http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/mann.htm
USA / Italy 1961

One of the very finest epics produced by Samuel Bronston, equally impressive in terms of script (by Philip Yordan, who mercifully steers clear of florid archaisms) and spectacle. Heston is aptly heroic as the 11th-century patriot destined to die in the fight for a Moor-less Spain, Mann's direction is stately and thrilling, and Miklos Rosza's superb score perfectly complements the crisp and simple widescreen images. Sobriety and restraint, in fact, are perhaps the keynotes of the film's success, with the result that a potentially risible finale (in which Cid's corpse is borne into the realm of legend, strapped to his horse as it leads his men to battle) becomes genuinely stirring.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

 

Director Anthony Mann envisioned the story (which had previously inspired operas and plays) as a motion tapestry -- an ambition recognized in this version, which, like "Lawrence of Arabia" a few years back, revitalizes "El Cid's" striking visuals and the sweeping score by Miklos Rozsa.

"El Cid" is a film in which things happen either very quickly or very slowly, but always grandly -- the costumes are lavishly colorful, the sets spectacular, the crowds huge, the passions extreme. Within the first 10 minutes, Rodrigo has defeated and captured those Moors, pardoned them on a promise never to invade again (thus being dubbed El Cid, Moorish for "one who is both compassionate and a great warrior"), and continued on his journey to wed the luscious Chimene (Sophia Loren).

Excerpt of review by Richard Harrington of the Washington Post located HERE.

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 14th, 1961

Reviews        More Reviews        DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Tohokushinsha - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Miriam Collection (Weinstein/Genius) 2-Disc Limited Collector's Edition - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Koch Media (3-disc Deluxe Edition) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

1) Tohokushinsha - Region 0 - NTSC  - LEFT

2) Miriam Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Koch Media - Region 'B' Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Tohokushinsha Corp. - Region 0 - NTSC Miriam Collection - Region 1 - NTSC

Koch Media

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

There is a El Cid - 2-Disc Deluxe Edition with the exact same transfer but without all the accoutrement additions to the package.

             

Runtime 3:04:18  2:01:24 + 1:06:20 (includes music interludes) 3:08:02.270
Video 2.34:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.58 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,668,622,372 bytes

Feature: 38,631,653,376 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

 Tohokushinsha

Bitrate:

Miriam Disc 1

Bitrate:

Miriam Disc 2

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 4.0 Surround)  English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround)  DTS-HD Master Audio English 2078 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2078 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit)
DUB: DTS-HD Master Audio German 1785 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1785 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1643 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1643 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles Japanese, None English (CC), Spanish, None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Tohokushinsha Corp.

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.34:1

Edition Details:

• Theatrical trailer
• Introduction (Japanese text screen)
• Cast and Crew (Japanese text screen)

DVD Release Date: February 27th, 2003
Keep Case
Chapters: 30

Release Information:
Studio: Weinstein (Genius)

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary with William Bronston (Samuel's Son) and biographer Neal Rosendorf
• Vintage Radio promo interviews
• Text Filmographies and Still Galleries

 

Disc 2 Featurettes:

• Hollywood Conquers Spain: The Making of An Epic (23:56)
• Samuel Bronston: The Epic Journey of a Dreamer (52:20)
• Behind The Camera: Anthony Mann and El Cid (17:22)
• Miklos Rozsa: Maestro of the Movies (30:11)
• Preserving Our Legacy: Gerry Byrne on Film Preservation and Restoration (7:38)

• Trailer Gallery 

DVD Release Date: January 29th, 2003

Keep Case
Chapters: 48
 

Release Information:
Studio: Koch Media

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,668,622,372 bytes

Feature: 38,631,653,376 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Commentary with William Bronston (Samuel's Son) and biographer Neal Rosendorf

 

Disc 2 Featurettes:

• Hollywood Conquers Spain: The Making of An Epic (23:56 with optional German subtitles)
• Samuel Bronston: The Epic Journey of a Dreamer (52:20 with optional German subtitles) 
• Behind The Camera: Anthony Mann and El Cid (17:22 with optional German subtitles) 
• Miklos Rozsa: Maestro of the Movies (30:11 with optional German subtitles) 
• Preserving Our Legacy: Gerry Byrne on Film Preservation and Restoration (7:38 with optional German subtitles)

• Trailer Gallery 

• Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery (6:15)

• Poster/Awards Gallery (2:47)

• Biographies

 

 

Disc 3 - Digital Copy (Called 'Copy-To-Go')

Blu-ray Release Date: August 21st, 2009
Standard Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 17  

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION Koch Media (Germany) Blu-ray - August 2009: This new Koch Media Blu-ray from Germany supports the color scheme of the Miriam DVD and things do tighten up. It can go from looking moderately better to extravagantly superior. The higher resolution has certainly benefitted the image and the softness, we are told, is from a poor HD rendering or inferior print. Colors advance but not as the most apparent improvement over the Miriam (we have since dismissed the Japanese disc colors - or rather 'lack of them'). Reds and blues seem more lively in motion and are quite vibrant through my plasma. I suspect this looks much more like the original IB Technicolor. I'm suspicious of the overly smooth look, and lack of grain, - meaning potential DNR - but see no edge enhancement although brightness may have been upped a notch. This, of course, could just be the brilliance of Technicolor. We suggest that this could look a lot better though. 

We get 2 reasonably strong audio tracks - an DTS-HD Master 5.1 in English at 2078 kbps and the disc defaults to a German DUB: DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1785 kbps. I listened to the original English track and, to my ear, it sounded excellent - probably a larger jump than the video improvements. Miklos Rozsa's powerful score sounds really wonderful - filling the room with its majesty. The soundtrack is a big part of this film but separation is not exceptionally buoyant - not unlike the previous DVD's 5.1 DD. There are no subtitles available at all and my Momitsu has determined that this is, indeed, region 'B'-locked.

It seems we are given all the same extras from the Miriam 2-disc DVD starting with the extensive commentary with William Bronston (Samuel's Son) and biographer Neal Rosendorf. It extols the film beyond its merits in my opinion with specific emphasis on Sam Bronston information that I was less keen on hearing. I applaud them for filling the over 3-hour running time though and there are many intriguing details.

Disc two has the exact same five featurettes - all of which have optional German subtitles: Hollywood Conquers Spain: The Making of An Epic runs 24 minutes and discusses the very expensive production details. Samuel Bronston: The Epic Journey of a Dreamer (52:20) is more information supplementing the commentary painting Bronston as a bit of a raconteur. Behind The Camera: Anthony Mann and El Cid is 18 minutes and I was looking for ward to this the most being a big Mann devotee. It includes a rare TV interview with the director just prior to his death. Miklos Rozsa: Maestro of the Movies is half and hour focusing on the wonderful and famous score of El Cid (and other films by Miklos Rozsa) and finally Preserving Our Legacy: Gerry Byrne on Film Preservation and Restoration is about 7 minutes on the restoration process and how the film was preserved over the years. There is also a trailer gallery, behind-the-scenes gallery and poster/award gallery.

With this 3-disc Koch Deluxe Edition you get a 'Copy-To-Go' Digital version for use with portable devices... although who the hell would watch this 2.35 scope film on a tiny iPod or Blackberry screen? Not me.

Sometimes this is such a beautiful film - visually and audibly. It really does improve in 1080P even if it could be even superior. 'El Cid' has a strong following and those with a decent home theater set-up will definitely want to indulge as another, better, Blu-ray is not scheduled on the horizon.

Gary W. Tooze

***

ON THE DVDs:

ADDITION: Miriam Collection - January 2008 - Obviously, by looking, the new 'Miriam Collection' digital rendition, spread over two dual-layered discs, is far superior to the Tohokushinsha Japanese release. It is the first release of "The Miriam Collection" label (dedicated to their mother by the Weinstein Brothers).  The IB Technicolor comes to life quite satisfyingly although it did look a shade saturated at times (IMHO). I can't add too much more than the screen captures below represent. There are very few speckles/marks (I actually captured one instance in the last large screen image) but otherwise it looks very clean, bright and quite wonderful. It is free of the extensive dirt on the Japanese edition and compared to that release it is truly 'night and day'.

NOTE: The Miriam edition has the musical interludes (hence the longer running time). The Japanese has the opening music but only on a blank screen. It has no mid-break or exit music.

Audio is given in a fairly strong 5.1 track with optional English (CC) or Spanish subtitles.

There is a commentary with William Bronston (Samuel's Son) and biographer Neal Rosendorf. Also on disc one are some vintage radio promo interviews, text filmographies and some still galleries (posters, behind-the-scenes etc.)

Disc two supplements are the same as the Blu-ray above.

There is also a souvenir program, comic book reproduction and some postcard-like stills( 6 or 7) from the film in a handsome custom case.

I've been making a bit of a stance against these DVD editions loaded with non-digital bells and whistles (comic books, figurines etc.) - as most of that included stuff ends up in the garbage. I'll hold similarly with this - avoid the 2-Disc Limited Collector's Edition and buy the 2-Disc Deluxe Edition for almost $10 less. Many have been waiting for a significant amount of time for this film to come to DVD looking this good. Some of the featurette extras are worthwhile and the digital package is a complete one. It's here. Buy.   

Gary W. Tooze

***

ON THE Tohokushinsha EDITION: Just like "The Fall of the Roman Empire" the biggest benefit for those who are not yet Region-free (why though?) - this disc is Region 0 and NTSC (no PAL speedup) so it can be played on North America standard DVD players.  NOTE: Gordon has emailed saying his recent order is Region 2 NTSC, but I can assure you mine of Region 0. We are looking into the discrepancy.

On the image front there are some scratches and contrast flickering that take place mostly in the Prelude music - it then settles down but still has a few instances of weakness and artifacts. The sharpness is a small notch below the other Bronston-Mann epic from Tohokushinsha "The Fall of the Roman Empire". It is tight to the frame edge, anamorphic and progressive. Again we have text extras in Japanese (and liner notes in Japanese) and a theatrical trailer. The audio is English 4.0 surround and the Japanese subtitles are removable. This is another satisfying film with the only available DVD (to my knowledge).   

NOTE: We have reviewed 3 more similarly strong Japanese DVD releases (The Fall of the Roman Empire, 55 Days at Peking and Circus World) to include in a possible group order from Amazon Japan or YesAsia.com.  

NOTE: There is an upcoming UK-PAL edition coming out in September HERE, it will undoubtedly fill the gap of the previous out-of-print PAL version, but Universal's track record here is far from stellar (see DVD Times comment in "The Fall of the Roman Empire" review . For now, I am quite content with this NTSC edition.

Gary W. Tooze

NOTE (FROM EMAIL): Sorry for being cranky, but I just looked at the EL CID screen captures (Japanese) you've got on the Beaver, and I think it's worth mentioning that if they're any indication of this disc's color, then it's actually a pretty weak representation of the film. It was originally printed IB Technicolor (I've seen a Tech print recently), and the color of these stills is quite muted and leans towards gray. (Thanks Peter!)

 

Miriam Package

 



DVD Menus


(Tohokushinsha - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Miriam Collection - Region 1 - NTSC RIGHT)

 

 
 

 

Disc 2 (Miriam Collection)

 


 

Music Interludes on Miriam + Blu-ray (Overture only is on Japanese disc but it is not labeled)

 

 

 

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

 

Subtitle Sample

NOTE: Not exact frame!

 

1) Tohokushinsha - Region 0 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Miriam Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Koch Media - Region 'B' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Tohokushinsha - Region 0 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Miriam Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Koch Media - Region 'B' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Tohokushinsha - Region 0 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Miriam Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Koch Media - Region 'B' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Tohokushinsha - Region 0 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Miriam Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Koch Media - Region 'B' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Tohokushinsha - Region 0 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Miriam Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Koch Media - Region 'B' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Tohokushinsha - Region 0 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Miriam Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Koch Media - Region 'B' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Tohokushinsha - Region 0 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Miriam Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Koch Media - Region 'B' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Tohokushinsha - Region 0 - NTSC  - TOP

2) Miriam Collection - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Koch Media - Region 'B' Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

DVD Box Cover

 

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

Distribution Tohokushinsha Corp. - Region 0 - NTSC Miriam Collection - Region 1 - NTSC

Koch Media

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

There is a El Cid - 2-Disc Deluxe Edition with the exact same transfer but without all the accoutrement additions to the package.

             





 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

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

Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

Thank You!

Anthony Mann's El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann's El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann's El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann's El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann's El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann's El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann's El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann's El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann's El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann's El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review Anthony Mann El Cid Charlton Heston dvd review