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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
All About Eve [Blu-ray]
(Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: 20th Century Fox
Video: 20th Century Fox / Criterion - Spine # 1003
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
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 matted to 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
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)
Dolby Digital Audio Thai 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
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
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps
1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
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
• Audio Commentary by Celeste Holm, Ken Geist - Author/Film
Biographer; Christopher Mankiewicz (Director's Son)
• Achievements, 1951 Hollywood Attends Gala Premiere of "All About
480i)," Holiday Magazine Awards (2:50
480i), Look Magazine
• Vintage Anne Baxter promotion (1:27 480i)
• Theatrical trailer (3:08
• 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
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 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.
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
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 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
Another amazing film given the Criterion treatment. Big pluses include the uncompressed mono audio, the addition of new extrasand, 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.
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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