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Flame of Barbary Coast [Blu-ray]
(Joseph Kane, 1945)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Republic Pictures
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 20,231,303,266 bytes
Feature Size: 20,158,304,256 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.00 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 18th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 925 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 925 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Description: John Wayne plays Duke Fergus, a good-hearted rancher from Montana who comes to San Francisco to collect a debt owed to him by Tito (Joseph Schildkraut), slick owner of a casino. He falls in love with Flaxen (Ann Dvorak), the beautiful saloon singer engaged to Tito. Duke loses his hard-earned bankroll at Tito's casino forcing him to leave town. But not for long! The next time he comes to town, his luck radically changes. In fact, he's so lucky that he almost cleans out Tito's casino. With his winnings, Duke builds a casino across the street from Tito, hiring Flaxen as his opening night headliner. All goes well until the great San Francisco earthquake forces Duke, Flaxen and all the residents of the city to regroup and rebuild. William Frawley (I Love Lucy) and Virginia Grey (Strangers in the Night) also star in this exciting drama featuring "the Duke" at his larger than life finest. Directed by Joseph Kane (The Lawless Nineties). Nominated for two Academy Awards.
In this western, a Montana cattle rancher travels to San Francisco's notorious Barbary Coast and ends up falling in love with a dance hall girl who helps him win big at the gaming tables. Unfortunately, a card sharp takes it all from the innocent rube. The dance hall girl is also involved with the sharper. This western chronicles the way in which the rancher gets his revenge and wins back the love of the woman. The great earthquake of 1906 provides the story's climax.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Wayne is a Montana cattleman who falls in love with Dvorak on San Francisco's Barbary Coast. She helps him win a large sum of money at the gambling tables, but he then loses it to a card cheat, Schildkraut. The Duke goes back to Montana and learns cards from an ace gambler. Returning to Frisco, he cleans up and opens his own gambling saloon. Dvorak is hired as the entertainment. The 1906 earthquake destroys Wayne's place, and, when Dvorak recovers from her injuries, they leave for Montana. A lame script that a cast of healthy actors could not put on its feet, although Schildkraut makes a fine effort.Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Flame of the Barbary Coast has a modest Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. It's one where I might say the screen captures look superior to the image in-motion. There are plenty of speckles/light vertical scratches that are mostly frame-specific. This is single-layered with a decent bitrate and contrast looks strong - but the inconsistencies are more the condition of the source than the transfer. I wouldn't say that it was poor but just heavier in the form of lighter damage than what we are usually used to from Olive's vintage films in 1080P. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and the weaknesses had no overly detrimental effect on my viewing. Nice to see the grain textures and there were a couple of instances of depth.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD mono track at 925 kbps has no depth or range to speak of but it seems a faithfully flat transfer without flaws. Dialogue was audible and clean. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with almost all of their releases.
June 19th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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