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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Brannigan [Blu-ray]


(Douglas Hickox , 1975)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Twilight Time



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

Runtime: 1:51:18.713

Disc Size: 35,383,720,129 bytes

Feature Size: 33,663,221,760 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July, 2014



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)
Isolated Score:

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



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





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.



The Film:

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.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE


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

I wouldn't day 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.


















Audio :

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.


Extras :

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.



I guess I wasn't really in the mood for Brannigan - feeling oddly irritated at the whole film. Don't get me wrong, I like 'The Duke' as much as the next guy, but take him off a horse and I tend to be quite... jaded. Anyway, this isn't a poor film - just not an appealing viewing experience, IMO. So much seems contrived. Anyway, this isn't a Blu-ray I suspect will be going out-of-print as some others that Twilight Time produce. I think it was a decent effort to have a commentary and hardcore John Wayne fans may wish to indulge. 

Gary Tooze

July 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)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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