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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Cecil B. DeMille
USA 1934

 

From Cecil B. DeMille, the legendary director of The Plainsman, The Sign of the Cross, Union Pacific and Reap the Wild Wind, comes the adventure-filled Four Frightened People, starring the fabulous Claudette Colbert (Cleopatra, The Gilded Lily). When a deadly bubonic plague breaks out on a coastal steamer ship, four passengers steal a lifeboat and set sail on a mission of survival. They land on a remote Malayan island and soon shed all trappings of their former selves. After their native guide is suddenly murdered, they find themselves at the mercy of hostile islanders and must use their newfound survival skills if they are going to escape a terrible fate. Co-starring Herbert Marshall (The Good Fairy), Mary Boland (Stingaree), William Gargan (The Story of Temple Drake) and Leo Carrillo (20 Mule Team), this largely overlooked treasure highlights the versatility of one of Hollywood’s most renowned filmmakers.

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Malaya tropical island romantic love triangle adventure thriller, about a cruise ship where Bubonic plague breaks out. Four people are able to leave the ship in a tiny boat and make it to a desert island, where many adventures ensue and, of course, the two men fight over the beautiful young schoolteacher who is with them.

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 26th, 1934

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Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:18:25.325        
Video

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 28,258,877,846 bytes

Feature: 25,166,254,080 bytes

Video Bitrate: 38.88 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1553 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1553 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

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

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 28,258,877,846 bytes

Feature: 25,166,254,080 bytes

Video Bitrate: 38.88 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary by Film Critic Nick Pinkerton
Theatrical Trailer (2:05)


Blu-ray Release Date:
August 3rd, 2021
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (July 2021): Kino have transferred Cecil B. DeMille's Four Frightened People to Blu-ray. It is not at the standard of image excellent we find in the director's later works moved to 1080P. It's a shade inconsistent with some sequences looking quite impressive and other relatively soft with light damage (see examples below.) They can persist in a few scenes but are infrequent. This has a heavy look belying the film's age - approaching 90-years. Texture is evident but also a bit uneven. The HD presentation is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate and looks pleasing in-motion.

NOTE: We have added 70 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (16-bit) in the original English language. Four Frightened People has few aggressive moments with jungle sounds; big cats, a chimpanzee, restless natives and more that are exported with a modest level of depth. The score is by a combination of Karl Hajos (Werewolf of London, Supernatural, Summer Storm), John Leipold (Merrily We Go To Hell, Christmas in July, The Devil is a Woman, The Flying Deuces, Duck Soup,) Milan Roder (The Sign of the Cross, The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, The Song of Songs, Supernatural, Murnau's Tabu) and Heinz Roemheld (Ruby Gentry, I, Jane Doe, Dangerous, The Monster that Challenged The World, The Land Unknown, The Mole People, 1933's The Invisible Man.) sounding supportive of the film's moods be it danger or romance. Kino offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Film Critic Nick Pinkerton. He discusses the location at the Hawaiian islands, the films that bookend this; The Sign of the Cross and Cleopatra, Karl Struss De Mille's cinematographer, quite a lot about the producer / director, Colbert and the other cast/crew, the themes of the film including how social rules are abandoned when people find themselves stranded far from civilization. He references other island/jungle related films in the 30s; Island of Lost Souls, King Kong, Tabu: A Story of the South Seas, Bird of Paradise etc. and he reads a few times from the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. He fills the running time with fascinating information and he remains one of my favorite commentarists. There is also a trailer for Four Frightened People.  

Cecil B. DeMille's Four Frightened People is a smaller scale production than the director's more lauded works; The Ten Commandments, The Plainsman, The King of Kings, Union Pacific, Cleopatra, The Sign of the Cross, Samson and Delilah etc. but it is still a delightful, albeit short, adventure with survivalism, the reversion of decorum when the circumstances become life-threatening, plus daring, carefully and tastefully-shot, nude bathing by Colbert. I really liked it as I did on DVD years ago. The Kino Blu-ray also includes another expert commentary from Pinkerton. Absolutely recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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