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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/fuller.htm
USA 1951

 

'His films are like scenarios made from communities of rats, the camera itself a king rat,' David Thomson wrote of Fuller. The rat trap is the Korean war, in a studio set of fake rock and fake snow, literally a theatre of war. The constantly moving camera isolates the tensions within an American platoon fighting a rearguard action. As the leaders are picked off by the 'alien' reds, one sensitive corporal's struggle with the responsibilities of leadership drags the plot in a slow dance of death; only to be blasted apart by a typical cigar-chewing affirmation of good old Yankee guts. From John Brophy's novel Immortal Sergeant (previously filmed in 1943).

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 20th, 1951

Reviews                                                                               More Reviews                                                                DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

1) 20 Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2)Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  MIDDLE

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

 

Box Cover

  

  

  

Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Masters of Cinema - Spine # 127
Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Kino Lorber
Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:31:48  1:31:51.714 1:31:54.509
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.5 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

1.33:1 Disc Size: 29,368,349,139 bytes

Feature Size: 28,590,530,496 bytes

Total Bitrate: 34.95 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 Video

1.33:1 Disc Size: 20,707,980,451 bytes

Feature Size: 18,672,125,952 bytes

Total Bitrate: 23.76 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 Video

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Masters of Cinema Blu-ray

Bitrate: Kino Lorber Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Mono)  

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1558 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1558 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 English, Spanish, None English (SDH), None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer
• Stills Gallery

DVD Release Date: April 24th, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio:
Masters of Cinema

 

1.33:1 Disc Size: 29,368,349,139 bytes

Feature Size: 28,590,530,496 bytes

Total Bitrate: 34.95 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 Video

 

Edition Details:
 Audio commentary by film scholar Adrian Martin
 Original theatrical trailer (2:32)
 Gallery of production and publicity photos
 PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Glenn Kenny and excerpts from Fuller's autobiography A Third Face

 

Blu-ray Release Date: February 15th, 2016
Transparent Blu-ray case

Chapters:

Release Information:
Studio: Kino

1.33:1 Disc Size: 20,707,980,451 bytes

Feature Size: 18,672,125,952 bytes

Total Bitrate: 23.76 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 Video

 

Edition Details:

 Audio Commentary by Film Historian Michael Schlesinger with Christa Lang Fuller and Samantha Fuller

 Trailers (The Enemy Below - 2:19, Fixed Bayonets - 2:36, The Secret Invasion - 3:11, Ambush Bay - 2:44)

Blu-ray Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 8

 

 

 

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

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray October 16': Kino's 2016 Blu-ray transfer is a bit less technically robust than the Master of Cinema 1080P - and this shows in being slightly brighter than the UK counterpart. It looks fine - as evidence by the three exact frame matched captures we have done below - but, presumably, not quite as theatrically accurate as the MoC.

Audio is likewise a small notch below with a DTS-HD Master - 16-bit as opposed to 24-bit. It seems to make the explosions and battle sequences marginally less deep although Roy Webb's score (Clash by Night, I Married a Witch, This Is Cinerama, Easy Living, The Window, Journey Into Fear, I Walked with a Zombie etc.) still sounds very good in the lossless. Kino offers no optional subtitles on their region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

Kino also offer an audio commentary - but theirs is by film historian Michael Schlesinger (who is wonderful) with Christa Lang Fuller and Samantha Fuller and while not similarly oriented as Adrian Martin's excellent commentary - this offers a different discussion and I enjoyed it very much. Daughter Samantha is an actress and producer, known for A Fuller Life (2013), Drowning in Sin (2010) and White Dog (1982) and she makes some intelligent comments and I found her, and her mother, very refreshing to listen to. There are also trailers for The Enemy Below, Fixed Bayonets, The Secret Invasion, and Ambush Bay, but no liner notes booklet - as offered by the Masters of Cinema package.

While MoC may be the superior Blu-ray - this Kino still has immense value with the adept a/v and included commentary. I get something out of this film every time I see it. Region 'A' audiences should jump all over this - strongly recommended!

***

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (February 2016): The darker, less-glossy look is far more accurate and exports a beautifully film-like presentation. Masters of Cinema provide a dual-layered transfer with a max'ed out bitrate and I can't imagine Fixed Bayonets! looking any better than this 1080P rendering. Grain is rich and consistent while contrast has subtle layers. It looks magnificent in-motion.

Audio comes in a, predictably flat, linear PCM 2.0 channel mono at 2304 kbps (24-bit). Effects (explosions, gunfire) pack some deep bass punch and add further atmosphere as does the original score by Roy Webb which sounds tight and clean in the uncompressed. Audio matches the excellent video. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked Blu-ray disc.

I thoroughly enjoyed the audio commentary by film scholar Adrian Martin. It's at his usual lofty standards, and charming Aussie accent, exporting interesting and educational merits of the film as well as the filmmaker - and his attitude towards war. It's a wonderful addition to the Blu-ray. There is also an original theatrical trailer and superfluous gallery of production and publicity photos. Included in the package is another excellent MoC liner notes booklet featuring a new essay by critic Glenn Kenny and excerpts from Fuller's autobiography A Third Face: My Tale of Writing, Fighting and Filmmaking.

Absolutely brilliant film and a Blu-ray package that is worthy - the Martin commentary adds oodles. Our strongest recommendation!

***

ON THE DVD: Single-layered but progressive and the image looks acceptable - fair detail and decent contrast, if possibly boosted. Compression artifacts are not prevalent. There is an original mono track and a stereo one as well as optional subtitles. Not a lot was put into this DVD production but I am just thankful that the film is finally available.

The movie is a cracker and it's a shame there are no real extras on the DVD - just a trailer and Stills Gallery. With Sgt. Rock (Gene Evans) I couldn't help but be reminded of the Marvel comics I loved as a young boy. A desperate telling of a realistic Korean war drama with Fuller's machismo intent at every corner. Fabulous film and, for what you get, a valued DVD. We, of course, recommend at this price - the film alone is surely worth it. 

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus


 

Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) 20 Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2)Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  MIDDLE

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

 


Screen Captures - NO subtitle options on the Kino Blu-ray

 

1) 20 Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2)Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  MIDDLE

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

 


 

1) 20 Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2)Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  MIDDLE

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

 


 

1) 20 Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2)Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


 

1) 20 Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2)Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


 

1) 20 Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2)Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


 

1) 20 Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2)Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Cover

  

  

  

Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Masters of Cinema - Spine # 127
Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Kino Lorber
Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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