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Deadline - U.S.A. aka "Die Maske runter" [Blu-ray]
(Richard Brooks, 1952)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Video:Alive AG / Kino Lorber
Region: 'B'-locked / Region 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:27:03.384/ 1:27:05.094
Disc Size: 23,689,130,011 bytes/ 19,013,343,908 bytes
Feature Size: 22,826,741,760 bytes / 17,806,479,360 bytes
Video Bitrate: 32.97 Mbps / 23.93 Mbps
Chapters: 8/ 8
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 6th, 2015 / July 26th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Dolby Digital Audio German 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1565 kbps
2.0 / 48 kHz / 1565 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz /
1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
• Trailer (2:36)
• Audio Commentary with Film Historian Eddie Muller
Description: An abundance of subplots are expertly woven together by screenwriter/director Richard Brooks in Deadline - USA. Humphrey Bogart stars as crusading editor Ed Hutcheson, whose newspaper is on the verge of closing thanks to the machinations of the mercenary daughter (Audrey Christie) of Mrs. Garrison (Ethel Barrymore), the paper's owner. Though he and his staff will all be out of work within a few days, Hutcheson intends to go out with a bang, exposing the criminal activities of "untouchable" gang boss Rienzi (Martin Gabel). Despite numerous disappointments and setbacks, Hutcheson achieves a pyrrhic victory as the film draws to a close. Throughout the story, the many pressures brought to bear upon a big-city newspaper--political, commercial, etc.--are realistically detailed, as is the relationship between Hutcheson and his ex-wife Nora (Kim Hunter). The cast of Deadline USA is uniformly excellent, from featured players Warren Stevens, Jim Backus, Paul Stewart Fay Baker and Ed Begley to such unbilled performers as Tom Browne Henry, Raymond Greenleaf, Tom Powers, and Kasia Orzazewski (essentially reprising her unforgettable characterization in Call Northside 777)
Former newspaperman Brooks made a good fist of this media drama. He has Bogey in his favour as the crusading editor of a New York daily, battling to expose crime kingpin Gabel, while at the same time persuading owner Barrymore from selling the whole operation. Tautly scripted and put over with a feeling for authenticity (it was shot in the offices of the New York Daily News), it's one of those films where Brooks' liberal sympathies and no-nonsense storytelling is squarely on target.
A tough, cynical urban melodrama about the newspaper business,
Deadline U.S.A. (1952), is much closer to film noir in mood than in
plot and character details but its storyline has topical relevance today
as more and more major newspapers struggle to survive in the age of big
business takeovers and new technologies. The film is also an intriguing
example of a young rising talent (director Richard Brooks) and a major
Hollywood star (Humphrey Bogart) at crossroads in their careers.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Deadline - U.S.A. arrives on Blu-ray from Germany's 'Alive'. The wonderful image quality shows a fine layer of grain. It is only single-layered but has a very high bitrate and the contrast and detail are very surprisingly impressive. There is plenty of depth. Occasionally, the image can look a tad thin, but I don't suspect any flagrant digital manipulation. It has no unappealing gloss and the 1080P transfer is consistent. Black levels are exceptional - as is shadow detail. This Blu-ray offers a highly remarkable video presentation.
Bottom line here is that the Kino has about a 30% lower bitrate and is softer than the European Blu-ray. The video is a shade clunkier on the US release and is not as crisp. Grain is less supported and the contrast (less piercing black levels) appears to have less layers. It's just not as good but, depending on your system, looks decent in-motion.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
More Alive AG (Germany) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Captures
Unfortunately, the disc only offers Dolby Digital 2.0 channel mono tracks (in both English and a German DUB) Cyril J. Mockridge (Desk Set, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Dark Corner, My Darling Clementine, Nightmare Alley) and uncredited Sol Kaplan (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Seven Wonders of the World, Niagara, The House on Telegraph Hill) compose the score that doesn't get the depth it could export via an uncompressed transfer. The Dolby is clean and clear but not what it could be. There are optional German subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Kino, however, wins on the audio going lossless with a DTS-HD Master. The score sounds strong and a bit buoyant in the lossless. There are no subtitles offered and the disc is region 'A'-locked.
Only a trailer and three non-related older film trailers. A lot could be said about Deadline U.S.A. - a film with many powerful statements.
This is another area where Kino advance over the Alive AG. They offer a rewarding audio commentary with Film Historian, the Czar of Noir, Eddie Muller. While this doesn't fit in the dark cinema cycle he still gives great discussion on the production and Bogie. There are also trailers for Deadline U.S.A., The Captive City and Shield For Murder.
Alive AG (Germany) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
The Kino has some big advantages over the Alive AG Blu-ray. The commentary being a huge part of that and the lossless audio. While image goes to the European transfer - it may not be enough to sway buyers from the Kino's desirable attributes. Nice to have the choice anyway. Great film!
February 18th, 2015
September 9th, 2016
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 3500 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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