Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

River of No Return [Blu-ray]

 

(Otto Preminger, 1954)

 

 

Also available in the Forever Marilyn Blu-ray Collections in the North American - that package has The Misfits - Some Like It Hot - There's No Business Like Show Business - River Of No Return - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - How To Marry A Millionaire and The Seven Year Itch. The UK Blu-ray version has Some Like It Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire and The Seven Year Itch.

         

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: 20th Century Fox

Video: Fox Video

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:30:55.908

Disc Size: 31,592,215,874 bytes

Feature Size: 30,316,443,648 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.98 Mbps

Chapters: 32

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 31st, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.55:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3003 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3003 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio German 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Japanese 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS Audio Russian 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 4.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Thai 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, none

 

Extras:

• Trailer

Other Marilyn Trailers

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: This sweeping adventure filled with thrilling suspense and spectacular scenery will take your breath away on Blu-Ray. Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum star as a dance hall singer and widowed farmer who both become victims of a treacherous gambler. Abandoned in the Northwest wilderness, Kay (Monroe), Matt (Mitchum) and Matt's young son face a host of untold dangers, including relentless Indian attacks and a perilous journey down a raging river. Fighting for survival and justice in the rugged terrain, Kay and Matt form an unexpected bond as they both realize there's no turning back.

 

 

The Film:

Director Otto Preminger's only western, River of No Return is set in Canada during the 19th century Gold Rush. Farmer Matt Calder (Robert Mitchum) is released from prison after serving a sentence for shooting a man in the back to protect a friend. He arrives in a small town to retrieve his young son, Mark (Tommy Rettig), who has befriended a sultry saloon singer, Kay (Marilyn Monroe). Matt is also friendly with Kay, and thanks her profusely for looking after Mark, but distrusts her paramour, Harry Weston (Rory Calhoun)- a gambler with the morals of an alley cat. Matt and Mark return to their rural homestead, but soon glimpse Kay and Harry on a sinking raft, apparently en route to make good on a gold claim; Matt rescues the two of them, but doesn't count on Harry doing an about face, beating him up, and stealing his horse and gun; Kay stays behind to look after Matt. Meanwhile, the Indians go on the warpath, and the defenseless trio decides to seek refuge by fleeing the farm and sailing down the river on a raft. En route, the son - thanks to Kay's doing - is unexpectedly disillusioned about the father's original crime. Moreover, as Matt approaches town, he begins to plot a decisive revenge against Harry.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Certainly, Scriptwriter Frank Fenton has done the best he could to arrange for a fairly equal balance of nature and Miss Monroe. He has bluntly confronted Robert Mitchum, as a hardy fellow of the Northwest frontier, with a menacing situation compounded of generous portions of the two. Not only does Mr. Mitchum have to spend several days guiding a flimsy log raft down a raging mountain stream, relentlessly stalked by Indians who make it perilous for him to come ashore, but he also has to ward off temptation in the shape—and we mean shape!—of Miss Monroe. The fact that he makes his destination without fouling on either is the show.

And that should not be too lightly taken. For Director Otto Preminger has thrown all the grandeur and menace of these features upon the eye-filling CinemaScope screen. A sickening succession of rapids, churned into boiling foam, presents a display of nature's violence that cannot help but ping the patron's nerves. The raft tumbling through these rapids is quite a sight to see. And layouts of Rocky Mountain landscapes are handsome in color, too.

Excerpt from Bosley Crowther at the NY Times located HERE

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

River of No Return appears on Blu-ray from Fox in its original 2.55:1 Cinemascope aspect ratio. It is transferred to a dual-layered disc with a high bitrate and while I see some grain - characters can also look waxy and flat at times (although not as waxy as on the cover!).  Colors are strong but tend to lean to a blue and grey bias. But, even with more digitization than I am comfortable with - I enjoyed the presentation. The image is frequently dark in nighttime and interiors but at least 1/2 the film is shot outdoors in the daylight. Contrast seems acceptable but there is not a lot of sharpness exported here. This Blu-ray has a issues but I didn't let it stop me from the pleasant aspects of the Preminger film.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio: As well as the option for the original 4.0 channel track - presented here in standard Dolby - we get a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at a healthy 3003 kbps. It separates the rushing water of the rapids and other external sounds although not as crisp as a more modern film might. The mix isn't bad though with a few subtleties thrown-in and occasional depth in the Cyril J. Mockridge and Leigh Harline western/romantic-based score. Marilyn's crooning ("River of No Return", "I'm Gonna File My Claim", "One Silver Dollar" and "Down in the Meadow") sounds a shade over-produced which may actually be authentic. Overall the track seems to support the film well and there are plenty of foreign language DUBs and subtitles signifying the disc is region FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

No supplements save a trailer for the film and some other 'Forever Marilyn' trailers.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I've always liked River of No Return - heavy on the western/adventure and any romance or cloying child-care are relegated to the back-burner. Maybe there is one too many Marilyn music numbers. Both Monroe and Mitchum are fabulous in their characterizations. It's a good old-fashioned tale and makes for an entertaining viewing. While the Blu-ray isn't pristine I enjoyed the action and performances. Monroe fans with modest expectation of a/v should be the ones who most benefit from indulging.  

Gary Tooze

July 23rd, 2012

 

 

Also available in the Forever Marilyn Blu-ray Collections in the North American - that package has The Misfits - Some Like It Hot - There's No Business Like Show Business - River Of No Return - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - How To Marry A Millionaire and The Seven Year Itch. The UK Blu-ray version has Some Like It Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire and The Seven Year Itch.

         


 

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.

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

 

       HIGH DEFINITION DVD STORE     ALL OUR NEW FORMAT DVD REVIEWS

 

 




 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!