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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

All About Eve [Blu-ray]

 

(Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: 20th Century Fox

Video: 20th Century Fox / Criterion - Spine # 1003

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! / 'A'  (as verified by the Momitsu Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:18:16.955 / 2:18:28.091

Disc Size: 47,586,361,902 bytes / Disc 1: 41,781,312,500 bytes

Extras disc: 48,866,068,328 bytes

Feature Size: 40,788,566,016 bytes / 41,515,819,008 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.49 Mbps / 35.34 Mbps

Chapters: 20 / 28

Case: Digibook Blu-ray case / Twin rubber-hub foldout in cardboard case

Release date: February 1st, 2011 / November 26th, 2019

 

Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 matted to 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3207 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3207 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio German 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Italian 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Japanese 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Russian 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps

Dolby Digital Audio Thai 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Isolated score track:

DTS Audio English 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit

 

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Ukrainian, none

 

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• Audio Commentary by Celeste Holm, Ken Geist - Author/Film Biographer; Christopher Mankiewicz (Director's Son)
• Audio Commentary by Sam Staggs - Author/Film Historian
• Isolated Audio Track - Musical Score in DTS
• "MovieTone News: 1951 Academy Awards Honor Best Film (2:30
480i)

• Achievements, 1951 Hollywood Attends Gala Premiere of "All About Eve (1:57 480i)," Holiday Magazine Awards (2:50 480i), Look Magazine Awards" (1:55 480i)
• Behind the Scenes -
• "AMC Backstory: ALL ABOUT EVE" (24:20
480i)
• Vintage Bette Davis promotion (1:20
480i)

• Vintage Anne Baxter promotion (1:27 480i)

• Theatrical trailer (3:08 480i)  
Documentaries -
• "Joseph L. Mankiewicz: A Personal Journey" (25:59 480i)
• "The Real Eve" (18:11
480i)
Featurettes -
• "Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz" (26:01
480i)
• "The Secret of Sarah Siddons" (7:05
480i)

26 -page Digibook with essays and photos

 

• Two audio commentaries from 2010, one featuring actor Celeste Holm, director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s son Christopher Mankiewicz, and author Kenneth L. Geist; the other featuring author Sam Staggs
All About Mankiewicz, a feature-length documentary from 1983 about the director (1:48:32)
• Episodes of The Dick Cavett Show from 1969 and 1980 featuring actors Bette Davis (28:42) and Gary Merrill (19:56)
• New interview with costume historian Larry McQueen (17:56)
• Hollywood Backstories: “All About Eve,” a 2001 documentary featuring interviews with Davis and others about the making of the film (24:14) (26:02)
• Documentaries from 2010 about Mankiewicz’s life and career; “The Wisdom of Eve,” (26:02) the 1946 short story on which the film is based, and its real-world inspiration; and a real-life Sarah Siddons Society based on the film’s fictional organization (7:02) Joseph L. Mankiewicz - A Personal Journey (25:59) The Real Eve (18:11)
• Radio adaptation of the film from 1951 (59:55)
• Promotion for the film featuring Davis (1:15)
Plus: An essay by critic Terrence Rafferty and “The Wisdom of Eve”

 

Bitrate:

1) 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP
2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Description: From the moment she glimpses her idol on Broadway, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) strives to upstage Margo Channing (Bette Davis). After cunningly stealing Margo’s role, Eve disrupts the lives of anyone close to the actress in this timeless cinematic masterpiece that earned a record 14 Oscar® Nominations*, winning six — including Best Picture!

***

Jealousy, manipulation, and betrayal unfold in this tour de force drama of an ambitious wannabe who sets her sights... on stealing the spotlight from legendary stage actress Margo Channing. Insecurities and designer gowns abound as Margo desperately tries to hold onto her friends and career.

***

Taking the reins of power from the great actress Margo Channing (Bette Davis), the cunning Eve (Anne Baxter) manoeuvres her way into Margo’s Broadway role, becomes a sensation and even causes turmoil in the lives of Margo’s director boyfriend, her playwright and his wife. Only the cynical drama critic (George Sanders) sees through Eve, admiring her audacity and perfect pattern of deceit. Marilyn Monroe co-stars in this acclaimed classic, which won six Academy Awards and received the most nominations (14) in film history.

 

 

The Film:

The good old legitimate theatre, the temple of Thespis and Art, which has dished out a lot of high derision of Hollywood in its time, had better be able to take it as well as dish it out, because the worm has finally turned with a venom and Hollywood is dishing it back. In "All About Eve," a withering satire—witty, mature and worldly-wise — which Twentieth Century-Fox and Joseph Mankiewicz delivered to the Roxy yesterday, the movies are letting Broadway have it with claws out and no holds barred. If Thespis doesn't want to take a beating, he'd better yell for George Kaufman and Moss Hart.

As a matter of fact, Mr. Kaufman and Mr. Hart might even find themselves outclassed by the dazzling and devastating mockery that is brilliantly packed into this film. For obviously Mr. Mankiewicz, who wrote and directed it, had been sharpening his wits and his talents a long, long time for just this go. Obviously, he had been observing the theatre and its charming folks for years with something less than an idolater's rosy illusions and zeal. And now, with the excellent assistance of Bette Davis and a truly sterling cast, he is wading into the theatre's middle with all claws slashing and settling a lot of scores.

Excerpt from Bosley Crowther at the NY Times located HERE

 

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

All About Eve looks fabulous on Blu-ray from Fox. It jumps heads-and-tails above the artifact -ridden DVDs - which were actually standard fare for the SD format. I wouldn't say detail is the biggest beneficiary (although every visual facet improves) but it is a big beneficiary! It is probably as sharp as it will get in this, or any, digital medium. It does look significantly crisper but contrast and film-like thickness and grain really give this 1080P transfer a very impressive edge. This is dual-layered with the two-plus-hour film taking up over 40 Gig of space. Contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels and I suggest that the image quality is essentially perfect - in fact, I don't think the screen captures do it justice. In-motion this is very film-like and feels like you are stepping into the past seeing it theatrically - some 60-years ago. This Blu-ray gets top mark for the video rendering. I was expecting it to improve beyond the DVDs - but not this much. I think many fans will swoon.

 

The Criterion is on two Blu-rays. The first housing the feature and two commentaries. The second Blu-ray has supplements. The transfer is advertised as being from a "4K digital restoration", but I don't know that the Fox wasn't also from an, unadvertised, 4K-restoration. Bottom line is that the new image has only very minor superiority - and that is notable in-motion (only by the most discerning systems.) The Criterion is also on a dual-layered disc but has a max'ed out bitrate and the image attributes; contrast, texture etc. are equally as rich and film-like. Still a beautiful 1080P presentation.

 

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

 

1) 20th Century Fox (US) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray
MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) 20th Century Fox (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) 20th Century Fox (US) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND
3) 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray
THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) 20th Century Fox (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) 20th Century Fox (US) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND
3) 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray
THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) 20th Century Fox (Germany) - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) 20th Century Fox (US) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND
3) 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray
THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio sports a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 at 3207 kbps. Certainly not a mix that would result in any deft separations but Alfred Newman's score (also available to hear as an 'isolated track' option) has some real depth that was never present on the DVD versions. Obviously the film is dialogue-centric but, predictably the HD track has everything crisp and clear - really flawless. Along with plenty of foreign language DUB options we also get a stack of subtitle choices in a white font (see sample below). My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide and suspect this will be the exact same disc as sold throughout the world (perhaps not with the same Digi-book packaging though).

 

Purists will appreciate that Criterion use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) - as opposed to Fox's surround bump. The score by Alfred Newman (Yellow Sky, The Diary of Anne Frank, Bus Stop, Blood and Sand, The Bravados, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Panic in the Streets, The Song of Bernadette etc. etc.) sounds authentically flat and excellent in this uncompressed rendering. Criterion add optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region 'A'-locked Blu-ray.

 

 

Extras :

Extras duplicate the supplements available in the Two-Disc Special Edition (also available as part of The Bette Davis Centenary Celebration Collection reviewed HERE). This includes the 2 good commentaries, about 1 1/2 hour's worth of featurettes (two on Mankiewicz and an AMC Backstory) plus "The Real Eve", "The Secret of Sarah Siddons" pieces and MovieTone News etc. What we appear lose is the 'Restoration Comparison' but we gain are two short promotions for Davis and Baxter and the nicely appointed 26 -page Digibook with essays and photos case. Stacked indeed.

 

Criterion also offer the same two commentaries from 2010, featuring actor Celeste Holm, director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s son Christopher Mankiewicz, and author Kenneth L. Geist; the other featuring author Sam Staggs. Criterion also repeat the documentaries "Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz", "Joseph L. Mankiewicz: A Personal Journey", "The Real Eve", "The Secret of Sarah Siddons" and “The Wisdom of Eve”. It also has the short promotion for the film featuring Davis and the 2001 Hollywood Backstories: “All About Eve,” documentary featuring interviews with Davis and others about the making of the film. New is "All About Mankiewicz", where the director discusses his career in a feature-length interview (1 3/4 hour) with Michel Ciment recorded at his New England home and the 1983 Berlin Film Festival. Criterion include two episodes of The Dick Cavett Show from 1969 and 1980 featuring actors Bette Davis (28:42) and Gary Merrill (19:56) and a new (18-minute) interview with costume historian Larry McQueen and lastly an hour long Radio adaptation of the film from 1951. The Criterion 'physical' package (discussed below) has a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic Terrence Rafferty and “The Wisdom of Eve”.

 

20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I'm so happy to report that Fox has done a miraculous job on this package. It is so satisfying to have this masterpiece on Blu-ray. I had my best ever viewing of this film - that I've seen at last 1/2 a dozen times - in this HD transfer. Wow - it was such a stirring experience. I don't know what more extras they could have added and overall I rate this as, possibly, my favorite Blu-ray of the early year. Bette Davis has come to Blu-ray! Fans can buy with extreme confidence!

 

Another amazing film given the Criterion treatment. Big pluses include the uncompressed mono audio, the addition of new extras and, of course, the impressive 4K-restored image. I do have one complaint - this is in a fold-out package that contains those rubber disc-holder hubs... they are frustrating. I worry if I am going to break the Blu-ray disc by wrestling to remove it and it always results in my fingers touching the playing surface (example the extra BD wouldn't play - until I removed and cleaned it). So, a small black-mark for the physical packaging - but love the cover and this is a keeper for the endlessly re-watchable film and the girth of supplements.  

Gary Tooze

January 21st, 2011

November 21st, 2019

 

 

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.

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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