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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Howard Hawks
USA 1932

 

My all-time favorite gangster film, put together like a macabre black comedy that eventually veers into something very close to Greek tragedy (complete with brother-sister incest), Howard Hawks’ uncharacteristic masterpiece beats out the Godfather features in at least one major respect: it is completely unsentimental about both crime and violence. (Among the half-dozen credited and uncredited hands who worked on the brittle script are Ben Hecht, W.R. Burnett, and Hawks himself.) The movie is in fact so blunt (Howard Hughes, the producer, always had a taste  for scandalizing his audience) that it had endless battles with censors, a few of which it lost, yet its anarchic spirit shines through triumphantly in spite of everything. (The only concession—a stupid dialogue scene among Concerned Citizens—clearly belongs to a different picture.) Paul Muni’s galvanic screen debut in the title role, Tony Camonte, a lout with a distinct resemblance to Al Capone, plays him like an innocent caveman, at once charming and terrifying. And the secondary cast—Ann Dvorak, Karen Morley, Boris Karloff, George Raft (another memorable debut, featuring his signature coin-flipping), Vince Burnett (as an illiterate secretary who makes Tony Camonte seem like an intellectual), Osgood Perkins (father of Anthony)—bristles with uncommon, manic energy. Note: every time some gets  bumped off in this movie, which is pretty often, an X appears somewhere on the screen, and the placements of these markers both ingenious and unnerving.

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum's article "30 Great Movies on DVD" located HERE


Posters

Theatrical Release: 31 March 1932 - USA

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DVD Comparison: 

Universal (lone edition) - Region  1 - NTSC vs. Universal - 83' Deluxe Giftset - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL

(Universal (lone edition) - Region 1- NTSC LEFT vs. Universal - 83' Deluxe Giftset - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal from Scarface (1983) Deluxe Gift Set

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal

Region 2,4,5 - PAL

Runtime 1:33:30  1:33:30  1:29:42

Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.23 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.68 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.79 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 : Universal

NTSC (lone)

Bitrate : Universal

NTSC (in Boxset)

Bitrate: Universal PAL

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono)  English (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono)  English (Dolby Digital 1.0),DUBs: French, German, Italian, Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Subtitles English (Closed Captions), French, or none. English (Closed Captions), French, Spanish or none. English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Robert Osborne Introduction (2:23)

• Alternate Ending

DVD Release Date:  May 22nd, 2007
Keep Case
Chapters: 18

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Alternate Ending
• Trailers

DVD Release Date: September 30, 2003
Keep Case in Collector's Box
Chapters: 18

Release Information:
Studio: Universal (Anniversary Edition)

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Alternate Ending
• Trailers

 

DVD Release Date: December 26th, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 18

 

 

Comments ADDITION: Universal - lone edition - May 07': It is different, but not discernibly. I suspect that the blacks and possibly brightness have been very slightly enhanced. Trouble is when that is done it sometimes brings out the damage marks a bit more prominently. Sometimes the artifacts are more visible than the other two. It includes the alternate ending and adds the perennial Robert Osborne introduction. I hoped for a lot more (commentary, supplements or how about just being dual-layered) but realistically I new this is what we would get. Still for the price it is a must-have if you don't own it already.

****

One of the greatest crimes associated with Howard Hawks 1932 Scarface is that the only available DVD for region one locked viewers is in the super ostentatious 1983 (De Palma) Scarface Deluxe Giftset (compared HERE). Come one Universal! It truly is a crime to force Noir die-hards to spend $50 for something that multi-region users can get for about 1/5 of the price.

If there is any difference between the NTSC and PAL editions it is very slight. Both are progressive, have rich black levels (possibly boosted) and some digital noise. Light scratches and infrequent damage marks are visible on both - in the same spots. The PAL edition is region coded to sell as extensively as possible with multiple subtitles and DUB options. Both have the alternate ending sequence and some trailers as an extra. The R2 is dual-layered where the NTSC is single-layered - perhaps for all the extra DUBs and subs - I'm not sure.

If you are not yet capable of viewing all regions yet, and are a fan of this Hawks masterpiece we suggest buying a reasonable-priced player and buying the European edition rather than succumbing to the extravagant 83' Giftset packaging (truly ridiculous). Of course, once you open the region-free door you have really taken the blinders off and will undoubtedly purchase other great cinema previously unavailable to you.

Bottom line: If you own the 83' version Deluxe Giftset there is no reason to buy the PAL, otherwise we suggest a great savings by purchasing one of the European editions (which basically are all the same to my knowledge). Calling Scarface (1932) a classic film is almost an understatement.       

 - Gary Tooze

 

 






DVD Menus

 

Universal (lone edition) - Region 1 - NTSC

 



(Universal - 83' Deluxe Giftset - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL RIGHT)

 

 
 

Screen Captures

 

(Universal (lone edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Universal - 83' Deluxe Giftset - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Universal (lone edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Universal - 83' Deluxe Giftset - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Universal (lone edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Universal - 83' Deluxe Giftset - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Universal (lone edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Universal - 83' Deluxe Giftset - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Universal (lone edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Universal - 83' Deluxe Giftset - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Universal (lone edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Universal - 83' Deluxe Giftset - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Universal (lone edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. Universal - 83' Deluxe Giftset - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE vs. Universal - Region 2,4,5 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

tie

Sound:

R2 for DUBs

Extras: R1 for Osborne Intro
Menu: R2

 
DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution

Universal

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal from Scarface (1983) Deluxe Gift Set

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal

Region 2,4,5 - PAL


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

 

 

 




 

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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

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