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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

 

directed by Michael Cimino
USA 1978

Following the funeral of Nick, the intimate group of friends sit together around a table at their bar and sing “God bless America”. Their voices are raised just enough to be heard, their minds elsewhere. They do not become one in mind until they raises their glasses to Nick. A stunning scene in every sense, from the positioning of the players around the table, to its intertextual qualities, the ending of “The Deer Hunter” not only invokes allusions of Ford and Visconti, it also allows the viewer to dwell upon the story by stressing its main theme: Friendship.

Looking at “The Deer Hunter” as a whole, it has many scenes or sequences, which one can pick out and dwell upon or talk endlessly in enthusiasm, like grandeur of the wedding sequence, the Widerbergian drop of wine on the wedding dress, the close-ups of de Niro hunting, the fragility of Streep, despite that most would pick the “I love you baby” scene as their favourite. “Deer Hunter” is a film with so much detail in each scene and every scenic detail, that it steals our attention. It is larger than any single statement about how great its direction, cinematography, acting and storytelling is, as each element enriches the other. It is a film that with time has unfolded its greatness to become one of the greatest American films ever made.

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: 8th December 1978, Los Angeles, California, USA

Reviews       More Reviews        DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Optimum (2-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Universal (Legacy Series) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal (1998 - First U.S. release) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Bitwin (Korean Ed.) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Warner (Special Edition 2-Disc) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Kinowelt/Optimum (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray vs. Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow and  Gary and Guillaume Mareri and Mathias Nielsen for the DVD Screen Caps!

(Optimum (2-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Universal (Legacy Series) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal (1998 (First U.S. release) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Optimum

Region 2 - PAL

Universal (Legacy Series)

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

 

(Bitwin (Korean Ed.) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Warner (Special Edition 2-Disc) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND vs. Kinowelt (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - THIRD vs. Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT)

 

Optimum Blu-ray Edition

Studio Canal Blu-ray Edition:

Bitwin
Region 0 - NTSC
Warner
Region 2 - PAL
Kinowelt (Germany)
Region A + B -
Blu-ray
Universal
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Distribution

Optimum

Region 2 - PAL

Universal (Legacy Series)

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

Bitwin
Region 0 - NTSC
Warner
Region 2 - PAL
Kinowelt (Germany)
Region A + B -
Blu-ray
Universal
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 2:56:01 (4% PAL speedup) 3:03:24 3:03:18 3:02:54 2:56:12 (4% PAL speedup) 3:03:31.375 3:03:43.053
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.77 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00

2:35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.38 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97

2:35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.38 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.40 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.41 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,798,014,150 bytes

Feature: 34,798,430,208 bytes

Video Bitrate: 14.99 Mbps

Codec: VC-1 Video

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,407,920,097 bytes

Feature: 45,893,683,200 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.92 Mbps

Codec: VC-1 Video

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

Bitrate:

 

Optimum

 

 

Bitrate:

 

Universal (Legacy)

 

Bitrate:

 

Universal (1998 (First U.S. release))

 

Bitrate:

 

Bitwin (Korean Ed.)

 

Bitrate:

 

Warner (Special Edition 2-Disc)

 

Bitrate:

 

Kinowelt Blu-ray

 

Bitrate:

 

Universal Blu-ray

 

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital English, 5.1 Dolby Digital English English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0, DUB: Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 English Dolby 2.0

English Dolby Digital 2.0

English Dolby Digital 2.0

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2146 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2146 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 903 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 903 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 961 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 961 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 860 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 860 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 872 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 872 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 849 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 849 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Spanish 885 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 885 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3712 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3712 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles No Subtitles English (HOH), French, Spanish, none English, French, Spanish, none English, Korean, Cantonese, Thai, Mandarin, none None English (SDH), English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, none English (HOH), French, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Optimum

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by SX Finnie and Michael Cimino
• Shooting The Deer Hunter - an Interview with cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond (15:31)
• Playing The Deer Hunter - an Interview with actor John Savage (15:39)
• Realising The Deer Hunter - an Interview with director Michael Cimino (23:33)
• Original Trailer (3:03)

DVD Release Date: October 23, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond and film journalist Bob Fischer
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• Production Notes
• Original Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: September 6th, 2005

Bookstyle double thick case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 2:35:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer
• Production Notes
• Cast and Filmmaker Bios

DVD Release Date: March 31, 1998
Keep Case

Chapters 16
 

Release Information:
Studio: Bitwin

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer
• Cast & crew profiles
 

DVD Release Date: September 14, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 21

Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary with director Michael Cimino
• Realising The Deer Hunter - an Interview with director Michael Cimino (23:33)
• Playing The Deer Hunter - an Interview with cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond (15:36)
• Playing The Deer Hunter - an Interview with John Savage (15:39)
• Theatrical Trailer (3:04)
• Photo Gallery
• DVD-ROM: Downloadable Original Press Brochure
• Animated Menus

 

DVD Release Date: August 4, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Kinowelt

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,798,014,150 bytes

Feature: 34,798,430,208 bytes

Video Bitrate: 14.99 Mbps

Codec: VC-1 Video

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary with director Michael Cimino
• Realising The Deer Hunter - an Interview with director Michael Cimino (23:31)
• Presentation by Mickey Rourke (2.38)
• Vietnam War: Unknown Images (47.37)
• Shooting The Deer Hunter (15.31)
• Playing The Deer Hunter (15.38)
• Theatrical Trailer (3:04)
• BD-LIVE Capable

 

Blu-ray Release Date: September 28th, 2009
Custom Blu-ray Case

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,407,920,097 bytes

Feature: 45,893,683,200 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.92 Mbps

Codec: VC-1 Video

 

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond and film journalist Bob Fischer
• Deleted and Extended Scenes (16:57 in 480i)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (2:47 in 480i)

• My Scenes capable

100 Years of Academy Award Winners featurette (9:35 in 1080P)

DVD of the Feature

Blu-ray Release Date: March 6th, 2012

Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Chapters 16

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Universal - Region FREE Blu-ray - February 2012: The Universal uses the same VC-1 encode for their Blu-ray transfer - but it is technically more robust with a very large files size about 70% higher bitrate. The Universal image is darker, which we presume is more accurate - ditto for the cooler skin tones. It does have some DNR. I should state that I realize I wasn't able to get exact frame matches in a number of the comparison captures below due to the timeline feature.

Audio, like the Kinowelt Blu-ray, exports in a noticeably improved lossless DTS-HD master transfer as compared to the SD version. Like the video the Universal has a slight technical superiority with a more robust surround track but a less dynamic 2.0 channel stereo rendering. The 5.1 sounds solid with a few important separations (I didn't note it being a semi-tone higher in pitch as Bruce identified on the Kinowelt).  Stanley Myers beautiful score including Sarabande, Chopin's "NOCTURNE NR. 6 (OPUS 15-3) IN G MINOR" and Frankie Valli's 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You' are crisp and attentive to the narrative. The Universal offers optional subtitles (see sample below) and the disc is region FREE playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

Supplements duplicate the 2005 Universal DVD with the full Vilmos Zsigmond (cinematographer) + Bob Fischer ( film journalist) audio commentary, 17-minutes of deleted and extended scenes in 480i and an original theatrical trailer (2:47 in 480i.) The Blu-ray is 'My Scenes' compatible and it also has the 10-minute "100 Years of Academy Award Winners" featurette and a DVD of the feature included in the package.

No film that I have seen in the new format had a bigger impact on - compared to SD-DVD - than The Deer Hunter. Waiting for this North American edition - I purchased Studio Canal Blu-rays for many friends. The film is devastating in this HD format. While we may not recommend a double dip for those that own the European 1080P - everyone else who should indulge in the Universal - one of the most powerful and emotive Blu-ray experiences that I have yet had. No, it IS the most powerful. Our highest recommendation to those less sensitive to the DNR!

***

ADDITION: Kinowelt - Studio Canal Collection - Region A + B Blu-ray - November 09: Once again this starts with a list of country options of which Australia and the United Kingdom are choices. This is another Blu-ray from The Studio Canal Collection however this German Kinowelt version actually has the Optimum Releasing logo at the start - so we can safely assume it is the same as the British edition aside from packaging language. They have the same subtitle and audio options - and the same video transfer size. Both are coded for regions A + B - as we presume the French Studio Canal editions are. If we can discern any significant differences we will post them here. 

Image quality is dramatically improved from all DVD editions despite the low video bitrate and, what I consider, the lesser encode VC-1. It is still significantly cleaner, tighter with better colors and some consistent grain showing. I've never seen The Deer Hunter look better. Only some very minor noise and infrequent compressed blacks would be my lone complaints.

Audio is in the form of strong lossless DTS-HD Master tracks and the film's naturalistic sounds are vivid in 2.0 channel and subtly separated at times in the 5.1. I found the audio flawless - with dialogue both cleaner and crisper than any of the DVDs. But it's the music that comes through as most notable in advancement - Stanley Myers beautiful score including Sarabande, Chopin's "NOCTURNE NR. 6 (OPUS 15-3) IN G MINOR" and Frankie Valli's 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You'. Although there are subtitles as my software identifies - they can't be accessed via the subtitle button nor the pop-up menu - ex. you can't change to foreign language DUB tracks on the fly. They are only accessible dependant on what country option you choose initially so I couldn't find a way to get English subtitles with the English audio - although English subs do exist for foreign language DUBs. My Momitsu has identified it as being coded for Blu-ray regions A + B.

NOTE: Bruce says in email "I was rather surprised that, in your review of the Kinowelt/Optimum BD release of 'The Deer Hunter', you didn't mention that the 5.1 soundtrack is pitched sharp (in musical terms, by about a semitone). (The 2.0 soundtrack is correctly pitched.) It appears that Studio Canal based the 5.1 soundtrack on a source originally used for a previous PAL DVD release. They digitally "stretched" the running time to fit the 24fps video master, but neglected (or forgot?) to digitally correct the pitch." (thanks Bruce!)

Supplements include the same 55-minutes worth of Blue Underground featurettes (Realising The Deer Hunter, Shooting The Deer Hunter, Playing The Deer Hunter) and the Cimino commentary. The deleted and extended scenes are not here on the Blu-ray but we get a lengthy and exhaustive French Vietnam War: Unknown Images piece for over 45-minutes. We also get a new Presentation by Mickey Rourke for 2.5 minutes where the actor claims to have seen the film over 40 times and talks of his appreciation for De Niro. The disc has an SD trailer and untested BD-LIVE function.

What an absolutely incredible film to own in this magnificent 1080P format. An unforgettable and powerful movie experience gets escalated - impacting to an even higher level - one I would have thought improbable to achieve. BIG thanks to Studio Canal and Kinowelt. Don't have any fear in buying this - it is an essential for your digital library.

Gary Tooze 

ON THE SD-DVDs: The image appears to be from the same source as the R1 Universal (Legacy Series). While there are minute artifacts present, these are only visible when zooming into a still frame. For regular viewing, this is basically a flawless transfer of a 3 hour film onto DVD. Colors are well balanced, details strong and blacks deep.

The sound is the films original 2.0 stereo and a new "improved" 5.1 Dolby Digital surround track. Both are without any noise, with crystal clear dialogue. While the new 5.1 does add a little to the surround scene, I prefer the 2.0 track.

The additional material is identical to the 2003 Warner edition. First a rather chatty commentary between critic SX Finnie and director Micheal Cimino, full of anecdotes and reflections, but also with some detailed comments towards specific scenes, which shows how great a director Cimino is. An enriching commentary.

On Disc 2, three interviews - produced by Blue Underground - are to be found, where John Savage, Vilmos Zsigmond and Michael Cimono offer their perspective to their respective field; acting, cinematography and creating / directing.

Opposite to the Warner, the trailer here is not anamorphic, but presented in 2.35 in 4:3.

To me, this is the best edition of the film available, as Optimum has taken the best source and added the best additional material.

 - Henrik Sylow

***

ADDITION: Universal - Legacy Series - NTSC (Sept - 05) - Firstly - this was unnecessarily a two disc set - the Bonus disc is only 1.2 Gig and could have fit on the Dual layered first disc with a little room to spare. I would have preferred the commentary from the Warner PAL edition but Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond has some interesting knowledge to share.

Image: I think the Legacy image is the best of the four - the other two (non-16X9) NTSC editions are quite dull in comparison and the PAL has had some contrast boosting. This Legacy appears to be from a cleaner print that the other three as I could not find the damage seen in the last large capture.

Subtitles are more discreet in the Legacy which also boasts a 5.1 track in addition to the optional mono.

For viewing the film, the Legacy appears to be the one to own, but Universal, please don't expand your package unnecessarily with the superfluous bonus disc - not appreciated.

****

The image on the Universal and the Bitwin seem to have come from the same transfer. But the Bitwin is much sharper. The extras are nothing to fuss about. Both of these versions has overly reddish skin tones; see caps 5 and 6.

The image on the Warner edition is sharper and more detailed, but it is not a perfect version either. Print damages appear throughout the movie and white flashes are occasionally seen during scene shifts. This been caused by contrast boosting, but still the Warner image is much sharper than the two other versions.

The best version of the film, as it is right now, is the 2-disc edition from Warner which has some nice extras, including an interesting interview with the eccentric director, Michael Cimino, and animated 3-D menus.
Unfortunately it has no subtitle options.

The Universal disc seems to be out of print, so maybe there is an anniversary edition on the way.

Until then we recommend the Warner 2-disc edition.

 - Mathias Nielsen

 


 

DVD Menus

 

Optimum (2-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL

 

 

Universal (Legacy) - Region 1 - NTSC  Disc 1

 

Universal (Legacy) - Region 1 - NTSC  Disc 2



(Universal (1998 (First U.S. release)) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Bitwin (Korean Ed.) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Warner (Special Edition 2-Disc) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

 

   

   

 

Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


 

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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Optimum (2-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Universal (Legacy) - Region 1 - NTSC  SECOND

3) Universal (1998- First U.S. release) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Bitwin (Korean Ed.) - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Warner (Special Edition 2-Disc) - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kinowelt (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - SIXTH

7) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

There are no subtitles on the R2 editions

NOTE: Optimum offers no subtitle options

 

 


1) Optimum (2-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Universal (Legacy) - Region 1 - NTSC  SECOND

3) Universal (1998- First U.S. release) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Bitwin (Korean Ed.) - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Warner (Special Edition 2-Disc) - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kinowelt (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - SIXTH

7) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Optimum (2-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Universal (Legacy) - Region 1 - NTSC  SECOND

3) Universal (1998- First U.S. release) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Bitwin (Korean Ed.) - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Warner (Special Edition 2-Disc) - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kinowelt (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - SIXTH

7) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) Optimum (2-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Universal (Legacy) - Region 1 - NTSC  SECOND

3) Universal (1998- First U.S. release) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Bitwin (Korean Ed.) - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Warner (Special Edition 2-Disc) - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kinowelt (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - SIXTH

7) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 


1) Optimum (2-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Universal (Legacy) - Region 1 - NTSC  SECOND

3) Universal (1998- First U.S. release) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Bitwin (Korean Ed.) - Region 0 - NTSC - FOURTH

5) Warner (Special Edition 2-Disc) - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Kinowelt (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - SIXTH

7) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 Note the severe print damage on this capture!

More Blu-ray Captures

1) Kinowelt (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Kinowelt (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Kinowelt (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

1) Kinowelt (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

1) Kinowelt (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Universal Blu-ray

Sound:

Universal Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

(Optimum (2-Disc Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Universal (Legacy Series) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal (1998 (First U.S. release)) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Optimum

Region 2 - PAL

Universal (Legacy Series)

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

 

(Bitwin (Korean Ed.) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Warner (Special Edition 2-Disc) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT) vs. Kinowelt (Studio Canal Collection) - Region A + B - Blu-ray - RIGHT)

 

Optimum Blu-ray Edition

Studio Canal Blu-ray Edition:

Bitwin
Region 0 - NTSC
Warner
Region 2 - PAL
Kinowelt (Germany)
Region A + B -
Blu-ray
Universal
Region FREE -
Blu-ray




 

 

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Gary Tooze

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