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Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner
USA
19
65

 

Synopsis
Director, Franklin J. Schaffner undoubtedly creates one of his finest films in his second collaboration with the legendary Charlton Heston ('Ben Hur', 'Planet Of The Apes'). The War Lord is a gripping historical adventure of epic proportion in it's ferocious battle scenes and storytelling
.

***

One of the finest historical adventure films ever made, The War Lord dramatises with uncommon intelligence and integrity the brutality, difficulties and injustices of the Middle Ages. Charlton Heston (Ben Hur, Touch of Evil, The Ten Commandments) stars as Chrysagon, an honoured knight who takes over a castle tower in the swampland of Normandy to strengthen his duke's authority. But his struggles to maintain power in the face of Pagan villagers, barbarian attackers and his brother's jealous counsel are shaken by his growing weariness with bloodshed in a cruel world. Never before released for home viewing in the UK, this collaboration between OSCAR-winning director Franklin J. Schaffner and the legendary Charlton Heston, three years before their iconic reunion on Planet of the Apes, is a gripping saga of ferocious battles, heartfelt emotion and powerful storytelling. 'One of [Schaffner's] best films, along with Planet of the Apes and Patton.' - Time Out Film Guide 'A fascinating, literate and rather disturbing excursion into the past. Four Stars.' - Radio Times 'Heston delivers a hard-hitting performance.' - Variety
 

Theatrical Release: November 17th, 1965

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Comparison:

Eureka - Region 2 - PAL vs. Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

Distribution Eureka Video - Region 2 - PAL

Eureka

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:56:04 (4% PAL speedup) 2:01:15.309
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.68 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 38,691,481,911 bytes

Feature: 37,765,738,176 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Uncompressed PCM 2.0)  LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Optional music & effects track

• Original theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date:
June 21st, 2010
Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 1
4

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.35:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,592,538,213 bytes

Feature: 32,910,336,000 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:
• 
Isolated music & effects track

• Trailer (3:02)

Lner notes

Blu-ray Release Date: April 14th, 2014
Transparent Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 14

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - April 2014: Wow - does The War Lord ever look amazing in 1080P! All the epic film glory, brilliant colors and appealing textures are dynamically more prevalent on the Eureka Blu-ray with max'ed out bitrate. It adds significant depth over the SD. It is brighter, warmer, more realistic skin tones. The image is reasonably consistent with pristine contrast levels. It really does look impressive.

Linear PCM for the audio and the effects - fireballs, battles and sword wielding skirmishes export some depth - as does the score by Jerome Moross + Hans J. Salter - which is offered via an optional isolated track. There are optional English subtitles on the region "B'-locked Blu-ray disc. Only a trailer and some liner notes as extras.

This remains a great film. Definitely benefitting from the Blu-ray transfer. You will appreciate this presentation - and the film holds up very well on repeat viewings. Strongly recommended!

***

ON THE DVD: Firstly, there was a region 1 release of this film from 'Good Times Entertainment' HERE but it has gone out-of-print fetching big bucks via 3rd party sellers and auctions (we've heard it was an ineffectual transfer ported from the old laserdisc). It's easy to see The War Lord's appeal - being one of competent director Schaffner's best films buoyed by Russell Metty's cinematography and a rousing score by Jerome Moross + Hans J. Salter. This seems extensively researched and abiding to the many Druid based themes - an excellent film!

Image quality has some issues early on but it seems to steadily improve as the film rolls. The initial weakness looks like the source rather than the transfer. It starts out hazy, with clumpy noise but evolves to being quite reputable for the majority of the film producing a decent-to-strong presentation. It is anamorphic on a dual-layered disc. The feature (about 7 Gig worth) shares the DVD space with only a trailer and a secondary audio score (separated music and effects track). There are a few scattered speckles but otherwise a clean presentation with a high bitrate for the SD medium. The imperfections in the opening 30 minutes are outweighed by the building film's excellence.

 

The 2.0 channel audio is in uncompressed PCM and is without significant flaw although it appears to be not always as consistent (akin to the video portion). Again this may be directly linked to the source. There are optional English subtitles (see sample below) and you may isolate the music and effects track offered as a secondary audio option.  There is only a 3-minute trailer accompanying the Region 2 - PAL disc.

Eureka appear to have battled some source hurdles to get this available again on DVD. The A/V is imperfect but strong enough to support a solid viewing of this very above-average film. I know many fans will be highly appreciative of their efforts - as am I. This is a wonderful classic - ripe for purchase and worthy of any digital library. Absolutely recommended!   

Gary W. Tooze

 


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Screen Captures

 

1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Eureka - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Box Covers

Distribution Eureka Video - Region 2 - PAL

Eureka

Region 'B' - Blu-ray




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