|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Nothing Sacred [Blu-ray]
(William A. Wellman, 1937)
Review by Gary Tooze / Colin Zavitz
Theatrical: Selznick International Pictures
Video: Kino 2011 Selznick Collection vs. Kino 2018 Special Restored Edition
Region: FREE!/ 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:14:04.375/ 1:13:57.808
Disc Size: 22,323,947,132 bytes/ 22,442,526,153 bytes
Feature Size: 20,607,812,224 bytes / 19,940,579,328 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.88 Mbps / 32.31 Mbps
Chapters: 10 / 8
Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Standard Blu-ray Case
Release date: December 20th, 2011/ November 13th, 2018
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1557 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1557 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
None / English, none
• Trailers for Nothing Sacred, A Star is Born, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman
• Audio Commentary by William Wellman, Jr.
• Theatrical Trailer
Description: As potent today as it was when released in 1937, this classic screwball satire stars Carole Lombard as Hazel Flagg, the small-town girl who mistakenly believes she's dying of radium poisoning. Sensing a great human interest story that will tug the public's heartstrings and help sell newspapers, exploitative journalist Wally Cook (Fredric March) brings Hazel to New York City and turns her into a media darling. Wally's callous strategy takes a sudden turn when he starts having feelings for the vulnerable Hazel. Filmed in early three-strip Technicolor and scripted by Ben Hecht and James H. Street, this sharp comedy still sizzles with its cynical take on media profiteering, and the matching of Lombard and March is unforgettably entertaining. First time ever on Blu-ray!
Brand New HD Master from a 2K Scan of the Restored Fine Grain Master! He's an unscrupulous newspaperman eager to exploit the story of a young woman's death by radium poisoning. She knows she's not really dying but can't pass up a free trip to New York with all the trimmings. Carole Lombard (Made for Each Other) and Fredric March (Inherit the Wind) co-star in this classic black comedy by the great William Wellman (Beau Geste). Legendary screenwriter Ben Hecht's sharply satirical screenplay, depicting the morbid nature of the scandal-hungry public, is more relevant than ever with such wonderfully comic lines as "Doctor, I want to know the worst... we go to press in fifteen minutes!" Wellman keeps the comic pace frantic in one of the screen's cleverest screwball comedies. With a supporting cast featuring some of Hollywood's funniest character actors, including Margaret Hamilton (Driftwood), Charles Winninger (A Lady Takes a Chance) and Walter Connolly (It Happened One Night), Nothing Sacred is nothing less than hysterical.
Irresistible performance from Lombard as the small town girl, supposedly dying of radium poisoning but well aware that she isn't, who determines to grab all she can get when a newspaper brings her to New York for a last fling as a publicity stunt. Ben Hecht's sparkling script occasionally loses its way between the satire and the screwball romance, but is even more caustic about newspapermen than The Front Page ('The hand of God reaching down into the mire couldn't elevate one of 'em to the depths of degradation'), and provides a welcome antidote to Capracorn in its view of small towns as hellholes to be got out of where an intruder is likely to be stoned or bitten by small boys. Some marvellous digs at the morbid sentimentality of the crowd, too, in particular a scene where a wrestling match is held up for ten seconds in tribute to the doomed girl while the bell solemnly tolls ten times. Quite attractively shot in colour, although prints tend to be suffused by an unpleasant pinkish wash.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE
A marvelous black comedy full of wit and journalistic wisdom in the grand and capricious style of Hecht (he and Charles MacArthur co-wrote THE FRONT PAGE), this film is all the more stunning thanks to the outrageous and hilarious performance of super comedienne Lombard. This was one of the first of the screwball comedies, a classic of the genre which is just as funny today as when it was first filmed.Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
William Wellman's Nothing Sacred is transferred to a single-layered, bare-bones, Blu-ray from Kino. The colors look so lifeless and funky with wild swings in skin tones but I don't point fingers at the 1080P transfer. It would surprise me if this is how this very early color film appeared in its day. It was great to see it via Blu-ray and the grain is impressive. You kind of relax about the skintone shifts once you get into the film. I appreciated the rich textures and there was very little in the way of noise. More due to the production or existing state of the source but there is some inconsistency in the visuals which can move from surprising clarity and color balance to cloudy haziness with less-tight color image quality. There are some frame-specific scratches but none that were too distracting. Actually, I wasn't expecting Nothing Sacred to look as good as it does.
Kino's new Blu-ray of "Nothing Sacred" is quite a change from the previous release. This is a brand new HD master from a 2k scan of the restored fine grain master. While the file size and bitrate are only slightly increased here, the colors and framing are quite different. The framing is clearly due to this being sourced from a different master. This transfer is not without its issues though, with instances of debris and scratches, not to mention the limitations of Technicolor film of this era giving the film a certain softness in texture and color.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Kino (2018 - Special Restored Edition) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
The linear PCM mono track at 2304 kbps (24-bit)sounds about as good as we can expect. The dialogue is clear enough and imperfections are less noticeable. There are no subtitles offered and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Kino present the film with a 16-bit 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track. The audio is rather flat, but dialogue is still audible. The score is thanks to composer and pianist, Oscar Levant. There are optional English subtitles on this Region-A Blu-ray.
There are no relevant supplements. The disc has trailers for Nothing Sacred, A Star is Born, plus Pandora and the Flying Dutchman. I'd have loved to hear some discussion on the film or possibly even a commentary - but no such luck.
There is a brand new commentary by William Wellman Jr., the son of the late director. The film's trailer, as well as others, is also included on this new Blu-ray from Kino.
Kino (2011 - Selznick Collection) - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Kino (2018 - Special Restored Edition) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Well, the new 'Special Restored Edition' is quite an upgrade - in image and extras. The film is a total gem and with the commentary and more vibrant, tighter, image - it's a no-brainer to indulge for fans of vintage cinema.
December 12th, 2011
November 13th, 2018
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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