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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/cassavetes.htm
USA 1963

 

Newly re-mastered in HD! The third directing effort by the great John Cassavetes (Husbands) is an engrossing, sobering expose of society s cruel prejudice toward mentally challenged children. Jean Hansen (Judy Garland, Judgment at Nuremberg) is an experienced city transplant who takes a job at a Down s syndrome institution and befriends Reuben, one of the boys afflicted with the disease. Reuben latches on to Jean, to the dismay of Dr. Matthew Clark (Burt Lancaster, Elmer Gantry), the head of the institution. He feels that Jean s affection for Reuben will disturb the other children, prompting him to separate the pair. Cassavetes stunningly uses actual disabled children to convey the reality of these disabilities, gives the film a level of humanity and unflinching depth that resonates long after the final credits have rolled. The great Gena Rowlands (Gloria) and Steven Hill (Storm Fear) lead the supporting cast that includes Paul Stewart (Kiss Me Deadly), Lawrence Tierney (Reservoir Dogs), Elizabeth Wilson (The Graduate) and John Marley (Faces).

***

Taken away from Cassavetes by not very nice producer Kramer for some Hollywood-style re-editing, this is nevertheless clearly the work of one of cinema's greatest talents. Garland is the new teacher in a school for mentally handicapped children, who is touched by one child (Ritchey) in particular, and gets in trouble with the school's headmaster (Lancaster). Unusually for a Hollywood film, all the disabled children (apart from Ritchey) are actors with real disabilities. Occasionally bordering on the sentimental (never the problem of Cassavetes' independent work) this film nevertheless boasts fine performances and a magic touch by one of cinema's greatest humanists.

Excerpt of Channel 4's capsule located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 13th, 1963

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Comparison:

Cinemalta (2-disc set with "Love Streams") - Region 0 - PAL vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Cinemalta - Region 0 - PAL - LEFT

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

   

Distribution Cinemalta - Region 0 - PAL Kino Lorber
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:40:15 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:44:36.269 
Video 1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.84 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc Size: 22,487,477,600 bytes

Feature Size: 21,379,000,320 bytes

Total Bitrate: 23.92 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC / 1080P

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1570 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1570 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 French ( player generated - non -removable) None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Cinemalta

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

• Theatrical trailer
• Photo Gallery
• 24-page thick booklet with essay, interview (French only) and photos

DVD Release Date: November 29th, 2004
4-tiered digipak case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Kino Lorber

 

Disc Size: 22,487,477,600 bytes

Feature Size: 21,379,000,320 bytes

Total Bitrate: 23.92 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC / 1080P

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary by Tom Charity and Michael Van Den Bos

• Trailers for A Child is Waiting  (2:44) and Judgment at Nuremberg (3:02), Separate Tables (2:27), and Elmer Gantry (3:18)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: November 24th, 2015
Standard
Blu-ray case

Chapters: 9

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray November 15': This is quite a significant improvement from the French SD. It is notably brighter, more information in the frame, a higher level of detail, layered contrast etc. I did see a few compression artifacts in the visuals, but I don't consider them fatal. It is single-layered with a supportive bitrate and, as the screen captures bear-out, provides a notably better presentation than the 2004 DVD.

Kino us their usual DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel. This is 1570 kbps (16-bit). Mostly a dialogue-driven film with some occasional children's chatter. Another good score by Ernest Gold (The Secret of Santa Vittoria, Cross of Iron, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, On the Beach) and it benefits from the uncompressed rendering sounding gentle but impacting. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being region 'A'-locked.

Kino include an audio commentary by Tom Charity, film critic and a programmer with VIFF, and film historian and scholar Michael van den Bos. I appreciated their knowledge on the production and found it quite educational. There are also trailers for A Child is Waiting, Judgment at Nuremberg, Separate Tables and Elmer Gantry.

 

I was impressed with this Blu-ray release from Kino Lorber - an important, touching, film to bring to 1080P and the included commentary augments value further. It gets a very strong recommendation! 47% OFF pre-order - don't hesitate!

***

ON THE DVD: This can be purchased in the Boxset with Cassavetes "Love Streams" but not individually at this time. Both discs in the set have player generated French subtitles that are not forced on many standard players (my computer DVD player for example) or are easily removed with many DVD duplication software programs (like DVDShrink).

This non-anamorphic image is acceptable - adhering to the 1.66 original aspect ratio, looking quite dark.

As this is only a few extra Euros as opposed to buying Love Streams alone that is how we strongly recommend.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Cinemalta - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

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

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Cinemalta - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

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

 


1) Cinemalta - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

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

 


1) Cinemalta - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

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

 


1) Cinemalta - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

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

 


1) Cinemalta - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

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

 


1) Cinemalta - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

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

 


1) Cinemalta - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

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

 


1) Cinemalta - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

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

 

 

More Blu-ray captures

 

 

Box Covers

   

Distribution Cinemalta - Region 0 - PAL Kino Lorber
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray




 

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