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(aka 'Irving Stone's The Agony and the Ecstasy ')

directed by Carol Reed
USA 1965

 

Adapted by Philip Dunne from the novel by Irving Stone, The Agony and the Ecstasy is the story of the 16th century war of wills between Renaissance artist Michelangelo (Charlton Heston) and "warrior pope" Julius II (Rex Harrison). Commissioned to paint a religious fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the independent-minded Michelangelo balks at the assignment. He is virtually strongarmed into accepting the job by Pope Julius, who wants to leave something for future generations to remember him by. Director Carol Reed deftly juggles screen time between the Pope's activities on the battlefield and Michelangelo's slow, arduous completion of his monumental task. The film also gingerly approaches the subject of Michelangelo's sexual orientation vis-a-vis his relationship with the Contessina de Medici (Diane Cilento). Too long and limited in subject matter to score at the box office, The Agony and the Ecstasy holds up pretty well when seen today, especially when viewed in a wide-screen print.

***

Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison portray two of the Renaissance's most colorful figures, Michelangelo (Heston) and Pope Julius II (Harrison),  in this historical drama based on Irving Stone's best-seller set in the early 16th century. Carol Red (The Third Man) takes the helm as director.

 

 Posters

Theatrical Release: September 24th, 1965

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Comparison:

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

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

 

Box Covers

Distribution Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment - Region 1- NTSC 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:18:50 2:18:50
Video 2.19:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.78 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 47,362,727,712 bytes

Feature Size: 46,143,240,192 bytes

Average Bitrate: 37.22 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

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 5.0 Dolby), English (Dolby mono), DUBs: French Stereo and Spanish mono DTS-HD Master Audio English 3430 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3430 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
DTS Audio Italian 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, Spanish, None English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.19:1

Edition Details:

• Restoration Comparison
• Fox Flix (trailers for 5 films)
• Theatrical trailer and teaser

DVD Release Date: February 22nd, 2005

Keep Case
Chapters: 32

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.20:1

Disc Size: 47,362,727,712 bytes

Feature Size: 46,143,240,192 bytes

Average Bitrate: 37.22 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

Edition Details:

• Trailer (3:28)

Blu-ray Release Date: March 4th, 2014
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 34

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray - February 2014':

W - O - W ! (presented without further comments)

***

ON THE DVD: Very strong image here from Fox. Contrast looks very solid - noting tinkered with but a shade green. A great transfer. Solid subtitles, tight lines, sharp. A restoration example is given as an extra. A 5.0 bump to the audio is given as an option as well as the original mono (bravo!). This is an exceptional film, and the DVD\, although light on extras, appears worthy.

Eric tells us in email: "The film was originally released in 6ch surround (70mm), 4ch surround (35mm), and mono (35mm optical). I don't think the DVD's 5.0 is a bump from the mono as much as a remix based off the original 6ch (or 4ch) tracks. I imagine the 5.1 mix is therefore similar, but with a pre-emphasis given to the lower frequencies."  

Gary W. Tooze

 


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Distribution Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment - Region 1- NTSC 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray



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