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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Long Day's Journey Into Night [Blu-ray]

 

(Sidney Lumet, 1962)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Paramount

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:50:43.233

Disc Size: 24,185,378,636 bytes

Feature Size: 24,110,555,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 17.00 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 30th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 870 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 870 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Based on Eugene O'Neill's autobiographical play, this magnificent screen adaptation was directed by the great Sidney Lumet (Network) and starred Katharine Hepburn, Ralph Richardson, Jason Robards and Dean Stockwell. Set in 1912 New England, the story takes place in the summer home of aging actor James Tyrone (Richardson), an alcoholic miser who has spent a lifetime treading on the spirit of his dope-addicted wife, Mary (Hepburn). Oldest son Jamie (Robards) is a troublemaking alcoholic, envious of the writing talent of his sickly younger brother Edmund (Stockwell) who contracted tuberculosis while traveling overseas. The long day's journey concludes with a hellish night in which the three Tyrone men sit about drunkenly as Mary hallucinates about her younger and happier days. Hepburn emerged from a three-year retirement to essay the backbreaking role of Mary Tyrone, which garnered her a Best Actress Academy Award nomination.

 

 

The Film:

Playwright Eugene O'Neill sold Random House the text of his intensely autobiographical 1941 play on the proviso that... the play not be produced during O'Neill's lifetime. Two years after the playwright's death in 1953, the play was given its first Broadway staging and won a Pulitzer Prize. Set in 1912 New England, the story takes place in the summer home of aging actor James Tyrone (Ralph Richardson) and his family. Tyrone, patterned after Eugene O'Neill's father James O'Neill, has long abandoned any aspirations to be a truly great actor, choosing instead to tour in the same weary stage vehicle year after year. Thanks to an earlier act of stinginess on Tyrone's part, his wife Mary has turned into a rambling morphine addict, with little or no contact with reality. Oldest son Jamie is a troublemaking alcoholic, envious of the writing talent of sickly younger brother Edmund (the Eugene O'Neill counterpart). The long's day journey concludes with a hellish night in which the three Tyrone men sit about drunkenly as Mary Tyrone hallucinates about her younger, happier days. Katharine Hepburn emerged from a three-year retirement to essay the back-breaking role of Mary Tyrone; Ralph Richardson exhumed all the "ham" of his student-actor days to portray the pathetic James Tyrone; Jason Robards Jr., a man seemingly put on this earth to interpret O'Neill, repeats his Broadway role as Jamey; and Dean Stockwell adds one more superb characterization to his gallery of portrayals as the tubercular Edmund.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

A straightforward transposition which captures much of the claustrophobic cannibalism of Eugene O'Neill's autobiographical play about a family tearing itself to pieces in a chain of quarrels, with love and hatred describing vicious circles around the self-centred parsimony of the actor father, the nervy drug-addiction of the mother, the incipient alcoholism of the elder son, and the tubercular condition of the younger one. Described by him as 'a play of old sorrow, written in tears and blood', it imposes itself by sheer weight of emotion. Terrific performance from Robards as the drunk, good ones from Hepburn (despite miscasting), Richardson (his mannerisms for once in character) and Stockwell (though a bit lightweight to represent O'Neill the future writer).

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

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

A Long Day's Journey Into Night has a lower bitrate via the Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films - because the film is almost 3 hours fitting on a single-layered disc. But contrast is still highly impressive. I am surprised at how strong this looks. The black levels are solid and there are plenty of scenes of depth. Detail is excellent and consistent. The Blu-ray supplies a entirely pleasing image. Very high marks.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Andre Previn's piano theme is haunting and crisp via the DTS-HD mono track at 870 kbps. There is no depth but the high-end sounds quite wonderful. The film is dialogue-driven and has no discernable flaws.  There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with their releases.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
This is a very long film but a great one. For those with the patience and willing to invest the time - Long Day's Journey Into Night is extremely rewarding. I found the performances imperfect but all suitable but the flow seems to be the star of the film. Excellent and a very strong recommendation. The Olive Blu-ray does a solid job and we encourage a purchase. What a film for the new format - Bravo! 

Gary Tooze

October 24th, 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.

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

 

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