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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Gang War" )

directed by Carol Reed
UK 1947

Director Carol Reed's most ambitious and accomplished film, Odd Man Out stars James Mason as Johnny McQueen, leader of an IRA gang forced into taking on a bank raid in order to raise funds for the organization. It's a tense time and it shows: the hold-up doesn't exactly go as planned. Unable to cope with the demands of the situation, McQueen kills a man and then falls from the speeding getaway car. Badly wounded, he manages to scramble into hiding and we are invited to follow his desperate progress as he clings to life.

Imaginatively photographed and sharply edited, the action (especially the first half) moves at a brisk pace and is perfectly complemented by some atmospheric music. The whole cast deserves praise for its accomplished acting but special mention must be made of James Mason's hypnotic portrayal. Without question, his performance must go down as one of the most sensitive ever produced by a British screen actor.

Penetrated throughout by a warm humanism, Odd Man Out makes an engrossing and exciting movie. It firmly established Reed as a major director, a reputation which he was to consolidate with his next two features, The Fallen Idol and The Third Man.

 
Excerpt from Stephen Townsend taken from EUFS Programme 1992-93

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 23rd, 1947

Reviews                                                                      More Reviews                                                              DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Network - Region 2 - PAL vs. Image Entertainment (OOP) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Carlton Visual Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL vs. Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Carlton Visual Entertainment Screen Caps!

1) Network - Region 2 - PAL LEFT

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Carlton Visual Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

    

   

   

Distribution Network
Region 2 - PAL

Image Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC

Carlton Visual Entertainment
Region 2 - PAL
Network
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
Criterion Collection - Spine # 754 - Region 'A' Blu-ray
Runtime 1:51:04 (4% PAL speedup) 1:55:52 1:50:56 (4% PAL speedup) 1:55:55.000 1:56:18.054
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.42 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.5 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.4 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,676,833,050 bytes

Feature: 20,363,089,920 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Disc Size: 47,790,020,340 bytes

Feature Size: 28,688,455,680 bytes

Average Bitrate: 29.03 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

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

Bitrate:

Network

 

Bitrate:

Image Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

Carlton Visual Entertainment

 

Bitrate: Network

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate: Criterion

Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles None None English HOH subtitles, none English (HOH), none English (SDH), none
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Network

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• James Mason interview from 1972 (12:46)

• Short - Home James (51:34)

• Image Gallery

• 24-page liner notes booklet with Essay by Hamilton Hamish and media material
 

DVD Release Date: August 28th, 2006
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.37:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: January 12th, 1999
Snap Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Carlton Visual Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

 

DVD Release Date: July 7th, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio:
Network

Aspect Ratio:- 1.33:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,676,833,050 bytes

Feature: 20,363,089,920 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• James Mason interview from 1972 (12:41 - as unedited rushes)

• Short - Home James (51:34)

• Image Galleries (Behind the Scenes, Portraits, Production, Publicity)

BD-ROM features
• a PDF copy of a 378-page post-production shooting script (black-and-white scan of typewritten pages)
• 8-page PDF of the original press book
• a 4-page PDF of a 1980 flyer advertisement
• The Network Region-2 DVD has these same PDFs as DVD-ROM features

• 24-page liner notes booklet with Essay by Hamilton Hamish and media material
 

Blu-ray Release Date: June 18th, 2012
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

 

Disc Size: 47,790,020,340 bytes

Feature Size: 28,688,455,680 bytes

Average Bitrate: 29.03 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

 

Edition Details:
• New interview with British cinema scholar John Hill, author of Cinema and Northern Ireland: Film, Culture and Politics (23:50)
Postwar Poetry, a new short documentary about the film (15:46)
New interview with music scholar Jeff Smith about composer William Alwyn and his score (20:40)
Home, James, a 1972 documentary featuring actor James Mason revisiting his hometown (53:45)
Radio adaptation of the film from 1952, starring Mason and Dan O’Herlihy (29:23)
PLUS: An essay by critic Imogen Sara Smith
 

Blu-ray Release Date: April 14th, 2015
Transparent Blu-ray case

Chapters 23

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Criterion Region 'A' Blu-ray: March 2015: We've seen some huge changes in the appearance of Odd Man Out through the many digital releases. We can now see that the Network 1080P is cropped - quite a lot. Beside the Criterion it also looks brightened giving the perception of being sharper (I actually don't think it is.) The US Blu-ray is quite a bit darker and in-motion I think I prefer this 'look'. It has the same marks and light scratches - so we can assume it is from the same source. The Criterion is dual-layered with a high bitrate - about 10 Mbps more than the UK transfer.

Audio, Criterion go with their standard linear PCM monaural track and I didn't notice much of a difference. The Criterion might be a bit thinner in the high end but it wasn't something that I found distracting. There is an original score by William Alwyn (On Approval, A Night to Remember and The Fallen Idol) discussed in the Criterion extras and it is well supported by the lossless transfer. There are optional English subtitles on the Region 'A' Blu-ray disc.

Criterion add plenty of worthy extras - we get a new, 25-minute, interview with British cinema scholar John Hill, author of Cinema and Northern Ireland: Film, Culture and Politics. He delves into Odd Man Out and its depiction of Northern Ireland in the 2014 piece produced by Criterion. Postwar Poetry, a new 1/4 hour short documentary about the film made for Criterion by White Dolphin Films. It provides a look at Odd Man Out through archival material and interviews with filmmakers, director Carol Reed's collaborators, and critics. We also get a new, 20-minute, interview with music scholar Jeff Smith, author of The Sounds of Commerce, about composer William Alwyn and his unusual score for Odd Man Out. Home, James, is a 1972 documentary featuring actor James Mason revisiting his hometown of Huddersfield, England visiting key locations from his youth. It runs almost 54-minutes long. Included is a 1/2 hour, audio-only, radio adaptation of the film from 1952, starring Mason and Dan O’Herlihy. The package has a liner notes booklet with an essay by critic Imogen Sara Smith.

NOTE: Kevin reminds us of supplements we missed on the Network: "The Network BD actually has a few more extras, accessible as BD-ROM features for those who have a BD-ROM drive on their PC. The extras include a PDF copy of a 378-page post-production shooting script (black-and-white scan of typewritten pages), 8-page PDF of the original press book, and a 4-page PDF of a 1980 flyer advertisement. Also, the Network Region-2 DVD has these same PDFs as DVD-ROM features." (Thanks Kevin!)

Criterion is the one to own - a complete Blu-ray package worthy of a film I still consider a masterpiece. Our highest recommendation!

***

ADDITION: Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (August 2012): Looks great to me - same source - gone 1080P - with same light damage/speckles. I don't discount a bit of boosting still - but can't deny the improvement. Can lean to glossy/waxy - but not enough for me to make issue. It played fine on my LG with hints of grain. Audio is lossless via a linear PCM - sounds a shade more dynamic - a bit more depth in the score. Same, good extras from Network as their 2006 DVD. I am impressed - this is a great film and looks like a notable improvement. Get this masterpiece on Blu-ray and in its theatrical viewing time (No PAL speedup) - if you can!  

***

ADDITION: Network - Region 2- PAL - Sept 06' - I just recently saw that the Image Entertainment DVD is out-of-print and opportunists are asking substantial $ in auctions. So the good news is that this recent Network - PAL DVD is the best of the lot so far. It is cleaner, much more pure black and white than the old NTSC (that has chroma bug) and substantially sharper than the Carlton. It also is not severely cropped like its PAL counterpart. More good news are the extras on the Network - a James Mason interview from 72' and a short feature called Home James. the liner notes booklet is well done! The only substantial failing may be the lack of optional subtitles - other than that it has excelled in every area. Great job Network!

I'll continue to contend that this film is far better cinema than Reed's The Third Man and hence we strongly recommend the Network DVD as the best way to view on your home theatre. They have done a very good job and the insert details the extensive restoration process that the utilized print went through.   

***

The Carlton is cropped pretty badly all around. The Image Entertainment has a greenish tinge to it. Neither are exceptionally sharp, but I think the Image DVD is a bit crisper even though it shows more damage. No Extras on either disc. This film is superior to 'The Third Man' in my opinion and someone should be able to produce a decent copy on DVD. Pretty bad stuff all round.

 - Gary Tooze

 


 

Recommended Reading in Film Noir (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 

 

 

Menus

 

Network - Region 2 - PAL

 


(Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Carlton Visual Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

 

Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


 

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

 

Screen Captures - Network Subtitle sample

 

 

1) Network - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Carlton Visual Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Network - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Carlton Visual Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Network - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Carlton Visual Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Network - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Carlton Visual Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Network - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Carlton Visual Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Network - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Carlton Visual Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Network - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Carlton Visual Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - FOURTH

5) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

1) Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - TOP

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

 

 

1) Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - TOP

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

 

 

1) Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  - TOP

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

 


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-rays

Extras: Criterion Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

    

   

   

Distribution Network
Region 2 - PAL

Image Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC

Carlton Visual Entertainment
Region 2 - PAL
Network
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
Criterion Collection - Spine # 754 - Region 'A' Blu-ray



 

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Gary Tooze