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Heaven Knows Mr. Allison [Blu-ray]
(John Huston, 1957)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Video: Twilight Time
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player) Limited to 3,000 Copies!
Disc Size: 32,898,369,761 bytes
Feature Size: 31,911,665,664 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June, 2014
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1059 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1059 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit / DN -3dB)
Isolated Score: DTS-HD Master Audio English 1815 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1815 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -3dB)
• English (SDH), None
•MovieTone news (10:26)
• Theatrical Trailer (3:14)
• Isolated Score
• Liner notes by Julie Kirgo
Description: With a clever script by director John Huston and screenwriting veteran John Lee Mahin, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957) stars Roberts Mitchum as a no-nonsense Marine and Deborah Kerr as a dedicated nun: a decidedly odd couple stranded on a South Pacific island overrun by hostile Japanese forces during World War II. Their struggle to survive and their growing friendship are beautifully captured by the camera of superb cinematographer Oswald Morris, and given further support by composer Georges Auric’s lovely score (available on this Twilight Time release as an isolated track).
A two-person character study directed by John Huston, Heaven Knows Mr. Allison stars Robert Mitchum as a World War II Marine sergeant and Deborah Kerr as a Roman Catholic nun. Both nun and sergeant are marooned on a South Pacific island, hemmed in by surrounding Japanese troops. Mitchum does his best to make the nun's ordeal less painful, but is torn by his growing love for her. Kerr is equally fond of Mitchum, but refuses to renounce her vows. Their unrealized ardor mellows into mutual respect as they struggle to survive before help arrives. Based on a novel by Charles K. Shaw, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison was coproduced by Eugene Frenke, who later filmed a low-budget variation on the story, The Nun and the Sergeant (62), which starred Frenke's wife Anna Sten.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
On the one hand, Huston's typically wry contribution to Hollywood's long-established, censor-baiting fascination with nuns. On the other, a quirky and superior reworking of his own The African Queen. Deborah Kerr, back in the habit ten years after Black Narcissus, is stranded on a Jap-held Pacific island with Marine corporal Mitchum, whose wonderfully low-key portrait of melting machismo is everything Bogart's respectably Oscar-chasing irascibility wasn't. The favourite film of its veteran screenwriter, John Lee Mahin.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Firstly, this Twilight Time Blu-ray transfer of Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison is at their usual high standards - dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate. But there are issues with the appearance. I can't say for sure - but would lean to their being registry issues. Colors and contrast waver and it also looks like it may require a thorough cleaning to boot. The first time you see Sister Angela (Kerr) her Nun's outfit is fluctuating with purple infestation. It doesn't look impressive but it appears to be source-related as opposed to a flaw with the transfer. The image is flat, lifeless and lacks strong definition. There is a touch of edge-enhancement (see subtitle sample capture) but I am less-concerned with that. These other issues come up less-frequently and some of the island scenery looks quite pleasing. I imagine a costly restoration would be required to eliminate the weaknesses.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Twilight Time use a DTS-HD Master mono transfer at 1059 kbps that sounds very consistent. Effects exist and seem authentically flat but carry some minor weight. Dialogue isn't crisp but is audible with a bit of a rough edge. The score is by Georges Auric (It Always Rains on Sunday, Dead of Night, The Innocents, Lola Montes, Rififi, Wages of Fear) - also offered as an isolated score and effects track - and the music has some presence - supporting the film pleasingly. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Not too much, no commentary - but a 10-minute 'MovieTone' newsreel, a theatrical trailer, the afore mentioned isolated score and the package has 8-pages of liner notes by Julie Kirgo.
June 23rd, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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