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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Michael Curtiz
U.S. 1942

Once a movie becomes as adulated as Casablanca, it is difficult to know how to begin to approach it, except by saying that at least 70 per cent of its cult reputation is deserved. This was Bogart's greatest type role, as the battered, laconic owner of a nightclub who meets a girl (Bergman) he left behind in Paris and still loves. The whole thing has an intense wartime nostalgia that tempts one to describe it as the sophisticated American version of Britain's naοve Brief Encounter, but it has dated far less than Lean's film and is altogether a much more accomplished piece of cinema. There are some great supporting performances, and much of the dialogue has become history.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters (CLICK to enlarge)

Theatrical Release: November 26th, 1942 - USA

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Comparison:

Warner (2 disc) - Region FREE Blu-ray vs. Warner (70th Anniversary 3 disc) - Region FREE Blu-ray

 

1) Warner (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - LEFT

2) Warner (70th Ann. 3-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - RIGHT

 

Blu-ray Covers

 

Comes out in a smaller and cheaper 'no package' Blu-ray edition :

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray Warner (70th Anniversary) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

The original Blu-ray transfer eventually became available as a single-disc release in September 2009 (or earlier outside of North America)

                 

               

Runtime 1:42:34.565 1:42:37.192
Video

Disc Size: 24,274,306,884 bytes

Feature Size: 15,497,975,808 bytes

Video Bitrate: 17.91 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray VC-1 encode

Disc Size: 48,047,946,272 bytes

Feature Size: 23,566,694,400 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.91 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Warner Blu-ray

Bitrate:

Warner 760th Anniversary Blu-ray

Audio

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

DTS-HD Master Audio English 894 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 894 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
* Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles English (SDH), English, Spanish, French or none English (SDH), Danish, Finnish, French, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish or none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
1:33:1 original aspect ratio

Disc Size: 24,274,306,884 bytes
Feature Size: 15,497,975,808 bytes
Video Bitrate: 17.91 Mbps
Single-layered
Blu-ray VC-1 encode
 

Edition Details:
• Commentary by critic Roger Ebert
• Commentary by author-historian Rudy Behlmer
• Theatrical trailer(s)
• Introduction by Lauren Bacall
• New digital transfer
• Nearly 10 minutes of newly found deleted scenes and outtakes
• Bacall hosts two documentaries, "You Must Remember This" and "Bacall on Bogart"
• "The Children Remember": parental memories from Stephen Bogart and Ingrid Bergman's daughters Pia Lindstrom and Isabella Rosselini
• The Looney Tunes homage "Carrotblanca"
• Premier episode from the 1955 Casablanca TV series
• Audio-only treasures: "Screen Guild Players Radio Production" with the three stars, plus rare scoring session outtakes
• Production history gallery: Photos, press materials, studio correspondence, memorabilia, and more

Disc 2 (SD)

• 1993 documentary "Jack L. Warner: the Last Mogul" (57 minute)

Additions:
• 48-page, hardbound photo book
• Leatherette passport holder and matching luggage tag;
• 10 reproduction lobby cards
• 4 X archival studio correspondence (replica)
• Mail-in offer for a 27" x 40" movie poster

Blu-ray Release Date: December 2nd, 2008
2- DVD custom case with handsome cardboard box
Chapters: 32

Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
1:33:1 original aspect ratio

Disc Size: 48,047,946,272 bytes
Feature Size: 23,566,694,400 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.91 Mbps
Dual-layered
Blu-ray MPEG-4 Video

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary by critic Roger Ebert
• Commentary by author-historian Rudy Behlmer
• Introduction by Lauren Bacall

 

Two NEW Documentaries:
• Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You Never Heard Of
• Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic

Three Feature-Length Documentaries:
• You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story [2008 Documentary]
• The Brothers Warner [2008 Documentary]
• Jack L. Warner: The Last Mogul [1993 Documentary]

Additional Bonus Content:
• Now Voyager Theatrical Trailer-Warner Night at the Movies
• Newsreel-Warner Night at the Movies
• Vaudeville Days - Warner Night at the Movies
• The Bird Came C.O.D.-Warner Night at the Movies
• The Squawkin' Hawk -Warner Night at the Movies
• The Dover Boys at Pimento University or The Rivals of Roquefort Hall
• Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart

• You Must Remember This: A Tribute to Casablanca
• As Time Goes By: The Children Remember
• Deleted Scenes
• Outtakes
• Who Holds Tomorrow?
• Carrotblanca – Vintage Cartoon
• Scoring Stage Sessions
• 4/26/43 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater Radio Broadcast
• 11/19/47 Vox Pop Radio Broadcast

 

Blu-ray Release Date: March 27th, 2012
3- disc custom case with handsome cardboard box
Chapters: 32

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Warner 3-disc 70th Anniversary Blu-ray - Region FREE (March 2012): Firstly, we re-did the captures for the original Blu-ray as well as the new. Okay - the new 70th Anniversary dual-layered Blu-ray is technically more robust and utilizes an AVC encode rather than the VC-1. It shows a shade more information in the frame and comparatively may be slightly horizontally stretched (or the original is vertically stretched.) This was really only noticeable under the microscope of the screen captures - not at all in normal viewing.

In short this is more like Warner's treatment of The Maltese Falcon in 1080P - a darker, richer, grittier image with more film-like grain. Yes, I do like it better than the paler original release. My only complaint would be that the darker image brings out a bit more noise and I suspect this could have been alleviated with more space allocated for the feature and, hence, a higher bitrate. I concur with my friend Robert Harris at the Home Theater Forum HERE where he says:

"I was generally fond of the 2008 edition, as the film looked quite good on Blu-ray. Not as good as it might, but as good as it could under the conditions that WB was releasing Blu-rays in 2008. Meaning that grain was nicely smoothed. The image had a pleasant homogenized look, which was fit for anything Ultimate.
For the 70th Anniversary, the image looks improved, but to my eye only by the fact that a more normal patina of grain is present.
Do I like it better?
Certainly
."

The audio is now lossless which although faithfully mono and without an abundance of depth - it shouldn't be surprising that such an iconic film has a score that floods the film back into your memory banks.  So any improvement is noticeable and this definitely benefits the film presentation, in my opinion. The Moroccan drum beats and each strike of Sam's piano keys are impressive, indeed. This uncompressed sound gives a solidly viable reason to indulge in this new 70th Anniversary Boxset. There are plenty of optional subtitles and DUBs on the region FREE Blu-ray disc.

The new extras are worthy as well, a second Blu-ray  with the two new documentaries - Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You Never Heard Of and Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic. As well as the accoutrements, additional DVD, and handsome package that will sit proudly on my shelf differentiating itself from the standard Blu-ray Keep cases.

A few months ago a friend, who has rarely shown any interest in films, asked me what the 'greatest film of all time was'. I initially avoided a direct answer with "... it depends..." but he pushed me and I said - "Casablanca".

"Okay" he responded "That is what you said last time".

So if this were any other film I might show some hesitancy in recommending the purchase of this bulky Blu-ray set. But it's not. It's Casablanca. and it is worth every penny - a 'go-to' film at any given moment in time. Drink in the richer film-like image, the lossless audio and the new documentaries. Recommended!

****

"... I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

ADDITION: ORIGINAL Warner Blu-ray - Region FREE (2008): With the HD version in mothballs along with that player of the now defunct format, we have been patiently awaiting this Blu-ray release... which we were sure could only improve upon the previous 1080P edition. But does it? I suspect the VC-1 encode to b the same - the feature is only 15 1/2 Gig - the disc single-layered at 24 Gig and the video bitrate hovers around 15 megabits per second. How does it look? Marvelous - the comparison captures over DVD (see HERE) show two of the most noticeable attributes are the contrast (now the SE looks a shade sepia) and the detail which we expected to be superior. The Blu-ray image is brighter and has depth (look at the upper left corner of the cheque Rick is signing). It is not totally noise-free but still this is another area of dramatic improvement over the SD editions. Finally, also black levels are more pure. This looks as strong as the HD edition.

Audio - Warner's new commitment to original formats gives us only mono (where the HD offered HD as an option.) I can't defend the option of HD audio but I can't see the harm in including for some. Anyway...

Extras from the Special Edition are all housed on the single-layered feature Blu-ray first disc. New is the second disc (a standard definition DVD) with a 57-minute 1993 documentary "Jack L. Warner: the Last Mogul".

Of the many extras available the commentaries are excellent (I, personally, lean towards Behlmer's over Eberts) - the Bacall intro (2:00) is a nice touch, as is Bacall on Bogart feature (1:23:20), and there are enough digital supplements to keep even the most devout fan content. I, personally, love the cartoon inclusion - Corrotblanca (8:00).

I've never been one for the big packages with the accouterments although I love the book I can't see much use for the other additions - surprisingly though the wallet is not of poor quality. Ohhh ... it comes in a bulky box with 48-page, hardbound photo book, Leatherette passport holder and matching luggage tag, 10 reproduction lobby cards, 4 X archival studio correspondence (replica) and a mail-in offer for a 27" x 40" movie poster

This is one of the premium films to own in high-definition but I can't say I'm 100% content with the large package (how does this fit on my Blu-ray shelf Warner?) and dual-layering might have improved the image somewhat (higher bitrate may have given us even less noise and brought up detail a notch.) The 2-disc'ing of this seems a waste as they could have put everything on one dual-layered Blu-ray. Still, there is no way not to recommend this - one of the greatest films of all time looking brilliant for digital home theaters. It's a must own... a perfect Christmas gift - but for those who own a Blu-ray player - they must surely have pre-ordered, no?

 - Gary W. Tooze

 

 


 Blu-ray  Menus

1) Warner (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - LEFT

2) Warner (70th Ann. 3-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - RIGHT

 

 

 

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

  

1) Warner (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Warner (70th Ann. 3-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Warner (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Warner (70th Ann. 3-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Warner (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Warner (70th Ann. 3-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Warner (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Warner (70th Ann. 3-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Warner (70th Ann. 3-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Warner (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Warner (70th Ann. 3-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Warner (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Warner (70th Ann. 3-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Warner (70th Ann. 3-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Warner (70th Ann. 3-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) Warner (70th Ann. 3-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Warner 70th Anniversary  Blu-ray

Sound:

Warner 70th Anniversary  Blu-ray

Extras:

Warner 70th Anniversary  Blu-ray

 

Blu-ray Covers

 

Comes out in a smaller and cheaper 'no package' Blu-ray edition :

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray Warner (70th Anniversary) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

The original Blu-ray transfer eventually became available as a single-disc release in September 2009 (or earlier outside of North America)

                 

               



 

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Gary Tooze