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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Young Lions [Blu-ray]

 

(Edward Dmytryk, 1958)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Video: Twilight Time

 

Disc:

Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player) Limited to 3,000 Copies!

Runtime: 2:47:21.364

Disc Size: 45,755,048,906 bytes

Feature Size: 45,555,216,384 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.98 Mbps

Chapters: 24

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3189 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3189 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1797 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1797 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1065 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1065 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, None

 

Extras:

Audio Commentary with film historians Lem Dobbs, Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman

Theatrical Trailer (2:48)

Isolated Score

Liner notes by Julie Kirgo

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: A World War II epic, The Young Lions (1958), based on the Irwin Shaw best-seller, interweaves the stories of three soldiers: an apolitical German (Marlon Brando) caught up in a conflict he doesn’t understand, a Jewish American (Montgomery Clift) forced to suffer anti-Semitism from his fellow servicemen, and a sophisticated coward (Dean Martin) forced into war against his will. Also starring Maximilian Schell (in his first Hollywood role), Hope Lange, Barbara Rush and May Britt, and featuring a sweeping score by the great Hugo Friedhofer, available on this Twilight Time release as an isolated track.

 

 

The Film:

Though several concessions to the censors and the box-office were made in adapting Irwin Shaw's bestseller The Young Lions to the screen, the end result is generally effective and satisfying. Set during World War 2, the film concentrates on three individuals, one German, two American. Marlon Brando plays an idealistic German whose early fascination with Nazism leads to doubt and disillusionment. American entertainer Dean Martin, on the verge of the Big Time, does his best to dodge the draft but ends up in uniform all the same. And American Jew Montgomery Clift, so sensitive that he's practically breakable, must come to grips with anti-Semitism, not only from the Germans but also from his fellow soldiers. Romance enters the picture in the form of Hope Lange as Clift's gentile girlfriend, Barbara Rush as the socialite who shames Martin into joining up, and May Britt as Brando's vis-a-vis. Screenwriter Edward Anhalt was obliged to shoehorn in a boot-camp sequence indicating that the Brass disapproved of the bigoted behavior of Clift's topkick Lee van Cleef (as if racism was a mere aberration during the 1940s), and to "slightly" alter the ending of the book, in which the embittered but still patriotic Brando character, shouting "Welcome to Germany!," machine-guns the Martin and Clift characters (in the film, it is Brando who bites the dust, symbolically dying for Hitler's sins). Maximillian Schell offers a starmaking turn as Brando's cynical comrade, while an uncredited John Banner, "Sergeant Schultz" on Hogan's Heroes, shows up as a pompous burgomeister who feigns ignorance of the hellish concentration camp in his community.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

This version of Irwin Shaw's lengthy WWII novel, adapted by Edward Anhalt, is three movies for the price of one. We follow idealistic German Brando, American soldier Clift and crooner Martin from the time of enlistment until their paths eventually cross outside a concentration camp towards the end of the war. Clift, who accused Brando of turning the character of Diestl into a 'fucking Nazi pacifist', blocked his fellow Method actor from dying with his arms outstretched as if on the Cross; and director Dmytryk dissuaded Brando from delivering an improvised speech about the plight of American blacks. Clift gave his deliberately unattractive Jewish GI, Noah Ackerman, a shuddering intensity.

Excerpt from TimeOutE located HERE

 

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

Twilight Time bring a fabulous film; The Young Lions to Blu-ray. This is dual-layered for the 2 3/4 hour feature and looks film-like and clean. The only deviation are the stock footage shots - but they still hold texture in the 1080P resolution. Contrast may be a shade dusty in the opening but settles to show some depth and is a fine function of the detail - notable in the close-ups. This is one that looks superior in-motion than the static screen captures and I really had no issue with the video presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD 5.1 surround track at a whopping 3189 kbps sounds intense at times with a few more impressive moments in pushing the film's depth through. But there are plenty of subtleties to the audio as well. Originally it was a (Westrex Recording System) 4-Track Stereo, I believe. Hugo Friedhofer's (Man in the Attic, Ace in the Hole, Body and Soul, Gilda) gripping score sounds great in lossless and wonderfully supports the film. Twilight Time offer an isolated score in a similar lossless track but 2.0 channel mono. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.

 

Extras :

I really appreciate the effort Twilight Time make for their supplements and this includes the audio commentary, on The Young Lions, with film historians Lem Dobbs, Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman providing plenty of valuable information on the film production, stars and back-stories. There is also the Isolated Score in lossless and a theatrical trailer. The package contains liner notes by Julie Kirgo.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Young Lions is a masterpiece - surely an inspiration for the Steven Spielberg-produced Band of Brothers. Every performer is great- Brando, Monty and even Dino. I was blown away by the impact of this film. One of the best war films I have seen in years. It's a wonderful movie for Twilight Time to bring to Blu-ray. Our absolute highest recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

June 22nd, 2015

 

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.

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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