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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Broadway Danny Rose [Blu-ray]

 

(Woody Allen, 1984)

 

Also available in Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Six Films - 1979-1985 [Blu-ray] which contains Manhattan, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Stardust Memories, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, Zelig, and Broadway Danny Rose

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Orion Pictures Corporation

Video: Twilight Time / Arrow Video (UK)

 

Disc:

Region: FREE / Region 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player) Limited to 3,000 Copies!

Runtime: 1:24:40.116 / 1:24:41.951

Disc Size: 25,895,834,413 bytes / 26,748,107,047 bytes

Feature Size: 24,936,388,608 bytes / 26,293,112,064 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps / 37.18 Mbps

Chapters: 12 / 10

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Transparent case

Release date: April, 2014 / January 9th, 2017

 

Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1101 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1101 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1055 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1055 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

 

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles (both):

English (SDH), None

 

Extras:

Theatrical Trailer (1:08)

Isolated Score and Effects track

Liner notes by Julie Kirgo

 

Theatrical Trailer (1:08)

 

Bitrate:

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Description: Broadway Danny Rose (1984), starring, written, and directed by Woody Allen, gives us a variation on his patented schlub character: this time, the eponymous good-hearted talent agent who represents not just the worst but the most pathetic acts in show business. Among these is Lou Canova (Nick Apollo Forte), a corny lounge singer saddled with a drinking problem and a temperamental mistress, Tina Vitale (Mia Farrow, in a terrific comic performance). When Lou asks Danny to be his beard with Tina, the wimpy agent suddenly finds himself dealing with the Mob—and with the feisty Tina, herself. Beautifully rendered in black-and-white by cinematographer Gordon Willis.

***

A small but perfectly-formed comedy-drama about Broadway legend Danny Rose (Woody Allen) not a star but perhaps the most hapless agent ever to work in the profession, whose no-hope clients include piano-playing parrots, blind jugglers, one-legged tap dancers and stuttering ventriloquists.

Things change dramatically when an unexpected lounge-music craze threatens to make cheesy crooner Lou Canova (Nick Apollo Forte) both famous and successful, a situation that natural loser Danny is helplessly ill-equipped to deal with. He proves similarly hapless when Lou turns out to have a mistress (an unrecognisable Mia Farrow) whose mobster ex-boyfriend is none too impressed with the company that she s currently keeping and decides to advertise this fact at the worst possible moment.

Both laugh-out-loud funny and warmly nostalgic, Broadway Danny Rose is Allen's heartfelt tribute to the days of New York vaudeville that he himself experienced first-hand when starting out as a comedian two decades earlier underscored by the fact that the Greek chorus of Broadway veterans chuckling over Danny's various mishaps and misfortunes are the real thing.

 

 

The Film:

A smaller, amusing comedy from writer/director Woody Allen, Broadway Danny Rose begins with a bunch of show business vets sitting around a table at New York's Carnegie Deli and reminiscing about the legendary titular character, a loser of an agent who would represent anyone, including blind xylophonists, piano-playing birds, and has-been crooners with drinking problems. Allen plays Rose as a befuddled, warm-hearted schlub who finally has a shot at getting somewhere when he signs washed-up lounge singer Lou Canova (Nick Apollo Forte) and nearly brings his career back to life. Danny gets him a date at the Waldorf, where Milton Berle is in the audience, looking for guests for his TV special. Canova has a complicated love life, juggling both a wife and a girlfriend. so he enlists Danny to take the girlfriend, Tina Vitale (Mia Farrow), to the concert. But Canova and Tina have a fight, she goes back to her Mafioso boyfriend, and Danny winds up getting chased halfway around New York and New Jersey by the Mob. And of course, once Canova gets his big break, he dumps Danny for another agent. Allen, Forte, and especially Farrow all do strong work with characters that could have easily become stereotypes, and the film has a lighter, warmer touch than the Allen films that preceded it (Stardust Memories and Zelig.)

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Admittedly slighter than its immediate predecessor Zelig, this is still a delightful comedy that sees Allen as a no-hope theatrical agent (his clients include balloon twisters, wine-glass players and bird trainers, who all leave him when the Big Time beckons) who acts as beard for an adulterous, unmusical crooner on his books, and gets involved with a brassy Mafia widow (Farrow, unrecognisable). The jokes are firmly embedded in plot and characterisation, and the film, shot by Gordon Willis in harsh black-and-white, looks terrific; but what makes it work so well is the unsentimental warmth pervading every frame.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

 

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

Twilight Time Blu-ray package of Broadway Danny Rose is very strong with a max'ed out bitrate on a dual-layered disc. Contrast is brilliant looking beautifully layered. No damage or speckles are visible. Detail is at a high level - notable in the close-ups. There is some visible, fine, texture and no noise. The Blu-ray is extremely impressive and gave me a wonderful 1080P presentation.

No difference at all in the image quality of the Arrow that my software or eyes can detect. It probably can't look much better in this format.

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

 

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is authentically mono via a DTS-HD Master track at 1101 kbps. Dialogue is consistent and we can note a bit of depth in the music. We get Nick Apollo Forte's performance numbers plus The Band Played On + Begin the Beguine by Gloria Parker and her water glasses with Woody's usual Cole Porter-esque backup. There is the isolated score - also in lossless and optional English subtitles (see sample above.) My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.

 

Arrow's linear PCM (also 24-bit) is a bit more technically robust but I wouldn't say any differences are strong enough to make issue with. The UK transfer may have a crisper higher-end - notable in the music - but that is it. Arrow also offers optional English (SDH) subtitles and their Blu-ray disc is region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

Only a theatrical trailer, and, of course, as on most Twilight Time releases - you can access the isolated film score and effects track separately. The package contains interesting liner notes by Julie Kirgo.

 

The Arrow only has a trailer but their Woody Allen: Six Films - 1979-1985 Blu-ray package offers Manhattan (not available individually), on Blu-ray, and a hardback book featuring new and archive writing on all the films.

 

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Broadway Danny Rose is excellent 'Woody Allen'. He has made so many above-average films and this is, yet, another. The black and white cinematography works well and it's a tremendously entertaining feature. The, essentially, bare-bones Blu-ray still offers a lot. Once again, be forewarned this is limited to 3,000 copies and may be fetching higher prices given enough time. My suggestion is to buy (almost 'invest') and revisit this gem at your leisure. Absolutely recommended!

 

Arrow's Woody Allen: Six Films - 1979-1985 Blu-ray package certainly seems the more reasonably way to go with this with Manhattan, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Stardust Memories, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, Zelig, and Broadway Danny Rose - which is one of Allen's own favorites and his comedic genius sparkles brightly here. Kind of a must-own for his fans - very strongly recommended!  

Gary Tooze

April 22nd, 2014

November 19th, 2016

 

Also available in Arrow Academy's Woody Allen: Six Films - 1979-1985 [Blu-ray] which contains Manhattan, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Stardust Memories, A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, Zelig, and Broadway Danny Rose


 

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.

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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
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Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

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Gary W. Tooze

 

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