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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

7th Heaven [Blu-ray]

 

(Frank Borzage, 1927)

 

Lucky Star Blu-ray Street Angel Blu-ray Borzage DVD Boxset with all 3 films

     

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Fox Film Corporation

Video: Carlotta Film

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:58:54.919

Disc Size: 44,521,244,431 bytes

Feature Size: 29,630,017,536 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Chapters: 24

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: November 3rd, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.21:1 matted to 1.78

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 768 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

French, none

 

Extras:

Au Septiéme Ciel with Hervé Dumont (19:22 - French - no subtitles)

Frank Borzage April 11th, 1958 audio interview (27:44 - English with French subtitles)

• Screen Director's Playhouse "Day is Done" (25:27 - English with French subtitles)

• Photo gallery (40 images)

• Credits

28-page booklet with photos and text (French only)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Academy Award-winning drama SEVENTH HEAVEN follows the fate of a beaten-down Paris street urchin who meets and finds redemption in the arms of a bold working man, while war rages all around. A romantic classic of the silent film era.

 

 

The Film: ...This is an exceptionally well-acted place of work and Janet Gaynor's performance as Diane is true and natural throughout. This young woman was discovered by Winfield R. Sheehan, general production manager for the Fox Film Corporation. Never once does she falter in her difficult task of reflecting the emotions of the character she portrays. There is no effort to make her unduly beautiful with a halo over her head. She is winsome from the moment one beholds her countenance. She can cry and smile simultaneously and she impresses one by her depiction of faith when every day at 11 o'clock she "meets" her Chico, who is in the trenches. Sometimes Miss Gaynor reminds one of Lillian Gish and in other moods she resembles Lois Moran. Yet in her acting there is nothing imitative, but always an earnest and successful effort to impersonate the French girl who is rescued from hardship and cruelty by that "very remarkable fellow," Chico....

Posters


Mr. Borsage, who produced some passages of this production in the French capital, reveals no little imagination in his work and sometimes when it is least expected. He has a happy way of setting forth a touch of comedy at the psychological moment. Take the moment when Papa Boule's dear Eloise explodes. All that is left of the taxicab is the old-fashioned horn, and Papa Boule, brushing away a tear, declares that Eloise died for France. You will always remember the bit where a poilu, a sewer companion of Chico's, steals a chicken, and the officers in lieu of observing a roast fowl when the dish cover is raised observe to their chagrin nothing but a block of wood.

Excerpt of review from Mordaunt Hall located HERE

 


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

I'm afraid this is one of the cases where the screen caps don't do enough justice to the Blu-ray image. Carlotta Films have taken the best print (same scratches as BFI and Fox DVD sources), and transferred it to a dual-layered Blu-ray disc with the feature taking up almost 30 Gig. As the DVDs looked flat and video-like the 1080P image looks far more dynamic with textured grain and superior, better defined, contrast. It benefits quite extensively in-motion.  Obviously, this is not at the level of the Masters of Cinema City Girl - which has set the bar impossibly high for silent-film HD transfers. As we have seen in the past Blu-ray resolution brings out damage (which exists reasonably heavily in 7th Heaven) to a more prominent level. In fact, everything visually is more prominent. This looked very good on my system - with the help of the lossless score it felt like a much more film-like presentation. If you want this masterpiece looking its best - this Blu-ray is the optimum transfer to date.

 

 

NOTE: Brian reviewed the DVD BFI package HERE.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

Intertitle Sample

 

1) BFI (Frank Borzage Volume One) - Region 2 - PAL  - TOP

2) Carlotta - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Fox (Murnau, Borzage, and Fox) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) BFI (Frank Borzage Volume One) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Carlotta - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Fox (Murnau, Borzage, and Fox) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) BFI (Frank Borzage Volume One) - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Carlotta - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) BFI (Frank Borzage Volume One) - Region 2 - PAL  - TOP

2) Carlotta - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI (Frank Borzage Volume One) - Region 2 - PAL  - TOP

2)Carlotta - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

I believe this is the William P. Perry score and it is transferred with a linear PCM mono track at 768 kbps. It's clean and crisper than on DVD. There is a perception of depth. There are French subtitles for the intertitles - removable my pressing the subtitle button on your remote although there is no menu option. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

Although a French Blu-ray production - there are only two things specifically English unfriendly. Au Septiéme Ciel has author Hervé Dumont discussing the film for 20-minutes in French with no subtitle options. There is also a French-only text 28-page booklet with photos. Accessible to English-locked audiences are an April 11th,1958 audio only Frank Borzage interview for almost 1/2 hour. I found this very interesting. We also get a 25-minute Screen Director's Playhouse "Day is Done" directed by Borzage - this is also in English. There is an impressive photo gallery of film stills (40 images) and some disc credits.

 

NOTE: It has been reported that some North American systems have difficulty in playing the video supplements.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
So, I'm alone, late at night and I turn the lights right down - I get the room as pitch black as possible. Watching 7th Heaven on Blu-ray... was magical. It is as close as I can get to drifting back over 80-years and viewing a Borzage masterpiece theatrically. Those with more discerning systems will notice the improvement and textured brilliance the most. I'm so very happy to own this - it really gave me a special time in my home theater. To fans of silent era films or Frank Borzage it seems like the experience holds a high level of importance and is certainly recommended. Wow. 

Gary Tooze

October 27th, 2010

 

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About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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