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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Deadline - U.S.A. aka "Die Maske runter" [Blu-ray]

 

(Richard Brooks, 1952)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Video: Alive AG / Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

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

 

Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps

 

Subtitles:

German, none

 

None

 

Extras:

• Trailer (2:36)
Trailers for Foreign Intrigue, Night People, Hopscotch

 

Audio Commentary with Film Historian Eddie Muller

Trailers - Deadline U.S.A. (2:45), The Captive City (2:49) and Shield For Murder (1:49)

 

Bitrate:

1) Alive AG (Germany) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

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

 

 

 

 

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)

 

 

The Film:

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.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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.

Brooks had already distinguished himself as a novelist (The Brick Foxhole [1945] it was adapted as the 1947 film Crossfire) and screenwriter of such films as Brute Force [1947] and Key Largo [1948] when he began a directorial career in 1950, starting with Crisis [1950], a Cary Grant suspense thriller. Deadline U.S.A. was only Brooks' third feature but it reunited him with Humphrey Bogart whom he'd befriended during the making of Key Largo. The two men also socialized outside work and Brooks was looking forward to their new project together at 20th Century-Fox.

Excerpt from TCM  located HERE

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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Alive AG (Germany) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

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

 

 

1) Alive AG (Germany) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

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

 

 

1) Alive AG (Germany) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

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

 

 

1) Alive AG (Germany) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

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

 

 

1) Alive AG (Germany) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  TOP

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

 

 

More Alive AG (Germany) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

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.

 

 

Extras :

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

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Deadline U.S.A. is an exceptional film - cited as one of the best ever made on journalism. I frequently thought of Sweet Smell of Success. Bogie is... perfect as the uncompromising stalwart. I think this was a fabulous choice to come to Blu-ray. This film may not have ever been on DVD before, let alone BD. I remain so impressed by the video transfer. Yes, uncompressed audio and some probing extras would have gone a long way into giving this package even further value. I was still thrilled with my viewing and give this a very high recommendation!

 

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! 

Gary Tooze

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.

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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