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(aka "Zane Grey's Western Union")

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/lang.htm
USA 1941

 

20th Century-Fox's Western Union was loosely based on a story by Zane Grey. The basic historical facts behind the connecting of telegraph wires between Omaha and Salt Lake City serve as a backdrop for a fictional story straight out of Manhattan Melodrama. Randolph Scott and Barton MacLane are cast as brothers who pursue wildly divergent paths in adulthood: Scott, an ex-outlaw, goes to work for Western Union, while MacLane remains a criminal, leading a concerted effort to sabotage the telegraph company. The Indians, too often merely villains in films of this nature, are treated with relative sympathy. When they do attack the whites, it is principally because they have been falsely accused of crimes committed by MacLane and his bunch. Western Union was the second Technicolor western effort from director Fritz Lang; the first was the equally popular The Return of Frank James.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

***

"Western Union" (1941) is Lang's second color film. It is a Western about the building of the first trans-continental telegraph line in the USA. This interest in modern high tech mass communication is distinctly Langian. Lang will return to this aspect of the subject, the actual physical building of a communications infrastructure, in a later color film, "American Guerrilla in the Philippines" (1950). These films share several elements in common. Both are non-crime films, a fairly rare occurrence in Lang's career. Both are in color. Both deal with an entire team of people trying to fulfill an idealistic dream, rather than with a single hero. Both are about the building of a high technology communications system. Both have elaborate shots of massed food items. Both take place in the outdoors, and have much beautiful landscape photography.

Excerpt from Mike Grost's review located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 31st, 1941 (New York City, New York)

Reviews                                                                      More Reviews                                                                 DVD Reviews

 


Recommended Reading for Western Genre Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

Check out more in "The Library"


Comparison:

Optimum Classics (Western Classics) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow for the DVD Review!

1) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL LEFT
2) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

   

Distribution

Optimum Classics

Region 2 - PAL

Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:31:33 (4% PAL speedup) 1:35:21.924 1:35:25.678
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.53 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 17,422,287,899 bytes

Feature: 16,781,611,008 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,464,408,788 bytes

Feature: 19,845,838,848 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.65 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 Koch media: Blu-ray

Bitrate Koch media: Blu-ray

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono DTS-HD Master Audio English 1047 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1047 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

DUB: DTS-HD Master Audio German 1052 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1052 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1559 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1559 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles None None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Optimum Classics

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
 None

DVD Release Date: February 21, 2005
Keep case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Koch Media
 

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 17,422,287,899 bytes

Feature: 16,781,611,008 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Gallery (2:23)

Blu-ray Release Date: May 10th, 2013
DigiBook
Blu-ray Case (text in German)
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Kino
 

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,464,408,788 bytes

Feature: 19,845,838,848 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.65 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Trailers for Canadian Pacific (re-release - 2:09), The Cariboo Trail (re-release - 2:12), Man of the West (3:01), Yellow Sky (1:40), The Gunfight at Dodge City (2:15), Man With the Gun (2:24)

Blu-ray Release Date: December 13th, 2016
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters:8

 

 

 

Comments

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

 

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray December 16': Kino's 2016 Blu-ray transfer is exactly the same as the Koch Media's in terms of video. I can find no differences in the comparison captures of the exact same frames of the film. They are both 1080P and single-layered with about the same bitrate.

 

Audio is, likewise, similar with both utilizing a DTS-HD Master (16-bit) - the Kino is a shade more technically robust. The score by David Buttolph (Pete Kelly's Blues, Rope, Three Secrets, Kiss of Death, Blood and Sand and many more) works well in the western genre - and benefits from the uncompressed rendering. The Koch offers and optional German DUB but neither offer subtitles. The Kino is locked to region 'A'.

 

The only extras on the Kino are trailers for Canadian Pacific, The Cariboo Trail, Man of the West, Yellow Sky, The Gunfight at Dodge City and Man With the Gun.

 

Still a great western and nice to own it in such a lustrous Blu-ray transfer.

***

ADDITION: Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray - February 2015': The image gets quite the dramatic bump via the Koch 1080P transfer. Colors retain their, inherent, funkiness - just less so. Everything is superior on the Blu-ray - contrast, detail, colors and there is more information in the frame.

 

Audio goes DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono in original English or a German DUB. There are no subtitles offered and like many of Koch Media's Blu-rays (Yellow Sky, The Ox-Bo Incident, Lonely Are the Brave, Two Flags West, An Angel at My Table) this is a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

No extras save a nice gallery and the package is in a slim digi-book with some text pages in German. Fritz Lang, region FREE and a helluva improvement over SD (that is actually more expensive!) - it's hard to say no!

Gary Tooze

 

ON THE DVD: Being an early Technicolor film, the images are actually quiet nice. There are problems, with slight halos, grain, lack of details, but overall an acceptable image.

 - Henrik Sylow




Menus

 

Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL
 

 

Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 


1) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 


1) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 


1) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Optimum Classics - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

Box Covers

 

   

Distribution

Optimum Classics

Region 2 - PAL

Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 



 

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Gary Tooze

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