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

 

My favorite of all the Bronston epics and quite possibly my personal number one of all the biblical cinema sagas (including "Ben-Hur", "The Ten Commandments", "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" and 1965's "The Greatest Story Ever Told."). Director Nicholas Ray managed an impressive feat encapsulating the Christ narrative so elegantly into such a spectacular film extravaganza. It really is an encompassing viewing. The movie is majestic yet holds the divine and respectful chronicling of the life of Jesus quite adeptly. Orson Welles narration adds another perfect touch and there are numerous highly memorable scenes - the Sermon on the Mount - coquettish Salome dancing for her stepfather King Herod, the Last Supper and the Crucifixion all stand out with Ray's deft touch. Jeffrey Hunter handles the impossible role of the Lamb of God as well as one could imagine. A classic film running the perfect length (not excessively long) with barely a frame of wasted footage. STRONGLY recommended.

Gary W. Tooze

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 11th, 1961

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Comparison:

Warner - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC vs. Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC Warner
Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:50:48  2:50:58.957
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.69 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,498,974,249 bytes

Feature: 33,640,101,888 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 19.94 Mbps

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 5.1), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) DTS-HD Master Audio English 3821 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3821 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None English (SDH), French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Documentary "The Camera's Window of the World" (3:57)
• 2 Premiere newsreels

• Trailer

DVD Release Date: February 25th, 2003

Snapper Case
Chapters: 52

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,498,974,249 bytes

Feature: 33,640,101,888 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 19.94 Mbps

Edition Details:

• Documentary "The Camera's Window of the World" (3:57 in 480i)
• 2 Premiere newsreels

• Trailer (3:22 in 480i)

Blu-ray Release Date: March 29th, 2011
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 52

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Warner - Region FREE Blu-ray - March 2011:  Technically this is about 3-4X the transfer of the SD in terms of resolution/bitrate and I think it looks quite significantly superior. The DVD was visually quite strong but, predictably, the Blu-ray advances in terms of tightening up detail, stronger contrast, colors (richer) and depth is apparent. The screen captures tell the story well enough.

Miklós Rózsa's score is magnificent in lossless. We get a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a strong 3821 kbps. Like the video - it is solid - quite an upgrade - and 4 foreign language DUBs in mono are optional. Warner's Blu-ray has subtitle choices on their region free disc.

No new extras - but this is a film I have always really liked. Kind of untypical for Ray - but it remains quite impacting - especially in the improved transfer. It is 'my favorite of all the Bronston epics' and it continues to impress. If you haven't seen the film - this is THE way to do it in your home theater.

***

ON THE DVD: Brilliant image - virtually artifact free. I have no complaints whatsoever with the video or audio quality of this DVD - anamorphic, progressive, tight to the frame, and damage-free. The 2.35 aspect ratio transfer is stunning - one of the best I have seen in a long while. Audio is well-balanced with clear dialogue and consistency in external noise.

This DVD edition contains the complete theatrical version with "Overture, Entr'acte and Exit" music.

No real extras, but a scene-select commentary would have been the perfect touch. There is a very short documentary that is essentially just footage of the shoot in Spain with the impressively large cast - 2 newsreel footage segments of the Premiere and a trailer. The film itself is enough to recommend this reasonably-priced DVD but the spectacular quality makes it a must-own in my eyes.  

Gary W. Tooze

 


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1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT


 

 

Music interludes

 


 

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Subtitle Sample

 

1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 


DVD Box Cover

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1, 2, 3, 4 - NTSC Warner
Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

Thank You!