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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(mouse over the image to see the Old UK MGM DVD title)

 

(aka 'C'era una volta la rivoluzione' or 'Once Upon a Time... the Revolution' or "A Fistful of Dynamite" or "Giù la Testa")

directed by Sergio Leone
Italy 1971

Having already, in Once Upon a Time in the West, taken energetic liberties with the typical (John) Fordian Western, it's not surprising that Leone should have taken a sideswipe at another of the director's stereotypes, the revolutionary Irishman, in the second part of his trilogy of political fables. But the specific IRA background of Coburn's Sean is as ultimately unimportant as the specific Mexican setting: with characteristic flamboyance, Leone is more concerned to build a composite of the all-purpose, all-causes revolutionary 'John Doe' from Sean's informed commitment and the naïve brute force of Steiger's Juan.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 29th 1971

Reviews                                                                 More Reviews                                                DVD Reviews

 

We can confirm that the May 2008 - single disc edition released by MGM is an exact duplicated of the first disc from the 2-disc Collector's Edition. Same menus, same extras, same image and audio (same VOB files)

 

  

  

Comparison:

MGM (2-disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM (UK) (Old) - Region 2 - PAL vs. MGM (Europe) (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Masters of Cinema (2-disc) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

1) MGM (2-disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC LEFT

2) MGM (UK) (Old) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM (Norway) (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Masters of Cinema - Spine #219 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

Identical to the SE - French and German editions (see comments) available here:

 

 

    

or without the booklet in May 2020:

The NTSC 2-disc Collector's Edition is also available in The Sergio Leone Anthology (A Fistful Of Dollars / For A Few Dollars More / The Good, The Bad And The Ugly and Duck, You Sucker)

           

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM (UK)

Region 2 - PAL

MGM (Norway)
Region 2 - PAL
Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Masters of Cinema - Spine #219 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:36:45 2:27:30 (4% PAL speedup) 2:30:25 (4% PAL speedup) 2:36:56.407 2:34:37.893  / 2:37:23.434
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.73 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.36:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: ? mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.35 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2.35:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,120,466,196 bytes

Feature: 39,791,677,440 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.95 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Fistful of Dynamite:

2.35:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,407,399,177 bytes

Feature: 36,493,716,096 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Giù la testa:

2.35:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,347,660,770 bytes

Feature: 40,722,515,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

MGM (NTSC CE)

 

Bitrate:

 

MGM (UK) (Old)

 

Bitrate:

MGM (Norway) (Special Edition)

Bitrate Kino:

Blu-ray

Bitrate MoC Fistful of Dynamite::

Blu-ray

Bitrate MoC Giù la testa :

Blu-ray

Audio English DD 5.1, English (mono), DUBs: French (5.1), Spanish (mono) English DD 2.0 mono (224 kb/s), French DD 2.0 mono (224 kb/s), German DD 2.0 mono (224 kb/s)

English DD 5.1 (448 kb/s), Spanish DD 5.1 (448 kb/s), German DD 5.1 (448 kb/s), Polish (Narrated) DD 2.0 stereo (192 kb/s), Audio Commentary DD 2.0 stereo

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1839 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1839 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1555 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1555 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Fistful of Dynamite:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1042 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1042 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries;

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Giù la testa:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1043 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1043 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1616 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1616 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

Audio Discrepancies HERE (OLD) is a nine second long audio clip that demonstrates the lack of expletive used in dialogue from one edition to the next. HERE (SE) is the 2nd.

Different music used in the same scenes (2 minutes long) HERE (OLD) and HERE (SE)
Subtitles English (Hoh), Spanish, None French, Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Greek, Finnish, Norwegian, English (Hoh), German (Hoh), None Croatian, Danish, English (Hoh), Finnish, German (Hoh), Greek, Portuguese, Slovenian, Spanish, None English (Hoh), None English (SDH), None

English (Italian translation, English (DUB-titles)), None

Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM (US)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by Sir Christopher Frayling
• Documentary: The Myth of the Revolution
• Documentary: Sergio Donati Remembers
• Feature: Once Upon a Time in Italy (The Autry Exhibition)
• Feature: Sorting out the Versions
• Feature: Restoration Italian Style
• Feature: Location comparisons
• 6 radio spots
• Theatrical Trailer
 

DVD Release Date:  June 5th, 2007
White standard double keepcase

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: MGM (UK)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.36:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: July 21st 2003
Amaray

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: MGM (Norway)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by Sir Christopher Frayling
• Documentary: The Myth of the Revolution
• Documentary: Sergio Donati Remembers
• Feature: Once Upon a Time in Italy (The Autry Exhibition)
• Feature: Sorting out the Versions
• Feature: Restoration Italian Style
• Feature: Location comparisons
• 6 radio spots
• Theatrical Trailer
 

DVD Release Date:
Digipak

Chapters 32

Release Information:
Studio: Kino

Aspect Ratio:

2.35:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,120,466,196 bytes

Feature: 39,791,677,440 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.95 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary by Filmmaker Alex Cox
• Audio Commentary by Film Historian Sir Christopher Frayling
• Featurette: The Myth of the Revolution (22:11)
• Featurette: Sergio Donati Remembers (7:20)
• Featurette: Once Upon a Time in Italy (The Autry Exhibition)
• Featurette: Sorting Out the Versions (11:36)
• Featurette: Restoration Italian Style (6:07)
• Featurette: Location Comparisons (9:31)
• "Trailers From Hell" with Brian Trenchard-Smith (4:47)
• 2 Animated Image Galleries (B&W 2:47, Color 2:39)
• Reversible Art
• 6 Radio Spots
• Trailers for all 5 Sergio Leone Westerns (Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West, Fistful of Dynamite)

Blu-ray Release Date: March 6th, 2018
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters:
8

Release Information:
Studio: Masters of Cinema

Aspect Ratio:

Fistful of Dynamite:

2.35:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,407,399,177 bytes

Feature: 36,493,716,096 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Giù la testa:

2.35:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,347,660,770 bytes

Feature: 40,722,515,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary by filmmaker Alex Cox
• Audio Commentary by film historian Sir. Christopher Frayling
• A brand new and exclusive interview with film critic and writer Kim Newman (21:11)
• A brand new and exclusive interview with Austin Fisher, author of Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western: Politics, Violence and Popular Italian Cinema (20:53)
• The Myth of Revolution - Sir Christopher Frayling on Duck, You Sucker! (22:11)
• Sergio Donati Remembers Duck, You Sucker! (7:20)
• Sorting Out The Versions: An Analysis of Duck, You Sucker! (11:36)
• Once Upon A Time... in Italy featurette (6:01)
• Restoration, Italian Style (5:57)
• Location Comparisons (9:31)
• Radio Spots (3:45)
• Trailer (3:34)
• Stills Galleries (6:08, 4:12, 6:55, 13:11)

Blu-ray Release Date: December 9th, 2019
Custom
Blu-ray Case (see below)
Chapters: 16 / 16

 

 

 

Comments:

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

UPDATE: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - November 2019: Short story: The Masters of Cinema has released A Fistful of Dynamite in a two Blu-ray disc edition. The first has the English language version of the film and the image quality, from 2K restoration completed by Cineteca di Bologna in 2009 (as, we now know the most recent US Blu-ray transfer) and, hence, looks exactly like the 2018 Kino 1080P.

On Masters of Cinema's second BD, is the Italian titled version, Giù la testa. It is a slightly longer version of the film and is offered in both Italian and English tracks with two subtitle options (Italian translation and DUB translation.) It shows more information in the frame and has a decidedly yellow (golden) hue. Flesh tones are less realistic but I the 'look' is growing on me. I am glad we have the opportunity to see it, regardless.

Masters of Cinema don't go in for the surround bump and it is DTS-HD Master mono tracks and they export the Ennio Morricone (Luna, A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) score accurately, a bit tinny in the high end - which is no doubt, faithful to its theatrical roots. As stated there are optional English subtitles. There two Blu-ray disc are Region 'B'-locked.

Extras sport the same two commentaries for A Fistful of Dynamite version (Cox, Frayling) and most of the older MGM featurette supplements but there are two new extras: a brand new 21-minute exclusive interview with film critic and writer Kim Newman and a 21-minute interview with Austin Fisher, author of Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western: Politics, Violence and Popular Italian Cinema. Both are excellent new additions! Also included in the package is a LIMITED EDITION 60-PAGE 'Perfect Bound' Collector's book featuring new and archival writing on the film.

Masters of Cinema have topped last year's Kino BD and fans will be keen to see the Giù la testa version and the Kim Newman and Austin Fisher extras as well as the 60-page booklet. Brilliant package from Masters of Cinema!

Gary Tooze

***

ON THE KINO: There was an MGM Blu-ray that came out in 2014, HERE, but we don't have it to compare. We can't see anywhere that it is a new 4K restoration. This is either the MGM sourced or Italian Masters. This looks darker and more blue-leaning so probably the MGM source - not the earthy Italian.

Kino Classics have given us a big step up from previous DVD releases. The dual-layered disc has a decent bitrate for this 157-minute film. Skin tones are suitably warm and detail advances compared to previous DVDs. There is some grain textures in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio frame. This doesn't have the heavy yellow that the 4K restored The Good, The Bad and The Ugly from Kino does. This looks quite okay in-motion - certainly advancing over SD - tighter, better contrast... it was not particularly dynamic but I wasn't distraught with the HD appearance. There were a brief few 'wow look at that..." moments - usually from the many close-ups - but they didn't dominate my viewing. I wouldn't say that there are artifacts but it can look blotchy when zooming-in. Overall, underwhelming and we 'd like to compare to another 1080P release.  

 

Kino has given us the option to listen to the film in either 5.1 or stereo - DTS-HD Master (16-bit). No mono. We are trying to confirm if it has the censored dialogue of the English. The score by the iconic Ennio Morricone (Luna, A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) doing a wonderful job of setting a pasta-western tone. It sounds great in the surround with a few more-subtle separations. Kino add optional English (SDH) subtitles - see sample below - on their Region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

 

Kino has provided the same extras previously released on the MGM disc. The only new extras are a commentary track by Alex Cox, a 5 minute "Trailers from Hell" with director Brian Trenchard-Smith, some image galleries and Trailers for 5 Leone westerns. The commentary by Cox is a solid addition, full of interesting tidbits. Though the previous Frayling commentary is also presented here. Though there are some moments of dead-air, it is also a track full of interesting information regarding Leone and the Spaghetti western genre.

 

Stalwart discerning Leone fans will decry the lack of mono - and the image may not be up to expectations. I suspect this requires a full restoration - which hopefully we can expect forthcoming. The two commentaries and many extras give this value. Great film!

Colin Zavitz

***

NOTE: Finnur says: "Hi, I did this comparison for you a while back for A Fistful of Dynamite. Since then I got my hands on the NTSC Region 1 Collector's Edition and managed to check the mono soundtrack featured on that edition. I discovered to much grief that it is just a fold-down of the 5.1 track (which, I suspect, is also the case with the other Sergio Leone films in the collection) and retains all the censored dialogue and incorrect music cues!" (Thanks Finnur)

ADDITION May 2008 - NOTE: We can confirm that the May 2008 - single disc edition released by MGM is an exact duplicated of the first disc from the 2-disc Collector's Edition. Same menus, same extras, same image and audio (same VOB files). It's a great deal if you don't want the supplements (you still get the commentary).

****

ADDITION: NTSC Collector's Edition - Region 1 - May 07': Essentially this is exactly the same as the European Special Edition but has the much desired mono track. It has been transferred (progressively and properly) in NTSC. Extras are exact as well. Differences are in subs (CE is more accurate translation) and dubs but the new CE gets a thumbs up! Good work excepting we are still waiting for the long version. So far the Anthology looks good! I'll leave you with Finnur's comments below. 

Gary W. Tooze

 

These two releases are both from MGM and follow the familiar pattern of that studio's releases: First a barebones release comes and all the fans buy that, then after having that on offer for two years a Special Edition comes along with lots of extras and improved quality and packaging and all the fans go and buy it again!

This is probably Sergio Leone's least known film (Apart from the never mentioned Colossus of Rhodes) but it still is quite decent, even though it doesn't compare with, say, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly or Once Upon a Time in the West. Now about the DVDs:

Image Quality: The new SE is a clear winner in the areas of sharpness, detail, brightness/contrast and print quality, but the SE appears to be (most of the time, it seems to vary between shots) slightly cropped on the sides and bottom, whereas the old release is slightly cropped at the top. The colours are off on both. The old release has slightly oversaturated colours with red-blueish bias whereas the SE has leans towards greenish-yellow (See the newspaper capture) rendering skin tones unnatural in both editions. That being said both are quite watchable in any event.

You may notice that the SE version is three minutes longer than the old version. This is because a scene lasting three minutes has been restored to the film on the SE release. The shot directly succeeding this scene seems to be different between the versions. The two versions also use different titles, the old is "A Fistful of Dynamite" and the SE (despite the package title) is called "Duck You Sucker." Overall the SE has the better image.

Audio Quality: Ugh, this is where the SE release really disappoints, its only option is a 5.1 remaster that is quite probably the most screwed up remaster I've come across! The pitch correction applied to compensate for the PAL speedup makes everything sound brittle, but even that's the least of our worries here. The problem is that the track constantly uses incorrect musical cues for scenes, and for this film this is a particular issue. The 5.1 mix also uses in at least two instances censored dialogue, wheras the old DVD is uncut. The old DVD's mono soundtrack isn't super but at least it is the original mix. Old edition wins here!

Extra Material Quality: This is no comparison, the SE wins hands down.

Menus: The SE has animated menus although the animation is a little unimaginitive, it looks better than the older menus. SE wins again

Packaging: The Norwegian SE has cooler digipack design than both the UK SE and the Old version, but I do miss the artwork on the old release. I love that poster!

If you want the SE, try get the Scandinavian version like I did. The UK release has been cut by 6 seconds by the BBFC, to remove shots of horsefalls, but the Scandinavian is uncut :) The easiest way to tell between the two is the UK '15' certificate, obviously missing of the Scandinavian packaging. It's also worth mentioning that the old DVD is uncut, possibly by oversight of the BBFC at the time of submission.

 - Finnur E.


Recommended Reading for Western Genre Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"



DVD Menus

 

MGM (2-disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - Disc 1

 

 

MGM (2-disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - Disc 2

 

 

(
MGM (UK) (Old) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. MGM (Norway) (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

 

 

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
 

 

Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
 

Masters of Cinema - Spine #219 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray 2


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

Screen Captures

 

1) MGM (2-disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MGM (UK) (Old) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM (Norway) (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Masters of Cinema (A Fistful Of Dynamite) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - FIFTH

6) Masters of Cinema (Giù la testa - Italian translation)  - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - SIXTH

7) Masters of Cinema (Giù la testa - DUB translation)- Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM (2-disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MGM (UK) (Old) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM (Norway) (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Masters of Cinema (Fistful of Dynamite)- Region 'B' - Blu-ray FIFTH

6) Masters of Cinema (Giù la testa)- Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) MGM (2-disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MGM (UK) (Old) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM (Norway) (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Masters of Cinema (Giù la testa)- Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM (2-disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MGM (UK) (Old) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM (Norway) (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM (2-disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MGM (UK) (Old) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM (Norway) (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM (2-disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MGM (UK) (Old) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM (Norway) (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM (2-disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MGM (UK) (Old) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM (Norway) (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Capture of the flashback scene missing from the Original MGM DVD edition:

(MGM (2-disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. MGM (Norway) (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

1) MGM (2-disc Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MGM (Norway) (Special Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

4) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Box Covers

 

 

Identical to the SE - French and German editions (see comments) available here:

 

 

    

or without the booklet in May 2020:


Report Card:

 

Image:

 Blu-rays

Sound:

 Blu-rays

Extras:  Blu-rays
 




 

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