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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by John Ford
USA 1962

 

Paramount Presents brings one of the greatest movies of the Western genre to 4K UHD with HDR. Pioneering Oscar-winning director John Ford brings together an all-star cast that features (for the first time together) John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart, alongside Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, John Carradine and Lee Van Cleef. Adapted from a short story by Dorothy M. Johnson, the screenplay by James Warner Bellah and Willis Goldbeck left us with an iconic quote—“when the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

***

Ford's purest and most sustained expression of the familiar themes of the passing of the Old West, the conflict between the untamed wilderness and the cultivated garden, and the power of myth. Stewart plays a respected senator who returns on a train (in an opening echoing that of My Darling Clementine) to attend the funeral of his old friend Wayne. In one scene, Stewart wipes the dust off a disused stagecoach, marking in a simple gesture the distance between the Old West inhabited by Wayne and the new West which he himself represents. In the central flashback sequence, it is revealed that it was not Stewart who shot the outlaw Liberty Valance (Marvin) but Wayne, the gun law of the Old West paving the way for the development of a new civilization. For Ford, the passing of the Old West is also the passing of an age of romantic heroism. The only link between the two worlds is the desert rose, a flowering cactus hardy enough to survive the harshness of the desert and humanize the wilderness.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 13th, 1962

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Paramount - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Paramount - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 2:03:19.767        
Video

1.85:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size:62,084,203,721 bytes

Feature: 61,591,744,512 bytes

Video Bitrate: 45.99 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

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 2832 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2448 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 384 kbps / DN -30dB)

Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -27dB

DUBs:
Dolby Digital Audio German 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -25dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -20dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -24dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -30dB
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -24dB
Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -28dB
Commentary:

Subtitles English, English (SDH), Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Chinese, Finnish, Swedish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Paramount

 

1.85:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size:62,084,203,721 bytes

Feature: 61,591,744,512 bytes

Video Bitrate: 45.99 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

none

 

Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray

• Full Commentary by Peter Bogdanovich with recorded excepts of Ford, Wayne and Stewart
• Filmmaker Focus: Leonard Maltin on The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (7:37)
• Select Screen Commentary with intro by Dan Ford
• 7-part documentary - The Size of Legends, the Soul of Myth (50:50)
• Original Theatrical trailer (2:45)
• Galleries (Ford, production, Publicity, Lobby cards)
 

Digital Film code


4K Ultra HD Release Date: May 17th, 2022
Black 4K Ultra HD Case inside slipcase

Chapters 15

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Paramount 4K UHD (May 2022): Paramount have transferred John Ford's "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" to 4K UHD. It has a reasonable level of HDR applied. The textures here are decidedly unnatural. It looks more like noise and it is scattered unevenly. Now, I think this title has always had some form of compression/digitization issues (I'm sorry I don't own the latest US Blu-ray from September 2017, or the 2015 one before that, to verify - NOTE: I have been told they are the same as the German BD that we reviewed HERE) and while the visuals are improved over DVD and BD, it still has some degradation from a potentially stronger film-like appearance. Contrast seems excellent with rich black levels, impressive layering and there is frequent depth - however, this too can be erratic. I can confirm that the included second disc Blu-ray is a new (March 2022) transfer - looking to be the same as the 4K UHD - just in the lower 1080P resolution - exacerbating the weaknesses. So, while we can decry this as an opportunity lost - it looks better than I have seen before - even with the occasionally awkward flatness and imperfections that surface irregularly. I expect many fans will be fine with the, largely de-grained, 3840 X 2160 appearance - especially if played on a modest-sized home theatre screen. To be honest, it looked quite pleasing on my 65-inch.   

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: 42 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: A Fistful of Dollars (no HDR), In the Heat of the Night (no HDR), Jack Reacher (software uniformly simulated HDR), Death Wish II (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Apartment (no HDR), The Proposition (software uniformly simulated HDR), Nightmare Alley (2021) (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Godfather (software uniformly simulated HDR), Le Crecle Rouge (software uniformly simulated HDR), An American Werewolf in London (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Hard Day's Night (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Piano (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Great Escape (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Red Shoes (software uniformly simulated HDR), Citizen Kane (software uniformly simulated HDR), Unbreakable (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mulholland Dr. (software uniformly simulated HDR), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Hills Have Eyes (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Servant (software uniformly simulated HDR), Anatomy of a Murder (software uniformly simulated HDR), Taxi Driver  (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Wolf Man (1941) (software uniformly simulated HDR), Frankenstein (1931) (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Deep Red (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Misery (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Silence of the Lambs (software uniformly simulated HDR), John Carpenter's "The Thing" (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Cat' o'Nine Tails (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (software uniformly simulated HDR), 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 Helsing (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 Killed 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).

The 4K UHD disc's audio is offered with a restored TrueHD 5.1 bump or a (also restored) lossy Dolby Digital dual-mono track (24-bit). "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" has sporadic  violence with potent gunfire, a memorable punch and the burning of an newspaper office among other examples. The surround carries remarkable, if not crisp, separations but many purists will opt for the dual-mono which usually carries hollow bass depth. The score is quite strong, but sparsely used, by Cyril J. Mockridge (Night People, I Wake Up Screaming, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Thieves' Highway, Desk Set, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Dark Corner, My Darling Clementine, Nightmare Alley) and some will notice "Home on the Range" and "Little Brown Jug". The main theme, The Dew Is On the Blossom, was from Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln, composed by Alfred Newman. The Gene Pitney song, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, was not used in the film. I had no issues with the audio excepting a preference for using an uncompressed linear PCM transfer for the mono. I expect it would have given it a more pronounced higher end. There are a host of European and a Japanese language DUBs as well as plenty of foreign subtitle options plus English and English (SDH.) Both the 4K UHD disc and included Blu-ray are region FREE.

The 4K UHD disc - has no extras - they didn't even include the commentary as an option - which would have seemed to be fairly effortless to add.

As stated the included Blu-ray has the film in the same transfer (albeit in 1080P resolution and a few, but less subtitle/DUB options) and extras that mostly have been on editions previously; the wonderful commentary with Bogdanovich and archival recorded excerpts from interviews with Ford, Wayne and Stewart via the select screen commentary with intro by Dan Ford, and (new) 8-minutes of Filmmaker Focus: Leonard Maltin on The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. There is also the extensive 50-minute long 7-part documentary - The Size of Legends, the Soul of Myth, from 2009 written by Tara Tremaine and Robert S. Wilson. It has a lot of John Ford - a fine, repeat, addition. Lastly is a trailer.

NOTE: I was sent the Canadian release that doesn't have the same slipcase as above, although it does have a standard slipcase.

Paramount's
4K UHD release of John Ford's "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" will be pleasing enough for many. The iconic western is largely told in an extensive flashback and the cast is a 'Who's Who' with Wayne, Stewart, wholesome Vera Miles, sadistic Lee Marvin, alcoholic Edmond O'Brien, comical Andy Devine, opportunistic John Carradine, loyal Woody Strode, Denver Pyle and henchmen Strother Martin and Lee Van Cleef. It has the oft-used conflicts of law and disorder that plagued the pioneering old west, minor romance, a gun debate, and the victory of democracy over tyranny. It's a masterpiece of the genre that always deserves repeat viewing. Despite my reservations on the image and a few glaring omissions (commentary track on the 4K disc and uncompressed mono) - it is the best to-date for fans of this pure western gem. Still recommended, Pilgrim!

Gary Tooze

 


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1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

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1) Paramount (Centennial Collection) - Region 1,4 - NTSC TOP

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

 

 


1) Paramount (Europe) - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

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

 


 

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

 

 

 
Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Paramount - Region FREE - 4K UHD


 


 

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