SOUNDER is a story simply told and universally moving. It is one of the most compassionate and truthful of movies, and there's not a level where it doesn't succeed completely. It's one of those rare films that can communicate fully to a child of nine or ten, and yet contains depths and subtleties to engross any adult. The story is so simple because it involves, not so much what people do, but how they change and grow. Not a lot happens on the action level, but there's tremendous psychological movement in SOUNDER, and hardly ever do movies create characters who are so full and real, and relationships that are so loving
Painfully honest, unpretentious, and blessedly simple, Martin Ritt's 1972 portrait of a black family trying to survive the Depression, the infinite cruelties of Louisiana sharecropping, and the pain of separation is moving without being mawkish, charming without being coy. Not the emotional blockbuster the PR department of 20th Century-Fox would have had it, the film is nevertheless rewarding and quietly powerful--with fine performances from Cicely Tyson, Paul Winfield, and Kevin Hooks.
Theatrical Release: September 22nd, 1972
DVD Review: Koch Vision - Region 0 - NTSC
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|Distribution||Koch Vision - Region 0 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 7.18 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
The bare-bones Koch Vision DVD is unbearably weak. The image is dual-layered and anamorphic but interlaced (see combing in the last capture.) The image can be quite hazy at times with no subtitle options and only a trailer as an extra. This is a film that so deserves a stupendous Criterion-level transfer with bountiful extras making the cheap Koch transfer all that much more painful. I also think this may be the only edition of this 72' critically acclaimed film available on DVD.
The image is not especially clean and shows some artifacts but also some grain. Colors are somewhat faded and this doesn't appear to have had any restoration or attempts at digital improvement... the latter may be a blessing. The bitrate suggest it was from analog (explaining the interlacing). The audio is an acceptable 2.0 channel track.
The film is 5/5 but the DVD transfer a miserable 2/5. One positive is the price which surely declares value considering the masterpiece status of 1972's Sounder.