http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/fuller.htm
USA 1955

Manny Farber once described a Sam Fuller movie by saying “the film is sincere about inexplicable mush.” So it is with House of Bamboo, a crime thriller set in occupied Japan for purposes that we mortals may never know for sure. Reworking the far less interesting Street With No Name, it features furrow-browed Robert Stack as the cops’ inside man infiltrating a group of ex-G.I. criminals led by Robert Ryan. The complication this time is Shirley Yamaguchi, the Japanese girlfriend of one of Ryan’s victims, who falls for Stack only to be shunned by her gaijin-hating neighbours. There’s no mistaking Fuller’s sympathy for bi-racial couplings and flair for socko compositions; there’s also no divining what the hell it’s saying about the Japanese, Americans in Japan, or anything else having to do with the human race. There’s no real exploration of the post-Occupation situation, no real delving into Japanese culture and, inexcusably for a Tokyo-set crime film, no mention of the word Yakuza — they could have shot it in Cleveland for all they do with the setting. No Fuller film is without its points of interest, such as Ryan’s terrifically ominous performance and an impossibly brilliant reveal after someone gets thrown through a paper screen.

Excerpt from Travis Mackenzie Hoover's review at Exclaim! HERE.

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 1st, 1955

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DVD Comparison:

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC vs. UFA (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL

(20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. UFA (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

   

Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC UFA (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:42:24  1:30:18 ($% PAL speedup)
Video 2.55:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.58 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.4 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate:  FOX

Bitrate:  UFA

Audio English (Dolby Digital 4.0), DUBs:  Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)  English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUBs:  German (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, Spanish, None German, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.55:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by film historians James Ursini and Alain Silver
• Fox Movietone News: Behind-the-scenes footage, Landing in Japan
• Theatrical trailer
• Spanish trailer

DVD Release Date: June 7th, 2005

Keep Case
Chapters: 16

Release Information:
Studio: UFA (Germany)

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.55:1

Edition Details:

• Theatrical Trailer (2:13)
• Other trailers



DVD Release Date: May 21st, 2007

Transparent Keep Case in package with another Transparent Keep case of Cry of the City
Chapters: 16

 

Comments:

ADDITION: UFA Region 2 - PAL - March 08': This comes in a package entitled Hollywood Highlights 7 - Thriller from UFA in Germany. The film has a German translation calling the disc Tokio-Story . It comes in its own transparent keep case along with another keep case of single-layered film Siodmak's Cry of the City (called Schrei in der Gro▀stadt in this package).

Visually it that looks exactly the same as the Fox - possibly sharper and a bit brighter in some scenes - but the difference is marginal. It offers original English and an optional German DUB. There is a tab on my computer for German subtitles but I couldn't get them to work. There is a trailer for the film and some others in this series. What it lacks is wonderful commentary by Ursini and Silver on the Fox.  Considering it also contains Cry of the City then some may wish to indulge at 20.95 EUR = $32.10 USD (at the writing of this review).

Top notch DVD from Fox. Colors are strong and slightly dulled in spots, but the 2.55 tight anamorphic widescreen looks totally filmic with sharpness and good contrast. I loved the Ursini and Silver commentary filled with more Fuller tidbits and occasional anecdotes. The behind the scenes footage is also a neat 'backroom' addition. The 4.0 audio is not as defined as one might expect, but it is far from a disaster. Subtitles are of Fox's regular excellent quality. Certainly the price is right on this fine DVD package.  out of   

Gary W. Tooze



DVD Menus

(20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. UFA (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL RIGHT)


 


Subtitle Sample NOTE: UFA has no English subtitles!

 

(20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. UFA (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

(20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. UFA (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


(20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. UFA (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


(20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. UFA (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


(20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. UFA (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Recommended Reading in Film Noir (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 

DVD Box Cover

   

Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC UFA (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

-

Sound:

Fox

Extras: Fox
Menu: Fox

 





 

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