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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'The Bird with the Crystal Plumage' or 'L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo' or 'Bird with the Glass Feathers' or 'The Gallery Murders' or 'Point of Terror'')

Dario Argento
Italy | West Germany 1970

 

In his first film as writer/director, Dario Argento (Suspira, Deep Red, Two Evil Eyes) single-handedly created the Giallo genre and instantly emerged as the filmmaker critics worldwide hailed as 'The Italian Hitchcock.' Tony Musante (The Detective, The Fugitive) and Suzy Kendall (Spasmo, Torso) star in this pulse-pounding suspense thriller about an American writer in Rome who witnesses - and is helpless to stop - a brutal assault, the cunning vengeance of a maniac, and the heart-stopping horror that lives - and kills - deep in the dark.

From his first movie, Mr. Argento showed he was a master of both atmosphere and suspense. One scene goes to show how he crafts a simple murder. A girl walks home alone. She enters her building and looks up at the stairs. The triangular-shaped stairwell rises, floor after floor, into the darkness. She walks up the stairs, moving in and out of shadows created by the oddly-shaped stairwell. Her own shadow moves across the wall, with simple shots creating eerie suspense where other directors would use music and slick editing to help raise the heartbeat.

Instead of these things, Mr. Argento uses point of view shots, limiting what we can see, only seeing through characters' eyes. We know someone is following this poor woman, but when we see through her eyes, we don't know where he is, or even if he's still peering around trees and walls.

***

 

Mention has to go to cinematographer extraordinaire Vittorio Storaro, who paints a wonderful vision. Dario Argento is, firstly, a visual director, but this would be nothing without a great cinematographer capable of filming what the director desires. Mr. Storaro is up to the challenge and helps create a visual feast of a story. Every scene is framed the way it should be to create maximum impact. The critical scene with Suzy Kendall alone in her apartment shows how the cinematography is used to create incredible suspense. With a just of a few shots of Mrs. Kendall's face, a knife and a small hole in a door, my heart was pounding.

This scene is also helped out with the pitch-perfect music and the razor-sharp editing. The pacing in that scene is spot-on to create enough tension so that the release is a definite catharsis of all the pent-up energy. Ennio Morricone's wonderful (though slightly dated) score, with its unorthodox use of voices, and Franco Fraticelli's tight editing combine with Mr. Argento's assured directing to create a great cinematic experience so perfect I don't remember a scene so wonderfully executed. Remember, this is Mr. Argento's directorial debut.

Pat Pilon for DVDBeaver

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 27th, 1970

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 1:36:44.506        
Video

2.35:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 88,053,120,822 bytes

Feature: 66,070,963,776 bytes

Video Bitrate: 84.43 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

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

Bitrate 4K Ultra HD:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1036 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1036 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1038 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1038 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

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

Subtitles English (SDH), English (for Italian), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

2.35:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 88,053,120,822 bytes

Feature: 66,070,963,776 bytes

Video Bitrate: 84.43 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

• Audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films

 • The Power of Perception, a new visual essay on the cinema of Dario Argento by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, author of Devil s Advocates: Suspiria and Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study (20:57)

Black Gloves and Screaming Mimis - New analysis of the film by critic Kat Ellinger (31:54)
Crystal Nightmare - New interview with writer/director Dario Argento (31:24)
An Argento icon - New interview with actor Gildo Di Marco (Garullo the pimp) (22:05)

Eva's Talking: Interview with Eva Renzi (11:19)

Italian trailer (3:11)

International Trailer (2:48)

2017 Texas Frightmare Trailer (0:56)
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Candice Tripp

Double-sided fold-out poster
6 Lobby Card reproductions
Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by Howard Hughes and Jack Seabrook, and a new essay by Rachael Nisbet
Fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Obviously Creative
Six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction artcards
Limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring originally and newly commissioned artwork by Obviously Creative


4K Ultra HD Release Date:
July
29th, 2021
Custom
4K Ultra HD Case (see below)

Chapters 16

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Arrow 4K UHD (July 2021): Arrow's have transferred Dario Argento's "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage" to 4K UHD (3840 X 2160.) The presentation is in Dolby Vision - HDR10 compatible. It looks gorgeous as an upgrade from their 2017 Blu-ray in 2.35:1 (not Storaro's 2.0:1 as their 2011 Blu-ray) all reviewed and compared HERE. This is notable for the brilliant grain, up-tick in color tightness and more layered contrast. We have compared it to a variety of digital editions including the 2007 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL DVD, Arrow 's (2011) Blu-ray and Arrow's (2017) Blu-ray. This looks like the same master as the latter supporting the same color palette but it is in 3840 X 2160 resolution, darker (warmer skin tones) and richer with a towering bitrate - more than double that of the last out-of-print Blu-ray. The image is flawless and the best we have seen from Argento's film to date. It is immaculate.

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

NOTE: 72 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages to date: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (software uniformly simulated HDR), Perdita Durango (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Django (software uniformly simulated HDR) Fanny Lye Deliver'd (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, (NO HDR applied to disc),  Rollerball (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Chernobyl  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Daughters of Darkness (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vigilante (software uniformly simulated HDR), Tremors (software uniformly simulated HDR), Cinema Paradiso (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bourne Legacy (software uniformly simulated HDR), Full Metal Jacket (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Psycho (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Birds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Rear Window (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vertigo (software uniformly simulated HDR) Spartacus (software uniformly simulated HDR), Jaws (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Invisible Man, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucio Fulci's 1979 Zombie  (software uniformly simulated HDR),, 2004's Van Helsining (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Shallows (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bridge on the River Kwai (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Deer Hunter (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Elephant Man (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Quiet Place (software uniformly simulated HDR), Easy Rider (software uniformly simulated HDR), Suspiria (software uniformly simulated HDR), Pan's Labyrinth (software uniformly simulated HDR) The Wizard of Oz, (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Shining, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Batman Returns (software uniformly simulated HDR), Don't Look Now (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bram Stoker's Dracula (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucy (software uniformly simulated HDR), They Live (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shutter Island (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Matrix (software uniformly simulated HDR), Alien (software uniformly simulated HDR), Toy Story (software uniformly simulated HDR),  A Few Good Men (software uniformly simulated HDR),  2001: A Space Odyssey (HDR caps udated), Schindler's List (simulated HDR), The Neon Demon (No HDR), Dawn of the Dead (No HDR), Saving Private Ryan (simulated HDR and 'raw' captures), Suspiria (No HDR), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (No HDR), The Big Lebowski, and I Am Legend (simulated and 'raw' HDR captures).

Audio duplicates the 2017 Blu-ray - is transferred via DTS-HD Master mono tracks at 1000 kbps (24-bit) in the option of Italian or English languages (seamlessly-branched opening credit sequence.) Effects are often overshadowed by the film's music and score by the iconic Ennio Morricone (Luna, A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) establishing and supporting the film's appealing style. It's authentically flat, buoyant and clean. There are optional English (SDH) and English (for Italian) subtitles and like all 4K UHD discs it is  region FREE.

Arrow also duplicate the extras from their 2017 Blu-ray - we get a same excellent commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films. He is always excellent exporting details of the performers and especially Argento - who is pulls no punches about his difficulties as a filmmaker and getting along with actors. It's very rewarding to listen to. The Power of Perception, is a new, 21-minutes, visual essay on the cinema of Dario Argento by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, author of Devil s Advocates: Suspiria and Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study and it, too, is wonderful for fans of Giallo and this film in particular. Black Gloves and Screaming Mimis - is a new 1/2 hour analysis of the film by critic Kat Ellinger. Crystal Nightmare is a new interview with writer/director Dario Argento. An Argento icon -is a new 22-minute interview with actor Gildo Di Marco (Garullo the pimp) and he discusses working with Argento and his own career. Eva's Talking: is a dozen-minute interview with Eva Renzi as also found on the Blue Underground. There are an Italian trailer, an International Trailer and a new 2017 Texas Frightmare Trailer for the restoration. Also included are the illustrated collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by Howard Hughes and Jack Seabrook, and a new essay by Rachael Nisbet, a fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Obviously Creative and a six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction artcards. It is advertised as being limited edition packaging with reversible sleeve (see below) featuring originally and newly commissioned artwork by Obviously Creative.

Arrow's 4K UHD release seems an upgrade in the video only as compared to their excellent 2017 out-of-print Blu-ray - with the same lossless mono audio transfers (both English and Italian) and extras. But it is quite an upgrade for new adopters. This is premium Giallo and is captivating with the abundant style and colors. Certainly a film fans will want in this 3840 X 2160 resolution. The film deserves it - you deserve it - highly recommended!   

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 

Package - Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY and 4K UHD CAPTURE TO SEE IN FULL RESOLUTION

 

 

1) Arrow (2017) - Region FREE Blu-ray - TOP

2) Arrow (English SDH) - Region FREE - 4K UHD - MIDDLE

2)  Arrow (English for Italian) - Region FREE - 4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 

Troy Howarth's favorite Giallo line:

 


 

1) 01 Distribution - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Arrow Video (2011) - Region FREE Blu-ray TOP

2)  Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Arrow (2017) - Region FREE Blu-ray - TOP

2)  Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Arrow Video (2011) - Region FREE Blu-ray TOP

2)  Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Arrow (2017) - Region FREE Blu-ray - TOP

2)  Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Arrow Video (2011) - Region FREE Blu-ray TOP

2)  Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


NSFW (Not Safe For Work) CAPTURES (Mouse Over to see - and click to enlarge)


 

More full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K Ultra HD Captures for Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - 4K UHD


 


 

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