Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Samuel Fuller and the Big Red One")

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/fuller.htm
USA 19
80

 

“When I enter his suite at the Plaza, he's finishing lunch, expressing his regret about missing Godard in Cannes, remarking on the absurdity of prizes at film festivals, asking me what Soho News and Soho are. (The one he knows about is in London -- he fondly recalls a cigar store on Frith Street.)

"It isn't hard to figure out why Mark Hamill affectionately calls him Yosemite Sam, or why Lee Marvin simply says he's D.W. Griffith. Bursting with the same charismatic, comic book energy that skyrockets through most of his movies, old crime reporter, novelist, war hero, writer-director and sometime producer Samuel Fuller, almost 69, still moves and talks like his daffy action flicks -- like the wild man from Borneo -- in quick, short, blocky punches, like two-fisted slabs of socko headline type."

The purple prose was mine, the year was 1980. Fuller was promoting his semiautobiographical war picture The Big Red One, even though the studio had just cut half of it -- something he wasn't making any effort to hide. It had also added an offscreen narration he didn't like, spoken by the character based on him and written by (though not credited to) filmmaker Jim McBride. Fuller's own two versions had no narration. His first cut was 260 minutes, his second two hours. "Second cut they hated," he told me. "They wanted the elements of the four hours and 20 minutes. Sizewise, impossible. In my cut I took out sequences -- I don't circumcise or shorten scenes. That's when they hit the ceiling."

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum's review at the Chicago Reader located HERE


Posters

Theatrical Release: July 18th, 1980

Reviews          More Reviews        DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Warner (old edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Warner 2-disc (Europe) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Warner (The Reconstruction 2-disc) Region 1, 2 ,3 ,4 - NTSC

 (Warner (old edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Warner (the reconstruction) Region 1, 2 ,3 ,4 - NTSC  - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Warner (old edition)

Region 1  - NTSC

Warner (Europe) (the reconstruction)

Region 2- PAL

Warner (the reconstruction)
Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

World War II Collection - European Warfare Includes The Battle of the Bulge / Battleground / The Big Red One Special Edition / The Dirty Dozen / Where Eagles Dare

   

Runtime 1:53:16 2:36:00 (4% PAL speedup) 2:42:25
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.6 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.73 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.84 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

old edition

 

Bitrate:

 

Reconstruction PAL

 

Bitrate:

 

Reconstruction NTSC

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 5.1 Dolby Digital English, DUB: 5.1 Dolby Digital German

English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 5.1)

Subtitles English, French and none English, German (for German edition), Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish (Scandinavian edition put out by Sandrew Metronome HERE), etc. suitable for region sold, None English, Spanish, French and none

Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

 

Edition Details:
• Full Frame version on opposite side

DVD Release Date: September 2000
Snapper Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio:  Warner
 (Europe) (The Reconstruction)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• See Comments* (same as NTSC Reconstruction)

DVD Release Date: May 3, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 39

 

Release Information:
Studio: Warner (The Reconstruction)

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.78:1

 

 

Edition Details:

• Commentary by reconstruction producer Richard Schickel
• Over 40 minutes of added footage
• Alternate scenes
• Anatomy of a Scene: Watch the director at work and examine the before/after restoration comparisons
• New documentary The Real Glory: Reconstructing The Big One
• Profile: The Men Who Make the Movies: Samuel Fuller
• War department film: The Fighting First
• 1980 promo reel, theatrical trailer, and TV and radio spots
• 2004 reconstruction trailer
• Stills gallery

DVD Release Date: May 5th, 2005

Double slim Keep Case
Chapters: 39

 

Comments

Additional Material

The Real Glory: Reconstructing ”The Big Red One” (47:24): A for this DVD made feature, divided in chapters (play all optional), where the cast, Fuller and Schickel talks about the film and where we get a look behind the restoration and the reconstruction of film, sound and score.

The Man who made the Movies: Samuel Fuller (55:04): A portrait of Fuller made by TCM in 2000, based on Schickels interview with Fuller in Paris some years earlier. Not a full portrait, several of his films are missing, as it narrows his themes and motifs down to those important for "The Big Red One".

Anatomy of a scene (18:19): Two scenes where we Fullers role as a director is explained and two additional scenes (Amphitheatre and Baby Tank), before and after the reconstruction. Commentated by Brian Hamblin (post production supervisor) and Bryan McKenzie (editor).

Alternative scenes (31:35): 18 deleted and alternative scenes. Again commentated by Hamblin and McKenzie.

The Fighting Fist (12:18): A propaganda film made by the Government in 1946 about fighting in the infantry.

Original Promo Reel (29:57)
Reconstruction Trailer (2:18)
Stills Gallery

 - Henrik Sylow

The inclusion of the original edition is not really valid as these are two very different films, but we thought it would be interesting to see the differences. Mostly the problem with the old anamorphic edition was, like Columbia Tri-Star's "The Professionals" and Warner's own The Wild Bunch, everything has a brownish tinge to it. Colors have been washed out and replaced with a generic sepia. We can see much superior green levels in the new Reconstruction release and the skin tones are much less red and more true. There is negligible difference in sharpness but excellent contrast with the new release eclipsing the old edition. The subtitles in the Reconstruction are slightly smaller.

 

There are a few issues with the new double disc Reconstruction (both NTSC and PAL) that I would like to address - As the original theatrical projection ratio was 1.85 there was some leeway (4%) in anamorphic DVD transfer - this shows up in occasional cropping (see large capture #2) which I don't put down to different cuts (first frame was used for verification). See last captures samples for 1.85 vs. 178. vs. 35mm.

 

I don't see any real differences in the Reconstruction releases (PAL vs. NTSC). The PAL may have a minor edge in sharpness, but it is negligible. You will be getting PAL speedup with the European release if you are sensitive to that. The NTSC offers a French DUB and the European a German.

 

Audio on the Reconstructions was bumped to 5.1 in the new release that also boasts a similar French DUB. Obviously the 2-disc reconstruction with commentary has superior extra features that I am still viewing.

 

The only important difference from the original is the addition of almost 50 minutes originally absent from the initial theatrical release. In my opinion the new Reconstruction is an infinitely better motion picture because of its new inclusions ("a more thoughtful and nuanced reworking of the 113-minute release"). One of the areas that I noticed longer scenes was in the D-Day invasion segment. This is a must see film from an American pioneer director.

Gary W. Tooze

 

NOTE: you can see the amount that is removed in the Full Screen release on the opposite side of the old edition (4th large capture).

 





DVD Menus

(
Warner (old edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Warner (the reconstruction) Region 1, 2 ,3 ,4- NTSC  - RIGHT)

 

NOTE: European Warner is very similar to NTSC


 

Disc 2 of 'The Reconstruction'

 


 

Screen Captures

Subtitle Sample

 

(Warner (old edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner (Europe - the reconstruction) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Warner (the reconstruction) Region 1, 2 ,3 ,4- NTSC  - BOTTOM)


 


(Warner (old edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner (Europe - the reconstruction) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Warner (the reconstruction) Region 1, 2 ,3 ,4- NTSC  - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Warner (old edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner (Europe - the reconstruction) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Warner (the reconstruction) Region 1, 2 ,3 ,4- NTSC  - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner (old edition) - Region 1 - NTSC Full Frame - Pan and Scan - TOP (Warner (old edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - 2nd vs. Warner (Europe - the reconstruction) - Region 2 - PAL - 3rd vs. Warner (the reconstruction) Region 1, 2 ,3 ,4- NTSC  - BOTTOM)

 


 

(Warner (old edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner (Europe - the reconstruction) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Warner (the reconstruction) Region 1, 2 ,3 ,4- NTSC  - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Warner (old edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Warner (Europe - the reconstruction) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE vs. Warner (the reconstruction) Region 1, 2 ,3 ,4 - NTSC  - BOTTOM)

 

(1:85 Theatrical - TOP vs. 1.78 (for DVD) MIDDLE vs. 35mm (Flat)  - BOTTOM)

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Warner (old edition)

Region 1  - NTSC

Warner (Europe) (the reconstruction)

Region 2- PAL

Warner (the reconstruction)
Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

World War II Collection - European Warfare Includes The Battle of the Bulge / Battleground / The Big Red One Special Edition / The Dirty Dozen / Where Eagles Dare

   

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

The Reconstruction

Sound:

The Reconstruction

Extras: The Reconstruction
Menu: The Reconstruction





 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...