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

 

I love William Wyler films. Pretty much all of them. You always know you are in for a well-balanced and professional presentation.... with a little humanity kick. In this, a return to westerns for the veteran director, he takes the testosterone out, and leaves in the unassuming protagonist. Returning home sea captain, James McKay (Gregory Peck), looks out-of-place as seen by the seasoned Texans of the open west. He seeks his lot with fiancée (Carroll Baker) yet all think he is a nancy-boy - unable, and unworthy. Future father-in-law and land baron (Charles Bickford) feuds with similar cattleman (Burl Ives) over the water for their cows owned by school marm Julie Maragon ( sexy Jean Simmons) - another character not given her deserved respect by the rough and rugged gun-toting, horsemen. Ives steals the show and wins the Oscar, as does the soundtrack. Chuck Connors and Charlton Heston lead the respective gangs. The film is masterpiece material convincingly ranking with the best westerns of all time. A personal favorite! out of

Gary W. Tooze

 

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Theatrical Release: October 1st, 1958

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Comparison:

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray

(MGM - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

Also now available via Amazon.com:

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC MGM Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:46:28 2:46:54.045
Video 2.32:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.43 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,333,063,955 bytes

Feature: 46,949,351,424 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 31.99 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: French  (Dolby Digital 2.0) DTS-HD Master Audio English 1981 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1981 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB)
DTS Audio French 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB
DTS Audio German 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB
DTS Audio Italian 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB
DTS Audio Spanish 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles French, Spanish, None English, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish or none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
 2.32:1

Edition Details:

• Theatrical Trailer (2:50 - widescreen - non -anamorphic)
 

DVD Release Date: March 20th, 2001
Keep Case
Chapters: 16

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,333,063,955 bytes

Feature: 46,949,351,424 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 31.99 Mbps

Edition Details:

• Fun in the Country (5:12 in 480i)

• TV Spot (:53 in 480i)

• Theatrical Trailer (2:53 - 4:3 in 1080P)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: June 10th, 2011
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 16
 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - August 11': I know this is available through one of the brick-and-mortar stores in the US as an exclusive - but I had a dickens of a time trying to get it. I'll wager this German offered Blu-ray is EXACTLY the same as the one now available from Amazon.com. The reason I suspect that is that the region FREE disc has only a English pop-up menu, plenty of foreign language options (subs and DUBs) and the extras are in 480i NTSC (not 576 PAL.)

The appearance is a revelation as compared to the 2001 MGM DVD which looks decided weak beside the dual-layered 1080P. You can see from the captures that there is some significantly varying amount of information in the frame (all 4 sides). For the most part the Blu-ray has much more - but it varies and this is probably because the 2:32:1 DVD was zoomed-in without consistency. The Blu-ray also looks brighter, much more detail and some depth creeps in. The 'scope ratio was far more evident and I think this is a tremendous advancement over the SD.

As Martin (in email) points out the Blu-ray is slightly horizontally stretched ('Cinemascope mumps'?)

Audio is in the form of a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1981 kbps. Jerome Moross, who orchestrated more than composed for film has a score that adds a nice crisp edge and sounds quite wonderful. There are a bunch of DUBs and optional subtitles on the region FREE disc.

Supplements even advance upon the DVD with an original featurette entitled Fun in the Country with behind-the-scenes shots running just over 5-minutes and a brief TV Spot (:53 seconds) as well s the trailer found on the DVD but now in 1080P.   

Essential release in my opinion. I LOVE this film and it looks and sounds fabulous -especially compared to the old DVD. Don't hesitate this is a classic looking and sounding far better than ever before!

***

ON THE DVD: DVD image is acceptable for MGM, if not Warner standard. Sharp through most, it has moments of dullness in both detail and colors lean to a greenish haze. No boosting and black levels are convincingly good. No English subtitles, original audio and only a trailer as an extra. I am biased, but the film surely deserves better, but as far as MGM goes - this is a one of their superior titles - HD film sourced and dual layered. Only 'good enough', not magnificent. I'll live.  out of   

Gary W. Tooze

 





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

 

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Also now available via Amazon.com:

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC MGM Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 




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