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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

From Here To Eternity [Blu-ray]

 

(Fred Zinnemann, 1953)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Sony

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:58:05.078

Disc Size: 31,405,759,846 bytes

Feature Size: 30,235,858,944 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.16 Mbps

Chapters: 33

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: October 1st, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2091 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2091 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
DTS Express English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English , Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Arabic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, none

For the Commentary: English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by Tim Zinnemann and Alvin Sargent

• Eternal History (Graphic-in-picture) track

The Making of From Here to Eternity (2:23)

• Fred Zinnemann "As I See It" (9:33)

5 Lobby card postcards

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In this landmark film, passion and tragedy collide on a military base as a fateful day in December 1941 draws near. Private Prewitt (Montgomery Clift) is a soldier and former boxer being manipulated by his superior and peers. His friend Maggio (Frank Sinatra) tries to help him but has his own troubles. Sergeant Warden (Burt Lancaster) and Karen Holmes (Deborah Kerr) tread on dangerous ground as lovers in an illicit affair. Each of their lives will be changed when their stories culminate in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Winner of eight Oscars(r), including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting awards for Sinatra in a career-defining role and for Donna Reed as a not-so-wholesome club hostess.

 

 

The Film:

The scene is Schofield Army Barracks in Honolulu, in the languid days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, where James Jones' acclaimed war novel From Here to Eternity brought the aspirations and frustrations of several people sharply into focus. Sergeant Milt Warden (Burt Lancaster) enters into an affair with Karen (Deborah Kerr), the wife of his commanding officer. Private Robert E. Lee "Prew" Prewitt (Montgomery Clift) is a loner who lives by his own code of ethics and communicates better with his bugle than he does with words. Prew's best friend is wisecracking Maggio (Frank Sinatra, in an Oscar-winning performance that revived his flagging career), who has been targeted for persecution by sadistic stockade sergeant Fatso Judson (Ernest Borgnine). Rounding out the principals is Alma Lorene (Donna Reed), a "hostess" at the euphemistically named whorehouse The New Congress Club. All these melodramatic joys and sufferings are swept away by the Japanese attack on the morning of December 7. No words could do justice to the film's most famous scene: the nocturnal romantic rendezvous on the beach, with Burt Lancaster's and Deborah Kerr's bodies intertwining as the waves crash over them. If you're able to take your eyes off the principals for a moment or two, keep an eye out for George Reeves; his supporting role was shaved down when, during previews, audiences yelled "There's Superman!" and began to laugh. From Here to Eternity won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and supporting awards to Sinatra and Reed.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

It’s odd that programmers would choose Fred Zinneman’s lip-smacking ensemble melodrama from 1953 as the centrepiece of a BFI retrospective of the work of actress Deborah Kerr – it’s a stretch to call her one of the film’s key players. Yes, she gets to canoodle in the Hawaiian surf with Burt Lancaster, but the film mostly focuses on the band of dysfunctional tyros at a nearby army base whose carefree, pre-Pearl Harbor lives are on the road to ruin long before the bombs drop. ‘From Here to Eternity’ remains a garish but compelling ode to the lonely lot of the pacifist, and Montgomery Clift is outstanding as the blighted boxing-champ-cum-bugle-player who is constantly goaded by friends (Frank Sinatra), enemies (Ernest Borgnine) and lovers (Donna Reed) to unleash his ferocious alter-ego. The film is anonymously directed, functionally paced and hysterical at times, though it seduces as a hot-blooded spectacle that stitches emotional detail onto the epic canvas of history.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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

From Here to Eternity looks pretty sweet on Blu-ray from Sony. The image quality shows some grain and layered contrast adds to detail - notable throughout. What I appreciated was how the 1080P visuals held some film-like thickness and they were darker than I would have anticipated. I see no digital manipulation and there is no noise now artefacts. It is dual-layered with a supportive bitrate for the 2 hour film. This Blu-ray has a consistent appearance with only the stock footage, near the end, standing out as 'odd'. I couldn't find a flaw and fans will be impressed with the textures in the original 1.33:1 frame.  This Blu-ray probably looks like the film From Here To Eternity and it advances handily beyond the last SD editions.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

We get the option of a surround bump (DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2091 kbps or you can opt for the 2.0 channel in simple Dolby track. There are a plethora of foreign-language DUBs. I wasn't overly impressed by the surround - it has some, less tight, separations (some crashing waves!) and the deep roar of guns, explosion, or boxing bell were loud and clear. What I was impressed with was George Duning's (Picnic, 3:10 to Yuma) excellent score sounding epic and encompassing! Dialogue was clear and even plus there are multiple subtitle options (for the commentary too!) on the region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Interesting for those keen is an optional 'Eternal History (Graphic-in-picture) track' with input akin to a commentary with factoid windows or discussion of various scenes or performers. It's not bad - embellishing on the old commentary that still remains with the director's son Tim Zinnemann and Alvin Sargent (who had a bit-part as 'Nair' in the film).

 

 

Everything else is duplicated from previous SD releases including the brief The Making of From Here to Eternity and 9.5 minutes of excerpts from Fred Zinnemann "As I See It" touching on the director's methods and style. The package contains 5 'Lobby card' postcards.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Masterfully told by a gifted cinematic storyteller - stellar cast and iconic Hollywood performances - and now in the glory of 1080P - not much more you could ask for. From Here To Eternity represents filmmaking from a special era - 'they don't make up like this anymore' would be very appropriate. I thoroughly enjoyed the Sony Blu-ray presentation. I think it does its job well - and we, certainly, recommend! 

Gary Tooze

September 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.

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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