the Foreign language dubs or sub-titles buy the Region 1. The Region 2 PAL is hazy by comparison.

NOTE: The 1st screen capture is NOT from the exact corresponding frame, but I believe the rest are.

Gary W. Tooze


 

DVD Menus

(MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC)

 



(
MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. MGM - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: MGM Collector's Edition  / Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

 

Distribution

MGM (Collector's Edition)

Region 1  - NTSC

MGM

Region 1  - NTSC

MGM 
Region 2 - PAL

MGM (Collector's Edition)

Region FREE - Blu-ray



 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...