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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Titanic [Blu-ray]

 

(Jean Negulesco, 1953)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox

Video: Twentieth Century Fox

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:37:45.860

Disc Size: 40,247,789,101 bytes

Feature Size: 25,292,832,768 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.92 Mbps

Chapters: 25

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1036 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1036 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by Critic Richard Schickel

Commentary by Cinematographer Michael D. Lonzo, actors Audrey Dalton, Robert Wagner and Historian Silvia Stodard

• 2 MovieTone News (2:22)

• Titanic Aftermath - Audio Essay by Silvia Stodard (11:24)

Theatrical trailer (2:29)

Clickable Stills Gallery

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The 1912 sinking of the luxury liner Titanic is used as a backdrop for a several fictional subplots, chief of which involves snooty socialite Clifton Webb and his wife Barbara Stanwyck. Stanwyck has booked passage on the ill-fated passenger ship with her daughter (Audrey Dalton) and son (Harper Carter), leaving Webb far behind. Webb manages to board the ship at the last minute, and discovers that Stanwyck plans to divorce him; she further informs him that he is not the father of their son. When the Titanic sideswipes an iceberg and begins its slow descent in the Atlantic, the women and children are put on the lifeboats while the men stay behind to face death (except for cowardly cardsharp Allyn Joslyn, who disguises himself as a woman). The formerly class-conscious Webb acts with conspicuous bravery, seeing to it that several steerage passengers are ushered to safety. He is reunited with his son, who has given up his lifeboat seat to an elderly woman. All misunderstandings swept aside, Webb and his son face their final moments on earth together. In the film's best moment, a miniature recreation of the Titanic is seen sinking beneath the waves as the survivors watch from their lifeboats in numb horror.

 

 

The Film:

An Oscar-winning screenplay by Charles Brackett and Walter Reisch foregrounds domestic drama for most of the ill-fated Atlantic crossing, yet proves that there's nothing like a major disaster to bring the most fractious family back together again. Webb and Stanwyck are the husband and wife not getting on, but both are outflanked by the model work in the final reel. Overall, not quite as sobering as the British take on the same events, 1958's A Night to Remember.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Stanwyck and Webb give the scenes of their dissolving marriage real poignancy, but it's hard to understand her running away from a man who merely spoils their children. Surely, she could have put her foot down in Europe and forced him to require more of them than knowing which fork to use. Granted, their daughter Annette (Dalton) is a bit stuck up and fashion conscious, but that's fairly normal for an 17-year-old girl. She, of course, finds love in the arms of the all-American athlete played by the gorgeous Robert Wagner, who breaks down her haughty reserve to find the lovely girl underneath. At least the film tries to convince you of that. The impending doom of their romance adds a bit of pathos to the picture, but I still found it hard to care all that much.

Excerpt from Crazy4Cinema located HERE

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

Titanic looks quite strong on Blu-ray from Fox.  Contrast, a function of detail, is at the high end. There is nice layering here and some depth surfaces sporadically.  There is some texture but it can look a shade clunky in the backgrounds. This is dual-layered with a strong bitrate. Black levels are pitch. Effects are weak-ish but nothing is overly transparent in the 1080P.  The transfer hold the film up well - certainly superior to SD. No prevalent noise or other flaws. This Blu-ray gave me a good presentation - I enjoyed watching this in the glory of HD.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio remains faithful with a DTS-HD Master mono track at 1036 kbps. Sol Kaplan's fine score supports the film (he had previously done soundtracks for Niagara (Monroe) and Diplomatic Courier. Obviously this  sound is flat but exports some bass depth. There are many subtitle and some DUB options identifying it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

This Blu-ray has (most of the*) the same supplements as the Studio Classics DVD from 2003 with the 2 commentaries - an excellent one by critic Richard Schickel and a second with cinematographer Michael D. Lonzo, actors Audrey Dalton + Robert Wagner and Historian Silvia Stodard. The latter also gives an 11-minute audio essay entitled 'Titanic Aftermath'. There are two MovieTone News clips, a theatrical trailer as well as a clickable Stills Gallery.

* NOTE: The DVD had an additional "Beyond Titanic" A&E documentary, lengthy at 94 minutes long. (Thanks James!)

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The 1953 version of Titanic is quite a good film - I could watch Stanwyck in anything, Webb is excellent as well. The 'disaster' seems to fall second-chair to the relationship drama. Which is okay. The Blu-ray is solid and worthwhile for fans of the film - it looks pretty sweet. Nice to see this arrive in 1080P - let's hope for more releases from the 50's Fox! 

Gary Tooze

January 22nd, 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.

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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