Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


 

Directed by Otto Preminger
USA 19
55

 

The first major Hollywood film to tackle heroin addiction, The Man With The Golden Arm shocked contemporary audiences, defying a strict production code and eliciting Oscar-nominated work from composer Elmer Bernstein and star Frank Sinatra. Martin Scorsese has called it, “the first honest depiction of drug addiction on American screens,” and even today, the honesty is harrowing.

For those more familiar with his performances in musicals, Sinatra’s transformation into Ol’ Yellow Eyes is little short of a revelation. As the ex-con and card-sharp Frankie Machine, struggling to stay clean and start again as a jazz drummer, Sinatra is wholly convincing, and never more so than during a particularly disturbing cold turkey sequence. His concerned mistress and resentful wife – played by a beautifully wooden Kim Novak and over-the-top Eleanor Parker – offer less, but strong support does come from Arnold Stang, who is excellent as Sparrow, Frankie’s slightly retarded friend. Based on a 1949 novel by Nelson Algren, the film occasionally looks dated, and director Otto Preminger’s slick style sometimes sits oddly with the gritty subject matter. But by breaking taboos, this was real shot in the arm stuff for Hollywood, breaking further ground with a (literally) unheard of jazz soundtrack. Still revered, Bernstein’s score pushes and prods at Frankie’s reluctance to do likewise, creating a tension which lingers long after the end. Brilliant, risk-taking cinema.


Excerpt from Future Movies (Jay Richardson) review HERE.

 

  Posters

Theatrical Release: December 14th, 1955

Reviews                                                               More Reviews                                                       DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Hart Sharp Video - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Concorde - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Hart Sharp Video - Region 0 - NTSC  LEFT vs. Concorde - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

Box Covers

Distribution Hart Sharp Video - Region 0 - NTSC Concorde
Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:59:36  1:59:14.250 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.63 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

Aspect Ratio:  1.33:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,249,536,643 bytes

Feature: 23,834,056,704 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.97 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 English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround)  DUB: DTS-HD Master Audio German 889 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 889 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 905 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 905 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None German, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Hart Sharp Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by film historian, Ken Barnes
• Original Theatrical Trailer
Disc 2
• Exclusive archive interview with Frank Sinatra
• Interview with Academy Award winning composer, Elmer Bernstein
• Stills and Posters gallery
• Audio Visual Montage of "The Man with the Golden Arm" recording featuring the DVD debut of Frank Sinatra's vocal of the title song (not used in the film's commercial release)
• Cast and Crew Bios
• Production Background

DVD Release Date: October 18th, 2005

Double Slim Keep Case
Chapters: 21

Release Information:
Studio:
Concorde

 

Aspect Ratio:  1.33:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,249,536,643 bytes

Feature: 23,834,056,704 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.97 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Daeuthch Tufel und Die Zen Gebote (3:20)

• Candy (1:53) 
 

Blu-ray Release Date: September 12th, 2013
Standard
Blu-ray case

Chapters 12

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Concorde - Region 'B' Blu-ray - March 2014 - To best the Hart Sharp SD transfer would not be hard and we can now tack onto its weaknesses; "cropped" along with being interlaced, having DNR and displaying chroma bug. The Blu-ray visuals are not strong but I would lean more to the source and production than the transfer. There may me a smidgeon of digital manipulation - I see very minor edge-enhancement and the overall image can look a bit thin and frail. The black levels may be marginally boosted. Bottom liner of this image is that it's significantly superior to the 50th Anniversary DVD. It shows far more detail (dark suits become pinstripe) and a lot more information in the frame - on all 4 edges. Should this be widescreen? I've heard 1.85, but don't know myself. It may have been at the time of those ambiguous aspect ratio films shown in both 1.33 and widescreen depending on the capabilities of the theatre.

NOTE: We have been told by 'Jason' that the 2008 Warner DVD of The Man With the Golden Arm is the best of the SD. And Andrew tells us this DVD is release is 1.85:1.

Probably the bigger deal here is the audio - a German DUB but the original English is in a DTS-HD Master mono track at 905 kbps. Iconic Elmer Bernstein's (Hud, To Kill a Mockingbird, Summer and Smoke) score and the gratuitous use of wild-form Jazz - often played by 'Shorty Rogers and His Giants' is powerful and addictive (no pun). Intensive horn riffs mark the theme of The Man With the Golden Arm and they sound wonderfully rich and deep here. There are optional German subtitles (fully removable.) The Blu-ray disc is region 'B'-locked.

No real extras - what looks like German trailers for others films.

I got a lot more out of  than I ever did watching the DVD. I love this - the music, the noir-esque characters, the Skid Row-mythology and atmosphere, Preminger's constant use of long takes - always used to show Frankie high or in nervous withdrawal. Sinatra is possibly the best I have ever seen him. I'm so glad to own this on Blu-ray - and despite weaknesses - certainly recommend to those keen on the film.

***

ON THE DVD: We believe the movie is in the Public Domain (I have it as an extra on a Disc Plaza Suddenly DVD). For the most part major studios don't bother with PD stuff and this was doubly so in production as a film about Heroin addiction wouldn't likely have been granted a Production Code Seal.

The problem is not getting rights to produce films to DVD - their problem is selling enough DVDs to cover costs for restorations, decent extras and transfers. So their competition will be outfits like Madacy Entertainment or Geneon that can slap it on DVD and charge $5-6 and thereby severely undercutting the majors break-even cost. It seems not everyone reads sites like DVDBeaver to make their purchasing decisions.

So, in an unusual case, unknown Hart Sharp Video, attempts to puff themselves up with a classic title, good cover, 2-disc special "Anniversary" edition etc. and appear like a major DVD production outfit. Now, I don't want to make it sound like they are pulling a fast one here - they have included a 'fake' 5.1 track and 3 optional subtitles - the extras are not world class, but a true effort was put forth. My complaint will be with the transfer which is not even progressive (see last capture for interlaced combing) and it is hazy - DNR'ed - definitely analog. It has chroma and is quite terrible.

The film is magnificent - extremely memorable and possibly Sinatra's best role. It's so rich in Film Noir  elements that it is considered an essential by many fans.

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus


Disc 2

 

Concorde - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

Hart Sharp Video - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP vs. Concorde - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Hart Sharp Video - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP vs. Concorde - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Hart Sharp Video - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP vs. Concorde - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Hart Sharp Video - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP vs. Concorde - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Hart Sharp Video - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP vs. Concorde - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Hart Sharp Video - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP vs. Concorde - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

Hart Sharp Video - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP vs. Concorde - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


Combing prevalent on DVD
 
Hart Sharp Video - Region 0 - NTSC  TOP vs. Concorde - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Box Covers

Distribution Hart Sharp Video - Region 0 - NTSC Concorde
Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!