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Directed by F.W. Murnau
USA
1930

 

After the visual fireworks of Sunrise and the now-lost splendour of 4 Devils, F.W. Murnau turned his attention to this vivid, painterly study of an impulsive and fragile marriage among the wheatfields of Minnesota. During a brief stay in Chicago, innocent farmer’s son Lem falls for and weds Kate, a hard-bitten but lonely waitress. Upon bringing her home at the start of harvest time, the honeymoon soon turns into a claustrophobic struggle as they contend with the bitter scorn of his father and the invasive, leering jealousy of the farm’s labouring community. Tenderly romantic and tough-minded in equal measure, City Girl is one of cinema’s great pastorals, featuring some of the most delicate performances Murnau ever filmed and influencing directors such as Terrence Malick and Jean Vigo.

Taken from the MoC website HERE

Theatrical Release: February 16th, 1930

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Comparison:

20th Century Fox (Murnau/Borzage Boxset) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC Masters of Cinema (Spine # 8) - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:28:33 1:28:31.096
Video 1.18:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.96 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 24,358,747,004 bytes

Feature Size: 23,759,695,872 bytes

Average Bitrate: 29.96 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

DVD

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0) DTS-HD Master Audio English 2070 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2070 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1755 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1755 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles (English intertitles), French, Spanish, None (English intertitles), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Feature film
• New score composed and conducted by Christopher Caliendo

• Four Devils Traces of a Lost Film (40:54)
• Four Devils Treatment
• 4 Devils Screen play
• Still gallery

DVD Release Date: December 9th, 2008

Part of Murnau / Borzage package HERE
Chapters: 16

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka - Masters of Cinema

Disc Size: 42,176,418,605 bytes

Feature Size: 37,974,011,904 bytes

Average Bitrate: 29.94 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Restored 1080p high-definition 20th Century Fox restoration of the silent version
• A new score, composed and arranged in 2008 by Christopher Caliendo
• Full-length audio commentary by film scholar David Kalat
• 40-page illustrated booklet with new writing and reprints

Blu-ray Release Date: February 22nd, 2010
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 16

 

Comments:

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

ADDED: Masters of Cinema - Region FREE Blu-ray - February 2010:

We covered a fair amount of the technical statistics of 2008's Murnau Borzage at Fox release HERE. There are some dubious DVD-R's of City Girl out (ex. Grapevine Video mastered from a 16mm reduction print HERE) so it's not hard to surmise that this Fox restoration - that both editions are based - is the definitive in existence. The Fox DVD has the opening credits picture-boxed and the Blu-ray is obviously matted to 1.78. They are both framed correctly in-and-around the 1.18:1 aspect ratio. Minor speckles, dirt and light scratches are duplicated on both transfers.  But with the higher resolution of the Blu-ray (about 5X the bitrate) - these marks may be marginally more prominent - as is the superior contrast, detail and grain structure. This 1080P disc looks magnificent in every respect - even the amazing menus! There are even some overwhelming instances of depth and for a film celebrating it's 80th year this month - it is nothing short of an astounding visual presentation. Bravo!

NOTE: This is the first Blu-ray only release that we have seen! Masters of Cinema aren't offering a DVD of the title.

The Blu-ray sports a new lossless DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a healthy 2070 kbps for Christopher Caliendo's excellent score recorded in 2008 (also used on both release) - also a 2.0 channel track is available. It sounds even more resonant than one might anticipate equally the improvement of the video. This is really beautiful music in its own right - sounding that much more crisp and tight with some notable bass and high-end response in the lossless HD track. 'Wow' indeed. The intertitles are English but the Fox Murnau/Borzage DVD package have generously included optional subtitles for French or Spanish. My Momitsu has identified The Masters of Cinema disc as being region FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

The supplements on the Fox disc are somewhat erroneous at this stage as the disc is only available in the Murnau Borzage Boxset along with the 12 other films and their extras. For the sake of accuracy it does have the 40-minute Four Devils Traces of a Lost Film, Four Devils Treatment, Screen play and stills gallery. The Masters of Cinema Blu-ray have added a full-length audio commentary by film scholar David Kalat (incidentally voted as the commentarist of the year for 2009 in our annual poll HERE). Cinephiles, journalists, students and novices alike will revel in his expertise and the information put forth in the optional commentary recorded in October 2009. Kalat details an in-depth look at the then-troubled relationship between Murnau and Fox as well as personal observations of the film itself. It strikes me as the definitive supplement to the film - adding a satisfying second course to those hungry for more after the film presentation.    

While we can't detract from the magnificence of the Murnau Borzage Boxset this breathtaking Blu-ray seems an equally impressive achievement - one that no serious film fan should deny themselves.  It has our highest recommendation. 

Gary W. Tooze

 



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20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT


 

 

 


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Subtitle Sample

 

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Masters of Cinema - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC Masters of Cinema (Spine # 8) - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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