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Pork Chop Hill [Blu-ray]
(Lewis Milestone, 1959)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: United Artists
Region: B (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 21,930,014,278 bytes
Feature Size: 21,247,346,688 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: March 7th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1580 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1580 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1597 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1597 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
French,(non-removable on some machines when English dialogue is chosen)
• Introduction by Patrick Brion(6:40 in 576i - French language)
Description: Pork Chop Hill was based on the eyewitness essays of ex-soldier S. L. A. Marshall. The film is set during the Korean... "police action." While diplomats argue pointlessly over the shape of the negotiation tables at Panmunjon, United Nations troops bleed and die. Lieutenant Gregory Peck leads a 135-man unit on the attack of the Chinese-held Pork Chop Hill. When reinforcements finally arrive, only 25 of Peck's men survive (and they aren't the usual survivors we've come to expect from earlier, cliché-ridden war films). Among the American troops are such dependable performers as Harry Guardino, Woody Strode, Rip Torn, Barry Atwater, George Peppard, Robert Blake and Martin Landau. Former cowboy-star Bob Steele also shows up briefly as an American general. According to director Lewis Milestone, Pork Chop Hill was cut by nearly twenty minutes because the wife of star Gregory Peck felt that her husband made his first entrance too late into the picture. True or not, the film does show signs of post-production tampering, with flashes of several excised scenes showing up under the main title credits.
The use of a battlefield loudspeaker as an instrument of war to spray
psychological discouragement over attacking infantrymen is the one novel
feature that has been added to the familiar front-line war film formula
in "Pork Chop Hill," which opened at the Roxy yesterday.
The Korean War saga, Pork Chop Hill (1959), was based on the eyewitness accounts of ex-soldier S. L. A. Marshall. It takes place during the final hours of peace negotiations between Korea and the U.S. and recounts the capture of Pork Chop Hill by American troops, an action ordered only to demonstrate to Communist negotiators that the U.S. would continue to fight if an agreement was not reached. Told with a hard-nosed style of harsh realism and fluid action, the film stars Gregory Peck and a bevy of up-and-coming actors, such as George Peppard, Martin Landau, Rip Torn, Harry Guardino, Harry Dean Stanton, Robert Blake, and Woody Strode. But despite the presence of new talent in front of the cameras, it was the sure-handed direction of veteran Lewis Milestone that determined the impact of Pork Chop Hill.Excerpt from TCM located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Pork Chop Hill looks pretty sweet on Blu-ray from Film Media in France. The aspect ratio is a surprising 1.66 where I believe the original film would have been 1.85:1. Contrast exhibits a grayish/slightly green tinge but I don't know that this darker look is not totally accurate to the original production. It is consistent, clear with impressive detail. This Blu-ray has only a small amount of noise - a spark of grain - and generally looks to service the film in a strong way.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
We are provided with a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel stereo at 1580 kbps. Sounds clear - the battle sequences (explosions, gunfire etc.) have some 'presence'. I can only expect this is a faithful rendition of the original sound. It sounded solid to me without, obviously surround separations. There was a bit of perception of such within the HT space. There is a lossless French DUB and the French subtitles are only removable (when English dialogue is chosen) on some machines - but not all machines. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
The only extra is 7-minute introduction by cinema historian Patrick Brion - only in the French language - no subtitles.
April 26th, 2012
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 5000 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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