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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir [Blu-ray]

 

(Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1947)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox

Video: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:44:24.841

Disc Size: 33,271,367,743 bytes

Feature Size: 32,215,093,248 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.00 Mbps

Chapters: 22

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 3rd, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2916 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2916 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1027 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1027 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
DTS Audio French 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1056 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1056 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

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

 

Extras:

• Commentary by Greg Kimble and Christopher Husted

• Commentary by Jeanine Basinger and Kenneth Geist

Trailer (2:39)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison co-star in one of the most romantic ghost stories of all time. Newly widowed Lucy Muir (Tierney) moves with her daughter (Natalie Wood) into a seaside cottage haunted by the handsome Captain Gregg (Harrison). Lucy eventually captures the captain's heart, but their spirited love affair is challenged by a flesh-and-blood suitor.

 

 

The Film:

Like its TV-sitcom counterpart of the 1960s, the original film version of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was based on the novel by R.A. Dick. Gene Tierney plays turn-of-the-century widow Lucy Muir, who escapes her impossible in-laws by moving into an old house on the English seacoast. Despite the warnings of realtor Combe (Robert Coote) that the house might be haunted, the tenacious young widow calmly establishes residence with her young daughter Anna (Natalie Wood) and housekeeper Martha (Edna Best) in tow. Sure enough, the place is haunted by the spirit of its previous owner-a bombastic, profane, yet somehow attractive sea captain named Daniel Gregg (Rex Harrison). When Lucy steadfastly refuses to be frightened by Captain Gregg, he takes a liking to her, and the two become close friends (in standard ghost-movie tradition, only Lucy can hear or see the Captain). Realizing that Lucy is in dire financial straits, the Captain offers to dictate his colorful memoirs to her, which she promptly parlays into a best-seller and a lasting literary career. Slowly but surely, Gregg falls in love with Lucy.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Apprentice work, comparatively speaking, not scripted by Mankiewicz himself (although he contributed), but still astonishingly characteristic in its airy philosophical speculations about the imagination and its role as a refuge when the salty ghost of a sea captain (Harrison) befriends a beautiful widow (Tierney) and intervenes to save her from the cad she is thinking of marrying. Leaning too heavily towards light comedy, Mankiewicz doesn't get the balance quite right, so that the tale of a romance tenuously bridging two worlds isn't quite as moving as it should be when reality ultimately reasserts its claims. A hugely charming film, nevertheless, beautifully shot (by Charles Lang), superlby acted, and with a haunting score by Bernard Herrmann.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

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

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir looks quite solid on Blu-ray from Fox.  The image quality shows some nice textures and excellent contrast. It is dual-layered with a high bitrate. Detail is consistent and we can see evidence of some rich black levels. Daylight scenes are even more impressive occasionally showcasing some depth. I saw no noise and shadow detail is pleasingly delineated. This Blu-ray offers a solid presentation, who subtle film-like qualities become more apparent the longer you view it. Very nice.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Fox offer another DTS-HD Master 5.1 bump - this one at a healthy 2916 kbps. I preferred the original mono via a DTS-HD Master at a more modest 1027 kbps. There are scant powerhouse effects but some nice subtleties. One of Bernard Herrmann's more passive scores but still exports passion and breath's of vigor. There are two foreign-language DUBs and subtitle options. My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Nothing new. Fox include the strong, and previous, two commentaries - from the 2003 'Studio Classics' DVD - by Greg Kimble and Christopher Husted (manager of composer Bernard Herrmann's estate) and the second with film historian Jeanine Basinger (Professor of Film Studies) and Kenneth Geist (author of Pictures Will Talk : the Life and Films of Joseph L. Mankiewicz). Excellent, and different, information from the two commentaries. There is also a trailer but we lose the Rex Harrison Bio piece from the decade old SD.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Really nice film. It has such a warm and mysterious feel. Harrison is marvelous and Tierney... hypnotic. I think I like this more each time I see it. The Fox Blu-ray will be a must-own for many vintage film fan's lists. Absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

November 25th, 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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