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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Bonaventure" )

 

directed by Douglas Sirk

USA 1951

 

Charlotte Hastings' West End stage hit Bonaventure was adroitly translated to the American screen as Thunder on the Hill. The bulk of the action takes place at convent, presided over by Sister Mary (Claudette Colbert). Circumstances -- namely, a dangerous rainstorm and raging flood -- dictate that the convent become a stopover for Valerie Carns (Ann Blyth), a convicted murderess who is being escorted to Death Row by a brace of guards. Slowly becoming convinced that Valerie is innocent, Sister Mary sets about to clear the girl and bring the genuine killer to justice. It goes without saying that said killer is also a reluctant guest of the convent. A superb shadow-laden climax in the convent's belltower caps this heart-pounding mystery meller.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 1951

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Screenbound Pictures - Region 0 - PAL vs. Elephant Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

 

 

 

Presently, only available in Kino's Film Noir: The Dark Side Of Cinema II Blu-ray with Thunder On The Hill, The Price Of Fear and The Female Animal

 

Distribution Screenbound Pictures Home Video - Region 0 - PAL Elephant Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:20:57 (4% PAL speedup)   1:24:26.895  1:24:41.075 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.5 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 1080P Sing.-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 17,324,826,932 bytes

Feature: 13,516,640,256 bytes

Video Bitrate: 18.12 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.33:1 1080P Sing.-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,557,073,452 bytes

Feature: 20,830,685,184 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.52 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate (Elephant Films) Blu-ray:

Bitrate (Kino) Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1992 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1992 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles None French, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Screenbound Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
 Trailer (2:05)

DVD Release Date: February 29th, 2016

Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Release Information:
Studio:
Elephant Films

 

1.33:1 1080P Sing.-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 17,324,826,932 bytes

Feature: 13,516,640,256 bytes

Video Bitrate: 18.12 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Sirk Elephant BD advert (1:05)
Gallery (1:37)
Sirk Bio (8:42 in French)
Intro (12:41 in French)

DVD


Blu-ray Release Date:
September 1st, 2015
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 13

Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.33:1 1080P Sing.-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,557,073,452 bytes

Feature: 20,830,685,184 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.52 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Trailer The Price of Fear (2:06 in SD)


Blu-ray Release Date:
May 12th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case inside cardboard box (see blow)

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (May 2020): Kino have transferred Douglas Sirk's Thunder on the Hill to Blu-ray as part of their Film Noir: The Dark Side Of Cinema II that includes The Price Of Fear, The Female Animal and, this, Thunder On The Hill. Short story, the video is superior to the Elephant Films with a 50% higher bitrate that shows in a more faithful, darker, image with far better grain texture support. Elephant Films win the audio with a 24-bit DTS-HD Master over Kino's 16-bit. Kino is the only version here that offers optional English subtitles (see sample below.) Kino's only extras are three trailers - one for the film in SD.

Although we don't consider this Essential Noir (or a strictly classified Noir at all) but it is a well-made 50's crime-thriller - great to own - and the Kino Blu-ray it is a superior HD presentation that caps off their Film Noir: The Dark Side Of Cinema II boxset (with The Price Of Fear being the only legitimate Noir, in our opinion).

***

ADDITION: Elephant Films Blu-ray (October 2019): Elephant Films transferred Douglas Sirk's Thunder on the Hill to Blu-ray. It was early for their series of Sirk-to-BD releases and was no very robustly transferred - single-layered with a modest bitrate. It is brighter than the UK PAL-sped-up DVD (NOTE: Thunder on the Hill is also available in the NTSC Universal / TCM's Douglas Sirk: Filmmaker Collection reviewed HERE.), and detail certainly improves but it is not as dramatically film-like as we have seen from other Elephant 1080Ps.

On their Blu-ray, Elephant Films use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (24-bit) in the original English language. It is perhaps larger advancement (than the video) in the film's audio and score by Hans J. Salter (Man Without a Star, The Killer that Stalked New York, The Strange Door, Cover Up, Man Without a Star, Scarlet Street, The Land Unknown, The War Lord, The Mole People, The Strange Case of Doctor Rx) sounding richer with more audible dialogue. Elephant Films offer fully optional French subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Elephant Films Blu-ray has a couple of Jean-Pierre Dionnet featurettes - only in French - without English subtitles and an Elephant advert and modest image gallery.

Under Sirk's helm Thunder on the Hill is a solid and intriguing mystery with many deft touches. Great premise - and I enjoyed watching it again. A good film even in repeat viewings. The Blu-ray is the best way to see the film in your home theater. It doesn't loom large in the director's oeuvre so may not reach this format elsewhere (the French LOVE Sirk) - appropriately priced for the director's fans. I really enjoyed Ann Blyth's performance in Thunder on the Hill.

Gary Tooze

Thunder on the Hill is also available in the NTSC Universal / TCM's Douglas Sirk: Filmmaker Collection reviewed HERE. I didn't bother with comparisons captures as this is very different being one of the rare anamorphic 1.33:1 SD transfers. It's only single-layered but looks fantastic with a high bitrate. Contrast is strong for the format and it's a very clean source. Audio is likewise adept with no fatal flaws (dropouts or hiss). There are no subtitles and only a trailer as an extra.

  - Gary Tooze

 


Screenbound Pictures - Region 0 - PAL

 

Elephant Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


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

 

Subtitle sample - Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Screenbound Pictures - Region 0 - PAL  TOP

2) Elephant Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 


1) Screenbound Pictures - Region 0 - PAL  TOP

2) Elephant Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 


1) Screenbound Pictures - Region 0 - PAL  TOP

2) Elephant Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 


1) Screenbound Pictures - Region 0 - PAL  TOP

2) Elephant Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 


1) Screenbound Pictures - Region 0 - PAL  TOP

2) Elephant Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 


1) Screenbound Pictures - Region 0 - PAL  TOP

2) Elephant Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Screenbound Pictures - Region 0 - PAL  TOP

2) Elephant Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Screenbound Pictures - Region 0 - PAL  TOP

2) Elephant Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Screenbound Pictures - Region 0 - PAL  TOP

2) Elephant Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Screenbound Pictures - Region 0 - PAL  TOP

2) Elephant Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Screenbound Pictures - Region 0 - PAL  TOP

2) Elephant Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures
 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 

 

Box Cover

 

 

 

Presently, only available in Kino's Film Noir: The Dark Side Of Cinema II Blu-ray with Thunder On The Hill, The Price Of Fear and The Female Animal

 

Distribution Screenbound Pictures Home Video - Region 0 - PAL Elephant Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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