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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Mark Robson
USA 1949

"Champion" is probably considered the film that made Kirk Douglas a star. His intense, arrogant demeanor along with his muscular frame cast him perfectly as an overly ambitious boxer who will stop at nothing to get the approval of the crowd.
Michael 'Midge' Kelly is shown in down-and-out beginnings with his brother (played by Arthur Kennedy) defending themselves against a group of hobo's on a boxcar before being turfed out. The desperation of his youth affects him greatly. Eventually his forgotten wife, his father-like manager, various girlfriends, and even his own brother are cast adrift in his pursuit of fame and fortune as a pugilist.

As good as any cinematic representation of the boxing game, it showed a different side to the media hype of "The Harder They Fall" and less sympathetic than "Requiem for a Heavyweight", but this still ranks as a pure classic of Film Noir. Simplistic and brutal, the film parallels its protagonist absolutley. This one shouldn't be missed.
out of

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 9th, 1949 - USA

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Comparison:

Artisan (black and white) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Artisan (Color) - Region 1- NTSC vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Artisan (b+w) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Artisan (color) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

Distribution

Artisan / Republic Pictures

Region 1  - NTSC

Olive Films

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:38:42 1:38:39 1:39:10.277
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.86 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.88 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,626,857,359 bytes

Feature: 19,503,212,544 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Black and White

Bitrate:

 

Color

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 900 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 900 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles None None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artisan / Republic Pictures

 

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• DVD10 - color and black and white versions on opposite sides of disc
• Production Notes (static pages)

DVD Release Date: March 26th, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 29

Release Information:
Studio:
Olive

 

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,626,857,359 bytes

Feature: 19,503,212,544 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



Edition Details:
• None)

Blu-ray Release Date: April 23rd, 2013
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 8

 

 

Comments:

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

 

ADDITION: Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (April 2013): What a huge improvement! Everything is superior about the new Olive Films 1080P transfer. It shows textured grain, there is a lot more information in the frame, contrast is significantly more layered and detail, naturally rises - quite dramatically. My words are less -impacting than simply looking at the screen captures below. There is still some damage, rough patches, and light speckles but I'm not going to complain with Champion looking this much more film-like.  The sounds is lossless mono and also improved - notable in Dimitri Tiomkin's powerful score. As typical with Olive - there are no extras. We still give this Blu-ray a BIG thumbs up despite the weaknesses of the print!

***

ON THE DVDs: Both of these DVDs are a mess, but the colorized version is certainly worse. I included more than the usual number of comparison frames as I am interested on why the original black and white version is cropped on the left and bottom edges.

The colorization has advanced incredibly since this was done, but we will state again how adamant DVDBeaver is in not condoning this form of altering. However, it is interesting and the Artisan DVD does also contain the original. But the trouble with this DVD is the image which is fraught with damage and speckles as well as being very hazy. The black and white version is marginally sharper than the color one and even shows a slight amount of film grain, but it would be wonderful if this classic film was put right. The extras are a few pages of production notes. If I was grading this DVD alone , I would give it about a out of . Shameful.

 - Gary W. Tooze

 


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

 

 

Menus

(Artisan (b+w) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Artisan (color) - Region 1- NTSC - RIGHT)


 

Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


 

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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Artisan (b+w) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Artisan (color) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM



1) Artisan (b+w) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Artisan (color) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Artisan (b+w) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Artisan (color) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Artisan (b+w) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Artisan (color) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Artisan (b+w) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Artisan (color) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

NOTE: Not exact frame

 


 

1) Artisan (b+w) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Artisan (color) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Artisan (b+w) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Artisan (color) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Artisan (b+w) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Artisan (color) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Artisan (b+w) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Artisan (color) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: -
Box Covers

 

Distribution

Artisan / Republic Pictures

Region 1  - NTSC

Olive Films

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray



 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...