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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Home of the Brave [Blu-ray]

 

(Mark Robson, 1949)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Stanley Kramer Productions

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:26:29.184

Disc Size: 20,366,013,507 bytes

Feature Size: 20,276,385,792 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.92 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 13th, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 849 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 849 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Arthur Laurents' play Home of the Brave concerned a paralyzed Jewish war veteran who begins to walk again only when he confronts his fear of forever being an "outsider." The film version of the Laurents play changes the protagonist into an African-American, played by James Edwards. The soldier's comrades include his lifelong white friend Lloyd Bridges, whose death leaves Edwards racked with guilt; redneck-bigot corporal Steve Brodie; and troubled sergeant Frank Lovejoy. In the film's crucial scene, the doctor Jeff Corey forces Edwards to overcome his paralysis by yelling a racial slur; from this point on, Edwards will never again kowtow to prejudice. As corny and condescending as it may sound, Home of the Brave is one of the few films produced during the late-1940s "tolerance" cycle that plays as well today as it did when first released.

 

 

The Film:

This is one of the earliest features produced by Stanley Kramer (1949), an updated adaptation by Carl Foreman of an Arthur Laurents play about the traumatic effects of prejudice on an American soldier during World War I. In the play the character who undergoes psychiatric treatment after being taunted by his fellow soldiers is a Jew; the film makes him a black man (James Edwards) during World War II. Though the drama has its moments of power, the treatment of its subject now seems cautious and dated. 

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum at the Chicago Reader located HERE

Modern audiences will view Home of the Brave as dated and a bit simplistic, but that doesn't stop it from being a powerful and important film. Its importance lies in it being one of a number of films of its era that attempted to address serious social issues in American society -- in this case, bigotry. Although the Arthur Laurents play that is its source concentrated on anti-Semitism, the film version of Brave focuses on racial discrimination. It can be argued whether this switch helped or hurt the material, but the end result still gets across the same message about the need to get along with people, no matter how different they may be from you. And yes, Brave drives this point home a bit too hard; but as unrealistic as, say, the ending may be, it still makes quite an impact on the viewer. Besides, preachy or not, the screenplay has delicious dialogue and the kind of scenes that actors kill to get the chance to act. Brave is fortunate to have an exemplary cast, starting with James Edwards, whose leading performance is the glue that holds the picture together. Lloyd Bridges is quietly moving, Steve Brodie perfectly repulsive (as required) and Jeff Corey handles the doctor-as-God part with aplomb.

Excerpt from All Movie Guide- located HERE

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

The superb war drama Home of the Brave has arrived on Blu-ray from Olive Films. Typically, for the BD producer, it is single-layered but has a good video bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. It has not had restoration and light scratches and speckles can be seen throughout - but most are frame specific (a few vertical scratches extend a couple of seconds). The black levels look very good and the heavy contrast adds a nice thickness to the presentation appearance. Detail is decent and there is minor depth. The grain textures are rich and appealing. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and aside from the light marks - the 1080P looks very strong and film-like.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Olive transfer the film's audio via a DTS-HD mono track at 849 kbps. There is no depth or range to speak of but it seems a faithful transfer without flaws. The 'audio' highlight would be the resounding score of the iconic Dimitri Tiomkin (Angel Face, Strangers on a  Train, The Men, Dial M For Murder, The Thing From Another World etc. etc.) that plays well in uncompressed. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with the majority of their BD releases.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I would probably agree with Jonathan Rosenbaum in that the film is dated but I also enjoyed this, sensitive piece of cinema, quite a lot. It seamlessly incorporates social bigotry as well as the stresses and demands of soldiers during wartime. The Olive Blu-ray provides a strong presentation and I was thankful to actually see this early Stanley Kramer-produced effort via 1080P in my home theater. Recommended! 

Gary Tooze

April 30th, 2014

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)

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Gary W. Tooze

 

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