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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Il Portiere di notte')

directed by Liliana Cavani

Italy 1974

"The Night Porter" is a dark, misunderstood film with a very adult, and often disturbing subject matter. It has an underlying focus of deviant sex, concentration camp atrocities and former Nazi's alluding prosecution. The plot evolves to us as follows: Vienna - WWII has been over for a dozen years and Lucia (Charlotte Rampling), a concentration camp survivor, discovers her ex-torturer, Maximillian (Dirk Borgarde), is employed as an evening porter in her hotel. It seems the psychological entrapments of their sadomasochistic history have irreparably embedded themselves into their carnal desires. In a realistic transgression - their old relationship is ignited and the veritable flame is indeed fed again. As this transpires Max and his old buddies are sought and in danger of being tried for war crimes. Slow paced for some it is keen and unpredictable with an unusual nobility. Rampling and Bogarde are excellent and lift the film to a more respectable critical level. Certainly not a film for everyone, but like its intent - good for those open enough to experiment with their own ideals of film as simply entertainment. We are dealing with powerful forces and emotions, that are better understood by very few individuals.

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 1st, 1974 - USA

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Comparison:

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

Box Cover

 

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 59 - Region 1- NTSC Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:57:16 1:58:06.621
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate :6.29 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,787,584,330 bytes

Feature: 30,649,977,024 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 29.19 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English / Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby)  DTS-HD Master Audio English 1397 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1397 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion / Home Vision

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• 2 page liner notes essay by Annette Insdorf
 

DVD Release Date: February 1st, 2000
Keep Case
Chapters: 27

Release Information:
Studio:
Anchor Bay

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,787,584,330 bytes

Feature: 30,649,977,024 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 29.19 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
None

Blu-ray Release Date:  July 30th, 2012
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters:
12

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Anchor Bay- Region 'B' Blu-ray - December 2012': The new Anchor Bay is 1080P but has a decidedly green tinge to it. I'll admit that I have no idea whether this was similar to how it looked theatrically, but it does improve over the letterboxed Criterion SD in plenty of areas regardless. The Blu-ray has quite a bit more information in the frame - notably the top and left edge. Also the SD is rife with artifacts which are significantly reduced via the Anchor Bay HD transfer. It is dual-layered with a high bitrate. The Blu-ray audio is lossless - options for DTS-HD surround or linear PCM stereo. The didn't note an abundance of separation in the 5.1 but both did sound clear and consistent. The Anchor Bay has no subtitles and is region 'B'-locked. There are no supplements. Let's hope for another 1080P release to compare this to.

***

ON THE DVD: Perhaps one of Criterions weakest efforts. Non-anamorphic image appears to have artifacts. There are no extra features, original mono sound and removable English subtitles. I keep thinking I see some edge enhancements but if I do, it is minimal. The image is not exceptionally sharp, but suitable for normal viewing. Criterion have produced over 200 DVD since this one and the quality has risen extensively.

Gary W. Tooze

 


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Screen Captures

 

Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


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Box Cover

 

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 59 - Region 1- NTSC Anchor Bay - Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

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