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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Sidney Lumet
USA 1964

 

Based on the novel "Fail-Safe" by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler, Sidney Lumet directed this shocking masterpiece of cold-war realism.

Due to astronomically rare and unfortunate computer error, a flight of Strategic Air Command (SAC) bombers originating in Alaska carry 2 nuclear warheads past what is known as the 'fail-safe' point. With Russian military jamming their communication they cannot be recalled. They are headed toward Moscow to drop their bombs and complete their mission. The options of stopping them are both limited and extremely time sensitive.

Henry Fonda portrays the President of the United States in a role he wears like a tailor made suit. Attempts to abort the mission fail and the President is left with no more options... aside from the unthinkable. Communicating with the aptly crippled Secretary of Defense, various military personnel, visiting political scientist Groeteschele (Walter Matthau) and the Russian Premier (through his his translator 'Buck' played by Larry Hagman) a most impossible, totally unacceptable decision is absolutely believably concluded. Stunning is an understatement. This is without question in my mind, the best Cold-war film ever made. The performances are outstanding, the messages are both subtle and coldly obvious with a conclusion as eviscerating as any.
out of

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Theatrical Release: October 7th, 1964 - USA

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Comparison:

Columbia Tri-Star (SE) -  Region 1 - NTSC vs. ViaVision - Region FREE' - Blu-ray

 

1) Columbia - Region 1 - NTSC  - LEFT

2) ViaVision - Region FREE  - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 Box Cover

 

 

 

 

Distribution Columbia Tri-Star -  Region 1 - NTSC ViaVision- Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:52:00 1:52:09.264
Video 1.80:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.5 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 20,716,272,071 bytes

Feature: 19,987,519,488 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

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

Bitrate:

 

Bitrate: Blu-ray

 

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

Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, Spanish, French, Korean, Portuguese, Thai, None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Columbia/Tristar Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterbox 1.81:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by director Sidney Lumet
• Theatrical trailer
• Exclusive Featurette: "'Fail Safe' Revisited" (16:01)
• Talent Files (Sidney Lumet, Walter Matthau, Henry Fonda and Larry Hagman)

DVD Release Date: October 31, 2000

Keep Case
Chapters: 28

Release Information:
Studio: ViaVision

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 20,716,272,071 bytes

Feature: 19,987,519,488 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary by director Sidney Lumet
"Fail Safe' Revisited" (16:03)
Trailer (2:55)


Blu-ray Release Date: September 16th, 2016
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 10

Comments:

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

 

ADDITION: ViaVision - Region FREE - Blu-ray (October 2018): This looks like an Australian release ('Madman' on the back of the box.) It's an obvious step up in video image quality from the 2000 DVD. This is a single-layered 1080P 1080P transfer - adept but not max'ed out with a modest bitrate. Contrast looks strong in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. I'm sure it could improve in appearance with a dual-layered rendering but as it stands it looks quite pleasing in-motion compared to the darker, softer SD. Could it simply be a bump? It's possible, I suppose...

 

Unfortunately the same lossy Dolby audio remains. No difference that I could hear in the audio transfer. The original English is clear and the plane and other effects pack some depth. There is are no subtitles and the ViaVision Blu-ray disc is Region FREE.

 

Supplements repeat the wonderful Lumet commentary, the 1/4 hour Fail-Safe Revisited featurette and the trailer - all found on the DVD. No new extras.

 

I love this film and would have obviously preferred a Criterion, Arrow or Indicator-like Blu-ray package for the film. Not in the cards... yet. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and its 1080P appearance. If you have not seen this - you must - and this seems the best home theatre presentation at present.

 

***

ON THE DVD: Don't bother with those silly comments made on Amazon about this release... it is a fantastic SE DVD. Anamorphic, film grain, sharp, great contrast with a relatively loose mono soundtrack. There are some dust and damage marks, but they do not influence the film enjoyment.  I am convinced that this film will never look better on DVD. The Extras - a commentary and short featurette - both just wonderful. This is one of my most cherished DVDs. out of

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus


 

ViaVision - Region FREE  - Blu-ray


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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Columbia - Region 1 - NTSC  - TOP

2) ViaVision - Region FREE  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) Columbia - Region 1 - NTSC  - TOP

2) ViaVision - Region FREE  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Region 1 - NTSC  - TOP

2) ViaVision - Region FREE  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Region 1 - NTSC  - TOP

2) ViaVision - Region FREE  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Region 1 - NTSC  - TOP

2) ViaVision - Region FREE  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Region 1 - NTSC  - TOP

2) ViaVision - Region FREE  - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More ViaVision - Region FREE  - Blu-ray Captures


 Box Cover

 

 

 

 

Distribution Columbia Tri-Star -  Region 1 - NTSC ViaVision- Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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