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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/mann.htm
USA 1958

The settings in Man of the West -- a western town, a train bound for Fort Worth, a farmhouse in a valley, a desert, and a ghost town (the latter two filmed in California's Red Rock Canyon) -- lack the formal purity of those in The Naked Spur. As a result, Man of the West veers much closer to the grimness of Greek tragedy, its mountains and rock formations often suggesting the silent witness of an ancient amphitheater. (The connection isn't accidental; another of Mann's late interviews is peppered with references to Oedipus Rex and Antigone, and one of his best early westerns is entitled The Furies.)

The hero, Link (Gary Cooper), is headed for Fort Worth to find a schoolteacher for his remote town, but the train is held up by a gang of thieves, stranding him with a card sharp (Arthur O'Connell) and saloon singer (Julie London). The three go to an abandoned farmhouse, where it emerges that Link used to be a member of the gang, which is led by his half-mad uncle, Dock (Lee J. Cobb); Dock raised him until he ran away in disgust and started a new life. A "link" between the civilization ironically represented by the card sharp and the singer (as well as his offscreen family) and the lawlessness of the gang, he's welcomed by Dock like a prodigal son returning to the fold and has to play along to keep his two companions alive.

Scripted by Reginald Rose -- a TV dramatist of the 50s second in prominence only to Paddy Chayefsky; his best-known work is probably 12 Angry Men -- Man of the West is shot in CinemaScope, yet it's initially hampered by the shallow dramatic space associated with television. This effect is made worse by the casting, which pairs the stagiest of stage actors (Cobb) with the most cinematic of movie actors (Cooper, at 57 only three years from retirement). But Mann is canny enough to turn these limitations to his advantage whenever he can, offering sly notations about Link's physical discomfort on the train and using a long, tense scene inside the farmhouse to create claustrophobia before sending the characters outdoors for virtually the remainder of the picture. Once again, the hero is a dialectical contradiction, both regressing toward an unbearable past and making an anguished effort to break free from it -- the struggle ultimately engendering hatred, violence, pain, and humiliation, and revealing boundless evil.

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum's article in the Chicago Reader found HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 1st, 1958 - New York City, NY

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Comparison:

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL vs. MGM - Region 2 - PAL vs. Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gary Tooze and Henrik Sylow for the Screen Caps!

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

Distribution MGM
Region 1 - NTSC

Carlotta Films

Region 2 - PAL

MGM
Region 2 - PAL
Koch Media
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
May 12th, 2008 sees multiple Westerns coming to DVD, including: The Big Trail (Raoul Walsh, 1930) 20th Century Fox, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [Blu-ray] (George Roy Hill,1969) 20th Century Fox, Day of the Outlaw (André De Toth, 1959) - United Artists, Fistful of Dynamite (Sergio Leone, 1971) - United Artists, Fox Classic Western Collection (Rawhide / The Gunfighter / Garden of Evil) - 20th Century Fox, The Gunfight at Dodge City (Joseph M. Newman, 1959) - United Artists, John Wayne: The Fox Westerns Collection (The Big Trail, North to Alaska, The Comancheros, The Undefeated) - 20th Century Fox, Man of the West (Anthony Mann, 1958) MGM, Man with the Gun (Richard Wilson, 1955) United Artists, Navajo Joe (Sergio Corbucci, 1966) MGM, The Way West (Andrew V. McLaglen, 1967) MGM and The Westerner (William Wyler, 1940) MGM
Runtime 1:39:09 1:34:54 (4% PAL speedup) 1:35:10 (4% PAL speedup) 1:39:17.993
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.75 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.37:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.14 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

2.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.53 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,950,648,838 bytes

Feature: 22,655,502,336 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.96 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 (Region 1)

 

Bitrate:

Carlotta Films

 

Bitrate:

 

MGM (PAL)

 

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray

 

Audio English (mono), DUBs: French and Spanish (mono) 2.0 Dolby Digital English, French (dub)

2.0 Dolby Digital English, German (dub), French (dub), Italian (dub), Spanish (dub)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 863 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 863 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 926 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 926 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles English, Spanish, None French, None English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Finnish, Danish, None German, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date: May 13th, 2008
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Carlotta Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen - 2.37:1

Edition Details:
• Featurette - Anthony Mann, Un Homme de L'ouest (13 min)
• Featurette - Super Mann de Jean-Luc Godard (13 min)
• Featurette - Tavernier / Rissient, Propos sur Mann (21 min)
• (NOTE: All Extras are in French with NO English subtitles)

DVD Release Date: June 3, 2004
Keep Case inside handsome cardboard box

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.37:1

Edition Details:
• None

 

DVD Release Date: March 14, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Koch

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,950,648,838 bytes

Feature: 22,655,502,336 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Trailer

• Gallery
 

Blu-ray Release Date: November 4th, 2011
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 16

 

Comments

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

 

ADDITION: Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (November 11'): Yes, this is certainly better - colors match-up with the MGM but the detail is crisper and there is more information in the frame. We have a pretty solid idea of what Man of the West should/could look like digitally after covering the 3 SD versions. This German Blu-ray is single-layered but has a decent bitrate and the image has a wonderful thickness to it. Barring this coming to region 'A' (I'm not holding my breath) this is the best we are likely to get for this iconic western - and I am pleased if not thrilled.

 

Audio gets the DTS-HD Master treatment in stereo for both the original English and a German DUB. Not much depth but it is clean and more dynamic than any of the DVDs. There are optional German subtitles on the region 'B'-locked disc.

 

Supplements are limited to a PAL trailer and a stills gallery.

 

I REALLY enjoyed my viewing - both, I'm sure, because of the HD scope-notable presentation and that I had not see Man of the West for a couple of years. I was initially indifferent to the Blu-ray but after my complete viewing became a fan. Recommended!

 

***

ADDITION: MGM - Region 1 NTSC - MAY 08': Although the new NTSC edition is bare-bones - it is still the release to own. The PAL editions seemed to have used the same source as they support each other with overly reddish skin tones (orangy at times), minutely cropped on the left and top edges and appear vertically compressed to a small degree. The new MGM is greener but brighter and I feel more true in terms of image. It may have the lead in detail as well.

It is single-layered, anamorphic, progressive, and coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard. There are optional subtitles and mono DUBs - and there are, unfortunately, no extras. It's a fabulous price for an essential film - now without the vocal adjustment of PAL speedup. One of the best buys of the year in my opinion.  

***

ON THE CARLOTTA - MGM (PAL): At last year's BOLOGNA DVD AWARDS (the one where 'Best Collection' went to the Chaplin Boxset (R2) where some films are wrongly formatted in 1.33:1 instead of OAR 1.19:1 pillarbox - SEE HERE) - anyway they gave this the award for 'Technical Quality' to this "Man of the West" DVD- yet it is not anamorphic, shows damage marks and has a peculiar frame shifting problem (one that I also noticed in the French version of Eric Rohmer's "Le Rayon Vert" in the Gaumont Boxset - see below). So I don't know what these Bologna DVD Awards use for criteria, but I think their name more accurately reflects the Western expression of the luncheon meat rather than any true discerning quality.This Carlotta DVD has some issues - but colors are very strong and it has relative sharpness on a television tube. Its failings are when you use either widescreen TV or projection. The frame shifting bouncing (example below) is VERY distracting. It goes back and forth continuously. On normal TV's it is covered by overscan - so even if you are able to zoom 'out' (avoiding overscan) - you still are maddened occasionally by this obvious flaw.

It has removable French subtitles and a French DUB option (as well as original English). Extras are interesting but totally in French with no subtitle option. Audio is fairly weak and inconsistent. I don't mean to sound overly critical as it is the only version of this great film available on DVD at present, but it really doesn't hold a candle to say the Region 1 release of "Rio Bravo" (for example.)

Gary Tooze

The MGM is only marginally an improvement. The image has not been restored, but seemingly merely cleaned up. The colour scheme is about the same, but MGM has more details and is sharper. However, the MGM has problems with, for instance, colour banding.

This is one of the most important Westerns ever made, but to release it in such a form, without any extras at all, is almost as if MGM is completely indifferent about their films.

Henrik Sylow


Menus

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC

 



(Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. MGM - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


 

NOTE: MOUSE OVER BELOW the CARLOTTA DVD IMAGE TO NOTICE DISTRACTING FRAME SIZE SHIFTS THAT OCCUR!

 

These captures are 1 frame a part!

 

 

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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

Subtitle sample NOTE: Not exact frame!

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Carlotta

 

Box Covers

Distribution MGM
Region 1 - NTSC

Carlotta Films

Region 2 - PAL

MGM
Region 2 - PAL
Koch Media
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray




 

 

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