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The Quiet Man [Blu-ray]
(John Ford, 1952)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Republic Pictures
Video:Olive Films / Masters of Cinema - Spine # 125
Region: 'A'/ Region 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 2:09:44.777 / 2:09:25.299
Disc Size: 24,974,177,892 bytes / 45,841,707,723 bytes
Feature Size: 23,399,731,200 bytes / 40,162,059,648 bytes
Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps / 37.19 Mbps
Chapters: 12 / 11
Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Transparent Keep Case
Release date: January 22nd, 2013/ November 30th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 871 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 871 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
• None / English (SDH), none
•The Making of The Quiet Man (27:48)
36 page liner notes booklet
New and exclusive video essay on the film by Ford expert and
scholar Tag Gallagher (17:20)
Description: John Ford's The Quiet Man celebrates one of Hollywood's most romantic and enduring epics. The first American feature to be filmed in Ireland's picturesque countryside. Ford richly imbued this masterpiece with his love of Ireland and its people. Sean Thornton (John Wayne) in an American boxer who swears off fighting after he accidentally kills an opponent in the ring. Returning to the Irish town of his youth, he purchases the home of his birth and finds happiness when he falls in love with the fiery Mary Kate (Maureen O'Hara). But her insistence that Sean conduct his courtship in a proper Irish manner with matchmaker Barry Fitzgerald along for the ride as "chaperone" is but one obstacle to their future happiness: the other is her brother (Victor McLaglen), who spitefully refuses to give his consent to their marriage, or to honor the tradition of paying a dowry to the husband. Sean could care less about dowries, he would've punched out the bullying McLaglen long ago if he hadn't sworn off fighting. But when Mary Kate accuses him of being a coward and walks out on him, Sean is finally ready to take matters into his own hands, the resulting fistfight erupts into the longest brawl ever filmed, followed by one of the most memorable reconciliations in movie history! The Quiet Man won a total of two Academy Awards including Best Director (Ford) and Best Cinematography and received five more nomination including Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (McLaglen).
Ford's flamboyantly Oirish romantic comedy hides a few tough ironies deep in its mistily nostalgic recreation of an exile's dream. But the illusion/reality theme underlying immigrant boxer Wayne's return from America to County Galway - there to become involved in a Taming of the Shrew courtship of flame-haired O'Hara, and a marathon donnybrook with her truculent, dowry-withholding brother McLaglen - is soon swamped within a vibrant community of stage-Irish 'types'. Ford once described it gnomically as 'the sexiest picture ever made'.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE
Returning to the Ireland of his birth, director John Ford fashions a irresistible valentine to the "Auld Sod" in The Quiet Man. Irish-American boxer John Wayne, recovering from the trauma of having accidentally killed a man in the ring, arrives in the Irish village where he was born. Hoping to bury his past and settle down to a life of tranquility, Wayne has purchased the home of his birth from wealthy local widow Mildred Natwick, a transaction that has incurred the wrath of pugnacious squire Victor McLaglen, who coveted the property for himself. By and by, Wayne falls in love with McLaglen's beautiful, high-spirited sister Maureen O'Hara. Her insistence that Wayne conduct his courtship in a proper Irish manner-with puckish matchmaker Barry Fitzgerald along for the ride as "chaperone"--is but one obstacle to their future happiness: the other is McLaglen, who spitefully refuses to give his consent to his sister's marriage, or to honor the tradition of paying a dowry to Wayne. Wayne could care less about dowries, but the tradition-bound Maureen refuses to consummate her marriage until McLaglen pays up. Under any other circumstances, Wayne would have punched out the bullying McLaglen long ago, but ever since his tragedy in the ring he has been reluctant to fight. Local priest Ward Bond conspires with several locals to trick McLaglen into paying his due. They intimate that widow Natwick, for whom McLaglen carries a torch, will marry the old brute if he'll give his consent to the marriage and fork over the dowry. But McLaglen finds he's been tricked and the situation remains at a standoff, with the frustrated Wayne locked out of his wife's bedroom. When Maureen accuses him of being a coward and walks out on him, our hero can stand no more.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The original Artisan DVD of The Quiet Man was problematic - soft and never achieving the bold saturations that made the Technicolor process so coveted. This Olive Blu-ray is advertised as "Newly re-mastered in HD from a 4K SCAN of the ORIGINAL NEGATIVE" and it looks quite strong with deep reds, blues and greens. This is only single-layered but has a decent bitrate for the 2 hour film. Contrast is at premium levels and there is even some depth. This is such a huge leap beyond previous digital editions that fans should be very pleased with the impressive results. Such a beautiful film.
Masters of Cinema gives The Quiet Man a dual-layered transfer with a max'ed out bitrate for the 2-hour+ film. It handily advances over the Olive - notably in the richer, deeper colors. The reds, blues and greens gain distinction in replicating the Technicolor process to the medium's best abilities. This advancement is a big factor in the film experience and presentation. Where the Olive looked good - this looks pristine - tighter, better contrast (darker) and is the most faithful in reproducing the film's theatrical appearance.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Subtitle Sample - Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
More Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Captures
Audio comes in the form of a simple DTS-HD Master mono track at 871 kbps. It exports a clean, clear sound without significant depth. Victor Young's (The Sun Shines Bright, Johnny Guitar, China Gate etc.) restrained score is appropriately supported - as are some Irish classics like "Galway Bay" and Maureen O'Hara singing "The Isle of Innisfree". There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Masters of Cinema advance in the audio transfer as well with a tight linear PCM - but in the superior 24-bit, authentically 1.0 channel mono - exporting Young's score beautifully. The depth and high-end are both more pronounced and richer on the UK rendering. This disc includes optional English (SDH) subtitles - sample above - (none on the Olive) and is region 'B'-locked.
The onlydigital supplements is The Making of The Quiet Man. This 1992 documentary about the making of the Wayne/Ford classic, runs 25-minutes with some questionable facts by host and writer Leonard Maltin. There is also a 36-page liner notes booklet in the package.
Masters of Cinema offer the same 28-minute Making of The Quiet Man documentary as found on the Olive Blu-ray but add a excellent new 18-minute video essay on the film by Ford expert and scholar Tag Gallagher - it's wonderful and informative - a fabulous addition. MoC also have one of there usual liner notes booklet's - a 52-page effort featuring new writing by Sheila O'Malley; a 1953 profile of John Wayne; a 1955 profile of John Ford; an essay on cinematographer Winton C. Hoch; the original short story and archival imagery.
Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Masters of Cinema's Blu-ray package wins in every category - video, audio and extras. It's a brilliant presentation of a masterful and beautiful film. It's one of the best of the year and gets our absolute highest recommendation!
January 8th, 2013
November 26th, 2015
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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