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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Trap [Blu-ray]


(Norman Panama, 1959)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Paramount

Video: Olive Films



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

Runtime: 1:24:15.050

Disc Size: 30,689,675,944 bytes

Widescreen Feature Size: 16,598,194,176 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.00 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 20th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1:33 / 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 931 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 931 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)






• None



Widescreen TOP - 1:33 - BOTTOM



Description: After a ten-year hiatus, lawyer Ralph Anderson (Richard Widmark) returns to his hometown of Tula, California, where his father Lloyd (Carl Benton Reid) and brother Tippy (Earl Holliman) serve as the town's sheriff and deputy. Forced to represent a mob boss, Victor Massonetti (Lee J. Cobb), Ralph asks his father to look the other way while a local airfield is used to enable Massonetti to flee the country. A disgusted Lloyd agrees to help, but Tippy decides to go after the big cash reward. The stellar cast includes Tina Louise (Gilligan's Island) as Tippy's beautiful wife, Linda, who once was the love of Ralph's life and Lorne Greene (Bonanza) as Davis, Massonetti's right hand man. Art direction by the legendary Henry Bumstead (Vertigo), Cinematography by the great Daniel L. Fapp (West Side Story) and beautifully directed by Norman Panama (Knock on Wood).



The Film:

This is a routine, sometimes unintentionally funny drama about a man whose moral backbone straightens up as he sets his sights on capturing a gangster -- his own boss. Richard Widmark is Ralph Anderson, the petty criminal who returns to his hometown with his mob boss Victor Massonetti (Lee J. Cobb). Massonetti is running from the law and waiting for a plane to come and take him away to safety. His henchmen make the mistake of killing Ralph's father (Carl Benton Reid), who just happens to be the sheriff. That act turns Ralph around, and the plot thickens as he plans to capture Massonetti and his men in spite of the hindrance of his alcoholic brother (Earl Holliman) and the amorous attentions of his sister-in-law (Tina Louise).

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

The Trap on Blu-ray from Olive Films offers the choice of 1.33:1 or widescreen formats. 1959 was the era of many ambiguous aspect ratios where certain theatres had converted to the new widescreen format and others had not yet adopted it. Both transfers are from the same source and the image quality is similar with the same speckles. The widescreen is a bastardized 1.78 (from 1.85:1) and seems to just be a matte of the 1.33. Including both formats this is dual-layered. Grain is present but colors can shift and look a bit flunky in a few spots The black levels seem solid and detail is acceptable. The textures are the best 1080P feature here and I chose the widescreen for my initial viewing but may fully revisit the 1.33:1.




1:33 TOP - Widescreen BOTTOM
















Audio :

Typical we get a DTS-HD mono track at 931 kbps for both AR transfers. I don't even recall a score but dialogue is even and clear although overall I would call it 'unremarkable'.  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.



Flawed but rewarding for the performances - The Trap has some great tension and conflict. Widmark and Cobb rule the roost but Tina Louise makes for good eye-candy. Decent of Olive Films to offer the two aspect ratios and the image quality of the Blu-ray seems the best way to enjoy it in your home theater. I was definitely in the mood for this crime-drama with moral overtones and I think many others will appreciate some of The Trap's finer qualities as well. 

Gary Tooze

November 15th, 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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