|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(Douglas Hickox , 1975)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Video: Twilight Time / Kino Lorber
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player) Limited to 3,000 Copies!
Runtime: 1:51:18.713/ 1:51:19.756
Disc Size: 35,383,720,129 bytes/ 29,928,367,504 bytes
Feature Size: 33,663,221,760 bytes / 27,718,373,376 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps / 29.64 Mbps
Chapters: 12/ 8
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: July, 2014 / December 12th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1066 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1066 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit / DN -2dB)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1792 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1792
kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1557 kbps
2.0 / 48 kHz / 1557 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
• English, None
•Audio Commentary with Actress Judy Geeson and Film Historian Nick Redman
• Isolated Score Track
• Judy Geeson’s “Behind the Scenes” Home Movie Footage (2:47)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (2:21)
• Liner notes by Julie Kirgo
Audio commentary by Steve Mitchell, producer-director of
King Cohen, and film historian Nathaniel Thompson
Description: John Wayne is the eponymous Chicago cop in Brannigan (1975), sent on a fish-out-of-water journey to England to pick up a bail-jumping thug (John Vernon) for extradition. But to the chagrin of Scotland Yard, handsomely represented by Richard Attenborough, the mobster is abruptly kidnapped from under their noses, and Brannigan has to join forces with a whole different breed of cops—including Judy Geeson as a fetching if no-nonsense Detective-Sergeant—to track him down…all over a gorgeous 1970s-era London. Featuring a jazz-inflected score by Dominic Frontiere, available on this Twilight Time release as an isolated track.
Screen legend John Wayne (Legend of the Lost, Rio Bravo) stars as lieutenant Jim Brannigan, a Chicago policeman sent to the U.K. to escort a crime boss (John Vernon, Dirty Harry) back to the U.S. Wayne fans won't be disappointed with this crowd pleaser that teams him up with Richard Attenborough (The Great Escape, The Sand Pebbles) as British policeman Cmdr. Swann. This exciting thriller highlighted by unbelievably clever dialogue, the most imaginative action sequences ever to be staged against the London landscape and Wayne's magnetic screen presence, Brannigan, like the Duke himself, is unforgettable and unbeatable! Douglas Hickox (Zulu Dawn) directed this action-comedy that co-stars Judy Geeson (Fear in the Night), Mel Ferrer (War and Peace), Ralph Meeker (Big House, U.S.A.), James Booth (Revenge), Brian Glover (An American Werewolf in London) and Lesley-Anne Down (From Beyond the Grave).
This offbeat John Wayne vehicle casts the Duke as Detective Jim Brannigan, an Irish-American detective at large in London. After the requisite culture-clash routines, it's down to business as Brannigan teams with Scotland Yard official Commander Swann (Richard Attenborough) to corral a crook who has absconded to England to avoid extradition. Judy Geeson co-stars as Jennifer Thatcher, a cute lady constable who spends most over her time fending off Brannigan's inbred chauvinism. Brannigan was co-written by Christopher Trumbo, the son of former blacklistee Dalton Trumbo.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
The success of Don Siegel's Dirty Harry (1971) heavily influenced the cop thrillers that came after it. Boosted by the collapse of the old Production Code and the institution of the motion picture rating system in 1968, Siegel's film brought a new complexity and heightened level of violence to the genre, and introduced police characters who were more brutal and less clearly "good" than their predecessors, often acting outside the law to achieve their ends by any means necessary. Continuing this trend and exposing a more hostile side to his personality - one glimpsed only rarely in films such as The Searchers (1956) - John Wayne took to the streets of London in Brannigan (1975) to mete out his own brand of justice. It's significant to note that Wayne reportedly turned down the role of Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry. Later, recognizing how perfect the character would have been for him, Wayne said, "How did I ever let that one slip through my fingers?" Brannigan and the film Wayne made just prior to it, McQ (1974), may have been attempts to catch up to a trend he missed initiating.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
I wouldn't say the Blu-ray image quality of Brannigan is exceptional in any way. It has an inherent softness and is not remarkable in any area. It is not crisp, detailed or sharp. Contrast does not bring out any desirable visual attributes and colors are passive and lifeless. I wouldn't even say it is particularly consistent, but I don't blame Twilight Time's robust transfer (dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate). This is probably how good Brannigan can look in 1080P. The Blu-ray does its job but that certainly doesn't imply it will always be a stellar image.
A small nudge ahead for the Twilight Time - the Kino has warmer skin tones but only very minimal in detail, contrast and the framing are the same.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio is in the form of a DTS-HD Master mono track at 1066 kbps. It is authentically flat but has a bit of punch in the action sequences. The rich score is by Dominic Frontiere (Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold, The Invaders TV series, The Stuntman) and is quite rousing - also offered as an Isolated supplement. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - limited to 3,000 copies.
Twilight Time, again, advance (24-bit over 16-bit) and this does come through in the action sequences and even in the score - greater depth in both. It may advance the viewing experience depending on your system and discerning ears. The Kino has optional English subtitles as well but their Blu-ray is Region 'A'-locked.
As usual you can access the isolated film score track. Twilight Time add an audio commentary by Judy Geeson and Nick Redman with the co-star reminiscing about the production augmenting the talk with some amusing dirt of 'The Duke'. The actress also has 3-minutes of unremarkable 'Home Movie Footage' and there is also a trailer and another MGM 90th Anniversary advert.
Kino add a different commentary from the Twilight Time - it has Nathaniel Thompson and Steve Mitchell who are excellent in relaying and discussing the minutia of the film. There is a lot on John Wayne, his health, the rarity of a 'cop' film in his career, and I thought it was revealing and entertaining - although there isn't too much on Brannigan, the film itself, to impart. There are also some trailers.
Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Kino Lorber' - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
The differences are identified and they are significant if you consider the price offered. The Kino is, appropriately, much more reasonable and I think it will suffice many fans. It remains a decently crafted action film... with John Wayne. Plenty to enjoy for his fans or 70s cop flics.
July 30th, 2014
December 14th, 2017