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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Directed by Robert Altman
USA 1974

 

Perhaps Altman's most persistently charming film, a remake of Nicholas Ray's They Live By Night (or rather, second adaptation of Edward Anderson's novel), in which a trio of semi-competent bank robbers attempt to emulate the big-time gangsters publicised by the media, comics, and radio serials, and finally get their come-uppance after a brief respite from prison and poverty. Altman adheres to Ray's conception of the youngest criminal (Carradine) and his plain-Jane lover (Duvall) as innocents all at sea in an uncaring world, although the tone here is one of bitter-sweet irony rather than romantic pessimism. And while casting a critical eye on Depression America, with a New Deal being promised that would keep democracy safe, there is none of the cynicism that has occasionally flawed some of Altman's fascinating genre parodies/tributes. Never portentous, never a mere spoof, this is a touching, intelligent, and - in its own small way - rather wonderful movie.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

 

  Poster

Theatrical Release: February 11th, 1974

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Comparison:

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 Box Covers

 

  

  

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Kino Video
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 2:02:36  2:02:47.360
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.11 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

Disc Size: 22,465,098,303 bytes

Feature Size: 22,066,735,104 bytes

Average Bitrate: 18.95 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0),  English (Dolby Digital Mono) DUBs: Spanish (Mono) , French (Mono)  DTS-HD Master Audio English 1613 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1613 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary: DTS-HD Master Audio English 1789 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1789 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles English, Spanish, None English, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Robert Altman 

DVD Release Date: April 17th, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

Disc Size: 22,465,098,303 bytes

Feature Size: 22,066,735,104 bytes

Average Bitrate: 18.95 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by Robert Altman 

• Trailer (1:59)

Blu-ray Release Date: November 25th, 2014
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray - November 14':  Being short - as the screen captures will indicate - this is quite the impressive upgrade. The MGM DVD now looks quite poor beside the 1080P, which is single layered with a modest bitrate. Still the Blu-ray looks far more film like than the flat, saturated DVD. Audio is via a DTS-HD master 2.0 channel benefitting the minor effects and infrequent aggression. Kino have included optional English subtitles and the original's Altman commentary. They also add a trailer.

This is worth the double dip if you already own the DVD. It's like seeing the film anew in this HD transfer. Not my favorite Altman, but recommended regardless. 

 

***

ON THE DVD (2007): Usually inept MGM have produced a strong DVD here with excellent value. The film is coated with Altman charm and the digital representation is solid. This is a dual-layered DVD - progressive and anamorphically transferred with surprising detail and contrast. The print used is clean with no untoward marks. Skin tones have a tendency to look a bit reddish at times but I see no distinct indicators of manipulation.  Audio has options for original mono and stereo and two DUBs (French and Spanish). There are subtitles in English (HoH) or Spanish and no liner notes.

The Altman commentary is a welcome surprise as the great director passed away in November of last year. It was recorded in 1988. He talks about ins-and-outs of the film's production with a great deal of care - subtly expressing the meticulous detail in which he made the film. He discusses the adaptation and is brief on the performances. Overall this is incredible deal for around $10 there really is no reason not to pick it up. Strongly recommended!

Gary W. Tooze


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1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

Screen Captures

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


 Box Covers

 

  

  

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Kino Video
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray




 

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