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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Quiet Man [Blu-ray]

 

(John Ford, 1952)

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Republic Pictures

Video: Olive Films / Masters of Cinema - Spine # 125 / Olive Signature

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' / Region 'B' / Region 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:09:44.777 / 2:09:25.299 / 2:09:23.422

Disc Size: 24,974,177,892 bytes / 45,841,707,723 bytes / 48,794,357,273 bytes

Feature Size: 23,399,731,200 bytes / 40,162,059,648 bytes / 39,756,779,520 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps / 37.19 Mbps / 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12 / 11 / 24

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Transparent Keep Case / Transparent inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: January 22nd, 2013 / November 30th, 2015 / October 25th, 2016

 

Video (all three):

Aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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

 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2050 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2050 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1631 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1631 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None  / English (SDH), none  / English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

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)
The Making of The Quiet Man documentary (27:48)
52-PAGE BOOKLET 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  

 

Audio commentary with John Ford biographer Joseph McBride
Tribute to Maureen O'Hara with Ally Sheedy, Hayley Mills, and Juliet Mills (9:29)
Don't You Remember It, Seánín?: John Ford s The Quiet Man - a visual essay by historian and John Ford expert Tag Gallagher (17:20)
Free Republic: The Story of Herbert J. Yates and Republic Pictures" (5:22)
The Old Man: Remembering John Ford - an appreciation of the director with Peter Bogdanovich (12:16)
The Making of The Quiet Man Written and hosted by Leonard Maltin (27:49)

8-page leaflet

 

Bitrate:

1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Olive (Signature) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

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).

 

 

The Film:

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.

 

Olive's "Signature" Blu-ray is "Mastered from 4K scan of original camera negative". My software can detect no difference between it and the Masters of Cinema 1080P - both max'ed out bitrates. I can't even see a difference in-motion. It still looks stunning.

 

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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Olive (Signature) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Olive (Signature) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Olive (Signature) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Captures

 

 

Audio :

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.

 

Olive's Signature release goes 24-bit but with a DTS-HD Master Track that is more robust than the MoC. Again though, my ears can't detect much of a difference even playing one scene immediately after the other. The Olive may support the lower-end (depth) a bit better in Victor Young's score, but I can't say that definitively. Olive has included optional English subtitles this time and their disc is coded region 'A'.

 

Extras :

The only digital 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.

 

This is where Olive's Signature release makes bigger strides in advancement in their package. They include a wonderful audio commentary with John Ford biographer Joseph McBride. This is new and excellent - plenty of information on Ford, Wayne, O'Hara, the production and more. There is also a 10-minute Tribute to Maureen O'Hara with Ally Sheedy, Hayley Mills, and Juliet Mills and Tag Gallagher's brilliant visual essay, also found on the Masters of Cinema, Don't You Remember It, Seánín?: John Ford's The Quiet Man. We get another part of the Free Republic: The Story of Herbert J. Yates and Republic Pictures as found on Olive's Signature Blu-ray of Johnny Guitar. There is a 12-minute appreciation of Ford by Peter Bogdanovich entitled The Old Man: Remembering John Ford and the same 27-minute, 1992, The Making of The Quiet Man written and hosted by Leonard Maltin found on the initial Olive Blu-ray release. There is an 8-page leaflet in the transparent Blu-ray case, with photos etc.

 

Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

Olive (Signature) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Extras

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Quiet Man is a true masterpiece by one of the great cinema storytellers of all time. Ford proclaimed it his most personal film and also one of his favorites. The Blu-ray (with its odd cover) ranks as an essential for all digital libraries. There really isn't much like it - and nothing made today can compare to it. We give this a whole-hearted recommendation.

 

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!

 

Olive produce a slightly superior edition with the, equivalent or superior, a/v and more extras. It's another beautiful package from Olive's Signature label. Region 'A'-locked fans finally get their patience rewarded! Our highest recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

January 8th, 2013

November 26th, 2015

October 26th, 2016

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.

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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)

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Gary W. Tooze

 

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