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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Der Schatz im Silbersee aka The Treasure of Silver Lake [Blu-ray]

 

(Harald Reinl, 1962)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Rialto Film Preben Philipsen

Video: Universum Film

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:51:03.990 

Disc Size: 23,706,845,837 bytes

Feature Size: 19,428,587,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.25 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 3rd, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio German 1877 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1877 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS Audio English 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps / 16-bit
DTS Audio German 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

English, German, none

 

Extras:

• Interview with Horst Wendlandt (1:38)

Interview Documentary in German (21:31)

• Trailer option of English, German or English with subtitles (1:53 - SD)

• Restoration featurette (9:08)

• Trailer adverts for collections

• BD-Live

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In order to get the treasure map of Silver Lake, the unscrupulous Colonel Brinkley (Herbert Lom - The Mysterious Island) cold-bloodedly murders the father of young Fred Engel (Götz George). But, it seems, the father only had one-half of the map, the other one belongs to the farmer Patterson. Without further ado Brinkley, and his band of thieves, kidnap his beautiful daughter, Ellen Patterson (Karin Dor - You Only Live Twice). Hot on the case are blood-brothers Old Shatterhand (Lex Barker of Tarzan fame) and his faithful Apache companion Winnetou - in pursuit of olde-west justice. Infringing in the land of Utah Indians, they are attacked and must negotiate. Will they ever thwart the ruthless band of criminals who will stop at nothing to retrieve the treasure of Silver Lake?

 

 

The Film:

By the 1960s the German film industry was on the way to recovery after the damaging effects of the Second World War. After a decade of small scale dramas and neo-realist productions the film companies had the budgets to make films on a grander scale - the obvious source of inspiration for these films were the novels of Karl May - widely read across the German speaking world, they were incredibly popular. While the later European Westerns were often politically charged and gritty, the Karl May Westerns were family targeted adventure films with big scale action scenes reminiscent of the classic American Westerns and classic black and white good/evil characterisation:

Somewhere in the Old West, bandits hold up a stagecoach - on board, Colonel Brinkley (Herbert Lom) has shot dead the passengers and executes the driver. The coach horses run into town and Fred Engel discovers the body of his father is on board; rashly setting out to track down the killer he runs into Old Shatterhand (Lex Barker) who has discovered the site of the attack, and mistakenly attacks him. Shatterhand calms him down and they ride on, with some friends from the town, to follow the trail of the killers.

Excerpt from Mondo-Esoterica.net located HERE

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

The Treasure of Silver Lake has had a restoration and looks highly impressive on Blu-ray. Wow. Colors are ultra-bright and the image is clean and detailed. The location shooting in Croatia (Paklenica National Park) is visually brilliant. Skin tones lean a little warm, some contrast flares and there seems to be some cinemascope mumps (horizontal stretching) but this single-layered image has plenty of positives to recommend.  The background grain is fine and consistent producing a pleasing texture. Black levels are notable and may have had some boosting but it is not readily apparent that manipulation has hurt the integrity of the image quality. It looks substantially better than I was anticipating. This advances handily over the SD medium and produces quite stellar visuals that I will 'demo' to fans of the western genre.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

There is a German-language lossless track in a fake 5.1 bump and an English language stereo track in standard Dolby. The English doesn't come across as a weak DUB - it is acceptably smooth. Martin Böttcher did a lauded score with some nice orchestral music. I didn't notice any disturbing hiss and while the action was relatively flat it exported the appropriate results. There are both English and German subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

There are some supplements - about a half-hour's total worth of interviews (Horst Wendlandt and others), a documentary, and a piece, with split-screens, on restoration but it is all in German with only a trailer offered in English. The disc has an untested BD-Live ability and trailer adverts of similar western-adventure collections.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This is a perfect young-boys western-adventure akin to a 'ripping yarn'. There are plenty of Indians to 'wrastle', evil treasure-seekers, defensive holding of a fort, a kidnapped beauty as well as having the protagonists, a pioneer and an Indian, bonded forever as 'blood-brothers'. Who would ask for anything more? This has opened a whole new window for me of German produced Karl May (novels written mostly in the 1890s) adapted films. This was directed by Harald Reinl who followed up with a few more in the genre and The Treasure of Silver Lake was the first of this group as well as being the initial film to Blu-ray. I am hopeful there are more restorations and impressive 1080P transfers coming soon but I may indulge in the DVD Boxset where this was previously available - The Treasure of Silver Lake (1962), Winnetou and the Half-Breed (1966) and Winnetou and His Friend Old Firehand (1966). I thought this was marvelous. 

Gary Tooze

August 8th, 2011

 


 

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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