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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Street Angel [Blu-ray]


(Frank Borzage, 1928)


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Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Fox Film Corporation

Video: Carlotta Film



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

Runtime: 1:41:28.122

Disc Size: 39,238,375,758 bytes

Feature Size: 25,285,435,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: November 3rd, 2010



Aspect ratio: 1.26:1 matted to 1.78

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



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



French, none



Queté de la Pureté with Hervé Dumont (12:24 - French - no subtitles)

Frank Borzage Les Ailes du Desir (14:31 - French - no subtitles)

• Screen Director's Playhouse "A Ticket For Thaddeus" (25:27 - English with French subtitles)

• Photo gallery (40 images)

• Credits

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





Description: In STREET ANGEL, a poverty-stricken girl steals medicine for her ailing mother, making her a fugitive from the law. While on the lam, she joins a travelling carnival where she meets and falls in love with a portrait painter. But just as romance begins to blossom, her past catches up with her and she is arrested and thrown in jail. Upon her release, she seeks out her painterly beau--who has long since abandoned his craft--and saves him from self-destruction.



The Film: ...A picture of wonderful beauty, entitled "Street Angel," was presented by William Fox at the Globe Theatre last night. This entrancing production was directed by Frank Borsage, who guided the destinies of the pictorial version of "Seventh Heaven." In it the leading roles are finely portrayed by Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell. Never has the camera been used quite so effectively and artistically as it is in this subject, for in the background of the sombre side of Naples there are the compelling shadows, the inspiring old arches, the slender iron railings over the foot-worn steps and, in many of the scenes, there hangs a soft mist through which the characters sometimes fade gradually from view.


The story is told in a peculiarly appealing fashion. It is particularly charming when Gino whistles a few bars from "O Sole Mio" and hears the answer whistled by Angela. When she is led away to the workhouse, Gino is in his room. He whistles and at first Angela cannot make a sound with her nervous lips, but finally she succeeds in spasmodically whistling the air. All these scenes are so marvelously photographed, that even without considering the story or the acting, they are always a source of admiration. It is indeed a picture which possibly more than any other reveals the strides made in motion picture camera work.

Miss Gaynor and Mr. Farrell, who were together in the film conception of "Seventh Heaven," are equally clever in this current offering. Miss Gaynor is especially fine in the sequence in which she is having the tearful hour with Gino, who looks upon her tears of sorrow as tears of joy. Mr. Farrell is a fine specimen of manhoood, and he, too, acts as well as he did as that "very remarkable fellow" in "Seventh Heaven." He is swelled with pride as the artist who has earned an enviable commission and when he is left alone he is doleful, morose, wondering what has become of Angela.

Excerpt of review from Mordaunt Hall located HERE


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

As with 7th Heaven the screen caps don't do enough justice to the Blu-ray image. While the Carlotta 1.26:1 AR corrects the the Fox DVD's unnatural 1.20:1 ratio being somewhere between the two DVD extremes. As a matter of fact, the BFI now looks vertically compressed at times - Brian's review of the Borzage Vol. 1 set is HERE (NOTE: Craig Keller noticed HERE, the aspect ratio of Street Angel was artificially compressed from 1.33:1 to 1.20:1 in the Fox DVD set but I still think the BFI is squished a bit - the BFI looks less natural to me). The BFI also has 4% PAL speedup. I think the dual-layered Blu-ray transfer, with the feature taking up over 25 Gig, is giving an un-manipulated representation from the source (which, incidentally, is the same in all three). The DVDs look flatter and video-like the 1080P image shows textured, appealing, grain. It benefits quite extensively in-motion.  This is a comparable image to 7th Heaven, again, not at the level of the Masters of Cinema City GirlBlu-ray resolution brings out damage as well as material, clothes fibers and other textures to a more prominent level. This looked great on my system - I expect as good as it can for home theater enjoyment.



NOTE: Brian reviewed the DVD BFI package HERE.



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) 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


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 MovieTone score and it is transferred with a linear PCM mono track at 768 kbps. Like 7th Heaven - it's clean and crisper than on DVD. There is a perception of some minor depth. There are French subtitles for the intertitles - removable my pressing the subtitle button on your remote (on both my machines) although there is no menu option to remove them - they are set to default. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.



Extras :

Unfortunately this is missing the excellent Robert Birchard commentary found in the Murnau, Borzage and Fox box set. being French Blu-ray production - 2 of the 3 video supplements are in French only. Queté de la Pureté has author Hervé Dumont discussing the film for a dozen minutes in French with no subtitle options. There is also15-minutes of Frank Borzage Les Ailes du Desir with some great photos and a French-only text 28-page booklet with more photos. Accessible to English-locked audiences is the 25-minute Screen Director's Playhouse "A Ticket For Thaddeus" directed by Borzage - this is also in English. There is an impressive photo gallery (if only the film could look this amazing!) of 40 film stills and some disc credits.


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



Silent era fans surely couldn't ask for much more - screening Street Angel on Blu-ray is like a revelation. Unfortunately I don't have the friends (geographically close) who could appreciate this but I'm desperate to screen it to them - and this is the perfect film to initiate a 'surprise' film night. Those with more discerning systems will notice the improvement and textured brilliance the most. My 60" plasma shows these Carlotta Borzage Blus looking... hypnotic. A must own Blu-ray as far as I am concerned. 

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

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