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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Night of the Generals [Blu-ray]
(Anatole Litvak, 1967)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Video: Twilight Time / Eureka
Region: FREE/ Region 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player) Limited to 3,000 Copies!
Runtime: 2:25:23.172 / 2:25:25.633
Disc Size: 38,890,819,637 bytes / 48,206,702,096 bytes
Feature Size: 37,508,702,208 bytes / 45,521,470,464 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps / 35.17 Mbps
Chapters: 24 / 10
Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: June, 2015 / May 13th, 2019
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 838 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 838 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1639 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1639 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps /
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
• English (SDH), None
•Theatrical Trailer (4:03)
• Teaser (1:26)
• Isolated Score
• Liner notes by Julie Kirgo
Brand new and exclusive Audio
Commentary by author Scott Harrison
Description: Anatole Litvak directs and Sam Spiegel produces The Night of the Generals (1967), an unusual World War II crime thriller about a Nazi investigation into the murder of a prostitute. Major Grau (Omar Sharif) finds himself focusing on three suspects: the Generals Tanz (Peter O’Toole), Kahlenberg (Donald Pleasence) and Seydlitz-Gabler (Charles Gray) – all three of whom, it seems, are also involved in a plot to kill Hitler. Also starring Tom Courtenay, Joanna Pettet and Philippe Noiret, shot by the great Henri DecaŽ and featuring a score by Maurice Jarre, available on this Twilight Time release as an isolated track.
Obviously the aim of this pictures, like the novel by Hans Helmut Kirst
from which Joseph Kessel and Paul Dehn have derived their script, is to
point up the shadow of difference between murder as an individual act
and mass killing as a relentless and accepted practice in war. It is to
provide some commentary on the nature of the Nazis' wartime crimes, and
reflect, perhaps, on the justice meted out of their leaders for their
Based on a best-selling novel by Hans Hellmut Kirst along with some plot elements taken from James Hadley Chase's book The Wary Transgressor, The Night of the Generals would boast a major international cast, reuniting Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif from Lawrence of Arabia in the key roles, plus Tom Courtenay, Christopher Plummer, Donald Pleasence, Joanna Pettet, Philippe Noiret and French chanteuse Juliette Greco in a brief cafe scene. The story is set in Warsaw in 1942 and opens with the brutal murder of a prostitute who was also a secret German agent. Heading the investigation, Major Grau (Sharif) of German Intelligence focuses on three prime suspects - General Kahlenberg (Pleasence), General von Seidlitz-Gabler (Charles Gray) and General Tanz (O'Toole). Unfortunately, Grau's persistence on capturing the killer of what seems an insignificant murder victim eventually frustrates the High Command and he is transferred. Two years later, Grau is in Paris when another prostitute is murdered and strangely enough, all three of the original suspects are also in the city. Which one is the killer? But more importantly, are these murders related to a bigger conspiracy such as a plot to assassinate Hitler? The novel which critiques the morality and behavior of the Nazi elite in the guise of a psychological whodunit had a personal connection for Spiegel. He had fled Berlin in 1933 when Hitler came to power and General Tanz represented the mentality that had forced Spiegel to emigrate to the U.S.Excerpt from the TCM located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Night of the Generals comes to Twilight Time Blu-ray looking a bit thick an heavy but colors are rich and contrast layered. I thought the film looked excellent in-motion. It is dual-layered with a very high bitrate for the 2 1/2 hour feature. There is frequent depth and the 1080P resolution brings out the impressive art direction and costuming. Textures can be a bit blocky but are consistent, along with the widescreen, augmenting the presentation character. No damage and only minor speckles are visible. I noticed no compression-style artifacts and this Blu-ray gave me an enjoyable 1080P presentation.
Eureka's Blu-ray of "Night of the Generals" is dual-layered with a completely maxed out bitrate. The image is very similar to the Twilight Time, though colors seem to be deeper and more lifelike. Notice the shade of Donald Pleasance's lapels in the fourth screen capture (not including the subtitles capture) go from orange to red. It is not too drastic of a shift, though more in-line with what history tells us regarding said uniforms. Contrast levels also seem to have improved, although ever so slightly. Deeper blacks appear throughout the film, though you would have to squint at the two images side-by-side to notice. This would appear to be from the same source print.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
More Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray Captures
The DTS-HD mono track at 838 kbps sounds clean with a few more impressive moments in pushing the film's minor depth through. There is not as much in the way of aggressive audio as you might expect for this war film. Although the original music by Maurice Jarre (The Tin Drum, The Man Who Would Be King, The Damned) via the lossless renderings adds a nice layer onto the film's war atmosphere and historic qualities. Twilight Time offer an isolated track of that score in a robust lossless track. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.
Eureka provide a linear, uncompressed, 2.0 PCM audio track in 24-bit sound. This is another slight edge over the Twilight Time Blu-ray. Maurice Jarre's score sounds just as good as it did before, and overall the sound seems less flat. There are optional English subtitles on this Region 'B' Blu-ray from Eureka.
Only a theatrical trailer and 'teaser' plus the aforementioned Isolated Score. The package has liner notes with an essay by Julie Kirgo.
The main extra here on Eureka's Blu-ray is an all new audio commentary with novelist and scriptwriter, Scott Harrison. We have seen Harrison's contributions before, usually in the form of essays accompanying a Blu-ray release, though the author is a natural at the art of commentary. From the personal, to the factual, Scott's track gives us a lot of contextual information for the film, with only the occasional brief dead-air. After some further digging, I have found that Harrison has done a few other commentaries recently, though DVDBeaver have not reviewed these titles. Aside from the new commentary, the same theatrical trailer and teaser on the Twilight Time also make an appearance. Sadly the optional Isolated Score track is no longer an option on the Eureka! Also, the booklet features new writing by Scott Harrison, though we do not have the booklet at the time of this review.
Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray
If it came down to a choice, I would take Eureka's Blu-ray of "The Night of the Generals", with the ever-so-slight improvement in A/V. Harrison's commentary is also a nice addition to the film. Too bad that the isolated score is gone.
June 22nd, 2015
May 15th, 2019
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 5000 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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