S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Delbert Mann, 1955)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Hecht-Lancaster Productions
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 21,813,361,391 bytes
Feature Size: 21,173,041,152 bytes
Video Bitrate: 26.96 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: July 29th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1 (should have been 1.85:1!)
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1574 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1574 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
• Trailer (2:59)
Description: "I've been looking for a girl every Saturday night of my life," says Marty Piletti (Ernest Borgnine, The Wild Bunch). Yet, despite all his efforts, this 34-year old Bronx butcher remains as shy and uncomfortable around women today as on the day he was born. So when he meets Clara (Betsy Blair), a lonely schoolteacher who's just as smitten with him as he is with her, Marty's on top of the world. But not everyone around him shares Marty's joy. And when his friends and family continually find fault with Clara, even Marty begins to question his newfound love - until he discovers, in an extraordinary way, the strength and courage to follow his heart. Winner of 4 Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Director (Delbert Mann, Separate Tables), Best Actor (Borgnine) and Best Screenplay (Paddy Chayefsky, Network).
Paddy Chayefsky's Oscar-winning slice-of-life drama is a heartwarming story about Marty Pilletti (Ernest Borgnine), a lonely Bronx butcher. Marty is a burly but gentle man, easing into middle age without much hope for romance or a career. He lives at home with his mother (Esther Minciotti), a kind but life-smothering woman, and a small circle of dead-end friends. Marty has no self-confidence and feels he's dumpy and unattractive. While it takes some doing, Marty's mother finally convinces him to go to the Stardust Ballroom in Manhattan, where he meets a plain-looking schoolteacher named Clara (Betsy Blair), whose life appears to mirror his own. He asks Clara to dance and soon they are smitten with one another. But to Marty's surprise and frustration, his friends put her down and his mother is hostile to her. Swayed by his friends and his mother, he doesn't call Clara back. But sitting at the bar with his friends the next night, Marty decides he has had enough, and defying his enclosed little world, he rushes to a phone booth to call Clara. As Marty shouts to his friends, "You don't like her. My mother don't like her. She's a dog. And I'm a fat, ugly man. Well, all I know is I had a good time last night ... You don't like her? That's too bad!"
Sentimental tale of a butcher from the Bronx, afraid he is too ugly to attract girls, who takes pity on a plain jane schoolteacher at a dance, then finds love sidling up crabwise. Overrated at the time, largely because its teleplay origins (by Paddy Chayefsky) brought a veneer of naturalism and close-up intimacy to the Hollywood of the day. But it does have doggy charm and a certain perceptiveness (the butcher's continuing doubts as to what his mates will think; his mother's jealousy despite constant nagging about marriage).
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Firstly, Marty should have been transferred widescreen (1.85:1). Bob Furmanek of the 3-D Film Archive sent me an email stating "By the time MARTY hit theaters in early 1956, 1.37:1 was a dead format" and you can see proof HERE (Thanks Bob!)
Marty on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber remains quite thick and film-like in the incorrect 1.37:1 aspect ratio. There is some softness but I don't believe this is the fault of the single-layered transfer. It is most-likely inherent in the film. The bitrate is supportive and the transfer has sequences that look quite good with notable depth and the contrast layering appearing pleasing. But it's a shade underwhelming visually but I am pleased it is progressive and has reached Blu-ray. There are a few light scratches and occasional speckles but nothing intrusive.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio is transferred in a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1574 kbps. Dialogue is consistent and clean and veteran Roy Webb (Journey Into Fear, I Married a Witch, Crossfire) did the supportive score which certainly benefits from the lossless rendering. Nothing is robust but the film itself doesn't export anything dynamic. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Nothing but a trailer which seems really short-changing this lauded film(the only winner of both Best Picture Oscar and Palme d'Or!).
July 18th, 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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