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The Devil's Disciple [Blu-ray]
(Guy Hamilton, Alexander Mackendrick, 1959)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Hill-Hecht-Lancaster Productions
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 20,292,965,500 bytes
Feature Size: 17,486,094,336 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.84 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: November 24th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1567 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1567 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Description:Newly re-mastered in HD! The third of seven films screen legends Burt Lancaster (Run Silent, Run Deep) and Kirk Douglas (Cast a Giant Shadow) have appeared together in is a satirical take on the American Revolution by George Bernard Shaw (My Fair Lady), boasting a cutting performance from acting great Laurence Olivier (Rebecca). When Dick Dudgeon (Douglas) learns his father was executed by the British for treason at the onset of the Revolutionary War, he steals the body for a proper burial, ignoring the pleas of his friend, Minister Anthony Anderson (Lancaster) who’s a peace-loving person who ends up becoming a belligerent firebrand of a rebel trying to save Dudgeon’s life. Adapted for the screen by John Dighton (Roman Holiday) and Richard Kibbee (Vera Cruz) and featuring strong direction by James Bond veteran Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger).
This film version of George Bernard Shaw's satirical take on the American Revolution had a troubled production history (with a director change in mid-production), but nevertheless boasts a cutting performance by Laurence Olivier. Shaw's tale depicts his version of how the British lost the American colonies: because of a stupid mistake at the War Office someone forgot to tell Lord North to join up with General "Gentleman" Johnny Burgoyne (Laurence Olivier) and smash the rebels. Burt Lancaster is on hand as the Rev. Anthony Anderson, a peace-loving parson who ends up becoming a belligerent firebrand of a rebel. Also is tow is Kirk Douglas as Dirk Dungeon, who, in typical Shawvian irony, starts out as a unrepentant, cowardly scamp and ends up as the personification of Christian virtues.
While Olivier was busy filming with Lancaster and Douglas, Leigh, who
had been growing increasingly histrionic, suffered a violent mental
collapse. Leigh had had a long history of psychological problems, and
Olivier knew that this episode put an end to any hopes that she might
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The Devil's Disciple looks consistent in 1080P. There is a little softness but it appears to be inherent in the source. Contrast shows some layered and there is depth is spots. Detail is modest to good. The mostly natural-lit sequences showcase some decent visuals. The source is clean, but maybe a shade overly bright. This Blu-ray gave me a watchable, and superior, viewing in regards to the picture quality.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1567 kbpsin the original English language. There are some effects in the film - musket fire, a notable explosion, horses etc. They sounds quite deep at times. Richard Rodney Bennett's (Far From the Madding Crowd, The Witches, Equus, Billy Liar, The Man Who Could Cheat Death) score is supportive and it sounds very pleasing via the DTS-HD. It all sounds fine with clear consistent dialogue. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
October 27th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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