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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Marty [Blu-ray]

 

(Delbert Mann, 1955)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Hecht-Lancaster Productions

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:33:50.833

Disc Size: 21,813,361,391 bytes

Feature Size: 21,173,041,152 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.96 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 29th, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.37:1 (should have been 1.85:1!)

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• Trailer (2:59)

 

Bitrate:

 

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).

 

 

The Film:

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!"

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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).

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

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.

 

Extras :

Nothing but a trailer which seems really short-changing this lauded film (the only winner of both Best Picture Oscar and Palme d'Or!).

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Yes, the aspect ratio issues is important. And only a bare-bones Blu-ray seems inadequate. The image and sound are passable but, I think, fans were expecting more when this was originally announced. A colossal film - which gets our endorsement - but the package itself leave fans somewhat 'wanting'. 

Gary Tooze

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.

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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