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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Eddy Duchin Story [Blu-ray]

 

(George Sidney, 1956)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Twilight Time

 

Disc:

Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player) Limited Edition of 3,000 Units

Runtime: 2:02:58.412 

Disc Size: 39,844,935,450 bytes

Feature Size: 38,199,379,968 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.55:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2071 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2071 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -1dB)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2041 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2041 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -1dB)

 

Subtitles:

English, None

 

Extras:

2 Theatrical Trailers (3:16) (1:31)

Isolated Music and Effects Score

8-page liner notes with essay by Julie Kirgo

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Directed by veteran George Sidney and shot by the great Harry Stradling, Sr., The Eddy Duchin Story (1956) stars Tyrone Power as the charismatic pianist who came out of nowhere to become one of the 1930s’ top bandleaders and Kim Novak as the society dame who helps, loves, and marries him. Stratospheric success is laced with tragedy in this real-life story brought to the screen in superb Hollywood studio style topped by stunning location footage of a magically romantic Manhattan.

 

 

The Film:

Tyrone Power stars in this tear-jerking biography of the beloved but short-lived pianist and bandleader Eddy Duchin. Boston-born Eddy Duchin (Tyrone Power) moves to New York City to pursue a career as a pharmacist. However, Eddy is also a skilled piano player, and when he meets pretty socialite Marjorie Oelrichs (Kim Novak) who hears him play, she encourages him not to short-change his musical abilities. Marjorie helps get Eddy a job playing at the Central Park Casino; his playing goes over well with the crowd, and Eddy goes over well with Marjorie. Able to support himself full-time with his music, Eddy asks Marjorie for her hand in marriage; she accepts, and soon Marjorie is expecting a child. Tragically, she dies while giving birth to their son Peter; Eddy, shattered by the experience, finds himself unconsciously blaming Peter for Marjorie's passing, and leaves the boy behind with his family and their nanny, Chiquita (Victoria Shaw), while Eddy and his manager Lou Sherwood (James Whitmore) head out for the first of many lengthy world tours. Years later, while serving in the Navy during World War II, Eddy realizes the error of his ways, and begins a long and difficult reconciliation with Peter (Rex Thompson), while falling in love with Chiquita. Eddy and Chiquita marry and budding pianist Peter joins Eddy on stage for an emotional duet; however, Eddy's new contentment with life is cut short when he contracts leukemia. Pianist Carmen Cavallaro dubbed in Duchin's piano parts for non-musician Tyrone Power.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Tyrone Power and Kim Novak star in this biopic and musical melodrama, directed by George Sidney in 1956, about the life and career of the celebrated pianist and bandleader during the 30s and 40s. It's not a movie that gets revived often, but it's certainly one of the best Hollywood weepies of the 50s, comparable to the best of Douglas Sirk in both its imaginative mise en scene and its strong feeling. Carmen Cavallaro dubbed all the keyboard solos, and Victoria Shaw and James Whitmore are the main secondary players.

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum at the Chicago Reader located HERE

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

I have a few reservations on the image quality of Twilight Time's The Eddy Duchin Story Blu-ray. For about the first 20-minutes or so the visuals are very grey and flat - appearing as though the Technicolor is muted or, perhaps, misaligned. It seems to improve as the film runs along and both depth and vibrancy are pushed to a higher level. This is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate and the initial inconsistency is, in all likelihood, more the condition of a available source. Contrast is similarly not at premium levels early on but adds richness throughout the film but I wouldn't say it reached the highest levels we have seen from films of a similar era that have been transferred in 1080P. There is texture and no noise. It is transferred at 2.55:1 and may have a touch of 'Cinemascope mumps' phenomenon. Damage or speckles are not visible. The Blu-ray is only 'decent' and the HD presentation didn't overwhelm me but allowed me to see the film in an acceptable, if aged and not stellar, presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD 2.0 channel track at 2071 kbps sounds clean with a few more impressive moments in pushing the film's modest depth through. The score was composed by George Duning (3:10 to Yuma, Jeanne Eagels, The Shadow on the Window, Tight Spot, etc.) and sounds very pleasing. Of course, there is plenty of other music - as played by Eddy solo or with his orchestra including composures by Richard Rodgers, Frédéric Chopin, Richard Wagner, Franz Liszt etc. Twilight Time offer an, equally robust, isolated score (music and effects) via another impressive lossless track. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.

 

Extras :

Only two theatrical trailers, and, as mentioned above, as on most Twilight Time releases - you can access the isolated film score track. There is also an 8-page liner notes leaflet with an essay by Julie Kirgo.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I had never seen The Eddy Duchin Story - although had heard of it. I liked it as, probably filled with poetic license, it didn't overplay the more sentimental parts and came across as quite real showing the human character flaws and weaknesses. I'd say Novak was the high point and I was immediately drawn to re-watch Vertigo after having seen her in this. The, essentially, bare-bones Blu-ray (nice cover) has a lot of offer with just the 2-hour film. This was touching and educational. I appreciated that I could see it in 1080P despite my reservations on the image quality. Those drawn to these period biographies - and this is above average - and the Ty Power / Kim Novak star-appeal, may wish to indulge.

Gary Tooze

March 4th, 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)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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