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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

So This is New York [Blu-ray]

 

(Richard Fleischer, 1948)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Stanley Kramer Productions

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:18:21.697 

Disc Size: 18,334,460,799 bytes

Feature Size: 18,224,990,208 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.68 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 1st, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 831 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 831 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: So This Is New York is a 1948 satirical movie comedy starring acerbic radio and television comedian Henry Morgan and directed by Richard Fleischer. The cynically sophisticated screenplay was written by Carl Foreman and Herbert Baker from the 1920 novel The Big Town by Ring Lardner. Foreman was blacklisted soon after.

This remains the only movie in which legendary humorist Henry Morgan plays the leading role, and the material was tailored to showcase the cynical persona Morgan had developed for his radio show.

The film's supporting cast includes Leo Gorcey, Virginia Grey, and Arnold Stang as a Western Union clerk who gives Morgan a hard time.

The film was the first feature for Richard Fleischer (son of Max Fleischer), who had previously directed short subjects for United Artists. Fleischer went on to direct Follow Me Quietly (1948), Armored Car Robbery (1950), and The Narrow Margin (1954). So This is New York was one of the first Hollywood movies to use the technique of freezing action on the screen while a narrator spoke about what the viewer was seeing. One scene has Morgan entering a taxi as a cabbie barks at him in a thick Bronx accent, "Awrite - where to, Mac?" Subtitles appear on the screen translating, "Where may I take you, sir?"

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE 

 

The Film:

Radio humorist Henry Morgan made his film debut in So This is New York. Based on The Big Town, a collection of stories by Ring Lardner, the film traces country bumpkin Morgan's progress as he uses an inheritance to take a trip with his wife Virginia Grey and sister-in-law Dona Drake to the New York of the 1910s. He encounters numerous oddball characters, the most colorful of which is a drunken jockey Leo Gorcey. The boxer and at least four other Broadwayites Hugh Herbert, Rudy Vallee, Bill Goodwin and Jerome Cowan complicate Morgan's life when they court his wife's sister--most of them hoping for a slice of that inheritance. The movies were not the ideal medium for the satiric barbs of Henry Morgan, though he plays his role well and carries the film with assurance. In addition to being Morgan's first picture, So This is New York was also the maiden voyage for producer Stanley Kramer.

Excerpt from Barnes and Noble located HERE

In a movie theater, cigar salesman Ernie Finch comments that the stories of real people are more interesting than fiction. Ernie then tells the story of how his wife inherited some money after the armistice in 1918, and dragged Ernie to New York to find her sister a husband: In South Bend, Indiana, Ernie's wife Ella and her sister, Kate Goff, whose uncle Fergus died in the war after making a fortune on a sausage contract, each inherit $30,000. Although Kate loves a local butcher named Willis Gilbey, Ella is determined to find Kate a wealthy, sophisticated husband. To please Ella, who is bored, Ernie reluctantly turns down a promotion from his boss, A. J. Gluckoter, and asks for a leave of absence, ostensibly to give Ella a rest cure in a New York sanitarium. Ernie also makes a pact with Willis to send for him as soon as the women tire of their search for the perfect man. On the train east, the sisters befriend Wall Street broker Francis Griffin, who, upon their arrival in Manhattan, takes them out to fancy nightclubs.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

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

So This Is New York has a modest, single-layered, Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. It can be inconsistent showing decent detail in spots but predominantly some soft sequences. I don't know that dual-layering would benefit the visuals extensively - it might have - but my guess is that the source is less than stellar. The contrast does seem to improve as the films runs along and the high resolution detail looks ahead of SD, but not by a lot. We find a few instances of depth, not a lot of grain support and no heavy instances of noise or artifacts. The Blu-ray is no demo and aside from, relatively expected weaknesses, it provided an acceptable presentation. Hopefully the captures below give you a general idea of the visual quality.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Olive transfer the film's audio via a DTS-HD mono track at 831 kbps. There is no depth or range to speak of but it seems a faithful transfer without flaws. The 'audio' highlight would be the appealing score of the iconic Dimitri Tiomkin (Angel Face, Strangers on a  Train, The Men, Dial M For Murder, The Thing From Another World etc. etc.) that sounds quite tight in the uncompressed. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

 

Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with most of their releases.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
While I found this amusing and a decent comedy - I still struggle to find enough value in this package to recommend it. It's not a film I would consider revisiting, although it has a good story and quite inventive, but it could have definitely used some supplements to encourage keener interest post-viewing (there is not a lot about this film on the Net). I'm sure many will get entertainment from this Olive Blu-ray. But, personally, I'd have to say 'pass' unless you could get it for about 1/2 price, or less. 

Gary Tooze

June 17th, 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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