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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Jesse James' or 'The James Brothers')

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/nicholas_ray.htm
USA 1957

 

Nick Ray takes the Jesse James legend and turns it around his own feelings of disenchantment. Freely adapting the original (1939) Nunnally Johnson script (which initiated the long line of motifs still recognisable in The Long Riders), he transmutes Jesse into one of his familiar outsiders ('the spokesman for everyone whose life is quietly desperate'): an adolescent who turns to outlawry from a disaffection with adult values, rather than Civil War rivalries. This outlaw, like James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, entertains dreams of the good life (along the lines of teen-dream romance), but it's never more than a gesture of hope in a surrounding gone rotten. A fine Western, the only regret being Robert Wagner. Imagining Dean in the central role makes it one of the great might-have-beens.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Wagner and Hunter take over where Fonda and Power left off in the 1939 version of this oft-told tale, which shows the circumstances that drove James and his sibling to a life of crime. Obviously the pair have a hard act to follow, but they manage it perfectly well, with Hunter particularly good in the brotherly sidekick role.

Excerpt from Channel Four located HERE

No more true than the others, but a better story than most. Nicholas Ray directed this 1957 feature as an extension of his Rebel Without a Cause, with Robert Wagner as an alienated Jesse wandering the American wasteland. Ray is one of the great natural filmmakers, a master of moral ambiguity and jittery mise-en-scene.

Excerpt of Dave Kehr's comments at The Chicago Reader located HERE

 

  .

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 22nd, 1957

Reviews                                                                               More Reviews                                                            DVD Reviews

 

COMPARISON:

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

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT
2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray
RIGHT

 

Box Cover

  

  

Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:32:18  1:32:24.580 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.49 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 28,768,841,356 bytes

Feature: 27,726,944,256 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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 2.0), DUBs: French (Dolby Digital mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3583 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3583 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2125 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2125 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1825 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1825 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, Spanish, None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Movietone News: "Westerner Claims He Is Jesse James!"
• Trailer
• Fox Flix 

• 6 page liner notes

DVD Release Date: March 6th, 2007

Keep Case inside a cardboard box
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio:
Twilight Time

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 28,768,841,356 bytes

Feature: 27,726,944,256 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Isolated Music Track
Fox Movietone Newsreels (10:48)
Original Theatrical Trailer (2:11)
• Liner notes / Julie Kirgo


Blu-ray Release Date:
December, 2018
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 24

 

 

Comments:

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

Twilight Time have put Nicholas Ray's The True Story of Jesse James to Blu-ray. It's on a dual-layered Blu-ray in 1080P with, their usual, a high bitrate. It is in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and looks like an update from the old, single-layered, DVD. Colors get bolder and richer and the image seems to have some blue-leaning. But the overall appearance in HD is a leap beyond the pale, earthy brown, DVD's visuals. The Blu-ray shows more information in the frame on all 4 edges and there is grain texture support.

One person in email disagrees: "I can't agree with you on your TRUE STORY OF JESSE JAMES Twilight Time review, at all. It's hard to tell from the screen caps alone, because I don't remember the film's sequence order well enough (for one thing), but at the very least, they used a severely faded reel 1 as a source compared to the original reel 1 source (if the first caps are from reel 1). And the balance of the film, in general, shows way more dye loss/fading and a bad attempt at color correction in the remastering than the old DVD. Look at the skies, too. The colors aren't "bolder and richer" – the image is "brighter". That's my opinion as someone doing restoration work.

The last new print I saw of that film (circa 2003 or 2004) was struck from a fading element, probably a dupe negative, though it could have been right off the camera negative. And I'm sure this is the same source. It really needs digital restoration, and it hasn't received it – it's pinkish and pale and bad. I'd watch my DVD over this any day.
"
  (thank you)

The film is presented in the option of a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel (24-bit) track or a similarly encoded 5.1 surround bump - both in the original English language. There are aggressive effects from gunfire to galloping horses. There is some minor separation in the surround.  The film features a boisterous score
by Leigh Harline (The Farmer's Daughter, No Down Payment, Pickup on South Street, 23 Paces to Baker Street, House of Bamboo, Broken Lance) that supports the film's action.  It is also available in an isolated option. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles on this Region FREE Blu-ray.

For supplements, Twilight Time include only a newsreel and trailer as did the 2007 Fox DVD. No commentary unfortunately, but there is the aforementioned isolated music track and the package has liner notes by Julie Kirgo.

The True Story of Jesse James is not mentioned in the director's most iconic work but it's a very good western with some weaknesses. The Twilight Time
Blu-ray presentation is an update over the old DVD and the film appeals to fans of the genre.

Trivia: Although Nicholas Ray was initially reluctant to remake the 1939 film, he became intrigued by the idea of casting Elvis Presley--whom he thought had the potential to be "a new James Dean"--as Jesse James. After he had signed his contract, it became quickly clear that the studio had always intended to cast Robert Wagner, who was under contract and being built by the studio into a star. However, Ray did have his way in casting Hope Lange as James's wife; the studio had wanted Joanne Woodward.

Gary Tooze

ON THE DVD: Decent transfer from Fox considering this is a single-layered DVD. Progressive and anamorphic in the original 2.35 ratio - the image is clean, tight to the frame and has solid detail for the SD format. Colors are earthy brown and, at times, yellowish and this is my only complaint although there is some minor color shifts and contrast flickering when moving between scenes. For most this will be a non-issue. The stereo audio was clear and there are optional English or Spanish subtitles.

No real extras - a 45 second MovieTone newsreel, a trailer and some Fox Flix adverts. There is a short essay by Tom Weaver in the liner notes.

This is a solid western - Hunter is always great and, I'll have to agree, that Wagner is the weak link with his pretty-boy good looks bringing detriment believability to the part. The film has some 'Nicholas Ray' in it but I value it more as a straight western. Recommended! 

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus


 

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


Subtitle Sample

 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray Captures

 


Box Cover

  

  

Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze

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