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Les Misérables [Blu-ray]
(Jean-Paul Le Chanois, 1958)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Société Nouvelle Pathé Cinéma
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 41,637,590,174 bytes
Feature Size: 41,520,672,768 bytes
Video Bitrate: 26.98 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 19th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 844 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 844 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
• English, None
Description: Fully restored in HD - An epic in the tradition of Doctor Zhivago and Ryan's Daughter - Sill considered as greatest film adaptation of Victor Hugo's masterpiece, Les Miserables. Jean Valjean (Jean Gabin) is paroled after serving 19 year term in a hard labor prison for stealing some bread. After spending a night in a missionary, he tries to steal some silverware, but he is set straight by a kindly bishop (Fernand Ledoux) who protects his from the police and gives him a set of expensive candlesticks and makes him promise that he has to become a new man that day. Nine years later, Valjean is now a wealthy industrialist and a mayor. He eventually befriends Fantine (Daniele Delorme), a single mother turned prostitute and risks everything when he comes to her aid, after she's nearly arrested by police officer Javert (Bernard Blier) - Javert previously served as a guard at the prison Valjean was held in and becomes suspicious that the mayor and Valjean are the same person. The all-star cast includes legendary character actors Bourvil and Serge Reggiani. Directed by Jean-Louis Le Chabois.
Victor Hugo's monumental novel Les Misérables has been filmed so often that sometimes it's hard to tell one version from another. One of the best and most faithful adaptations is this 240-minute French production, starring Jean Gabin as the beleagured Jean Valjean. Arrested for a petty crime, Valjean spends years 20 in the brutal French penal system. Even upon his release, his trail is dogged by relentless Inspector Javert (Bernard Blier). Valjean's efforts to create a new life for himself despite the omniprescence of Javert is meticulously detailed in this film, which utilizes several episodes from the Hugo original that had hitherto never been dramatized. Originally released as a single film, Les Misérables was usually offered as a two-parter outside of France.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
A glossy CinemaScope classic, a film for all the family which does Victor Hugo proud. Back in 1957, directors didn't count for much, and it relies on clumsily edited, sluggish shots of an all-star cast, headed by a superb Gabin as the ex-convict turned do-gooding businessman struggling to atone for his past. In 1958, Truffaut made his first film. Les Misérables is, in other words, one of the last of the dinosaurs. For dinosaur, read splendidly moralistic melodrama, guaranteed to kill those Sunday afternoon blues. Bet it makes you cry.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Les Misérables has a solid dual-layered Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. Colors are rich and contrast supports some impressive detail. There are hardly any speckles and this looks very pleasing. There is some minor texture but I'd say the colors and detail are the high points. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and I found no detrimental flaws to hinder my viewing. The whole 3 hours had very good visuals.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Georges Van Parys' score supports the varied scenes very well via the DTS-HD Master mono track at a lowly 844 kbps. No depth but everything is consistent and clear -no flaws. It probably sounded quite similar theatrically. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
No supplements - not even a trailer. It would have been nice to have extras discussing the production as I know very little about it, but it was great to see the film anyway.
February 19th, 2013
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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