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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Directed by Michael Curtiz
USA 1944

 

Something of a follow-up to Casablanca, but without that movie's deft and evocative script. Bogart plays Jean Matrac, a journalist converted, by a confrontation at sea with Greenstreet's elegant fascism (shades of Huston's Across the Pacific), from bitterness against a France that has wronged him to self-destructive patriotism with the Free French. The movie is brought to earth by its unnecessary complexity - at one point we're in a flashback from a flashback from a flashback - but the central scenes on Devil's Island have a cogency and atmosphere, particularly Bogart's spell in solitary, which demonstrate the movie it might have been. The last reel quivers with the sort of emotionalism that wartime audiences adored. Bogart hasn't much to do beyond gritting his teeth, Rains typically holds the plot together, and Michèle Morgan is thanklessly cast as the wife waiting at home 'till we meet again'.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 16th, 1944

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Comparison:

Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC vs. Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Cover

NOTE: A few individual sellers have broken up The Humphrey Bogart - The Signature Collection, Vol. 2.

  

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC Warner Archive
Region FREE  -
Blu-ray
Available in 7-disc The Humphrey Bogart - The Signature Collection, Vol. 2 with The Maltese Falcon Three-Disc Special Edition / Across the Pacific / Action in the North Atlantic / All Through the Night and Passage to Marseille.

           

Runtime 1:48:56  1:49:06.540  
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

Disc Size: 42,115,417,600 bytes

Feature Size: 31,871,852,544 bytes

Total Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

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 1950 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1950 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Warner Night at the Movies 1944 Short Subjects Gallery: vintage newsreel, patriotic short I Won't Play, musical short Jammin' the Blues, classic cartoon The Weakly Reporter
• New Featurette "The Free French: Forgotten Unsung Victors"
• Breakdowns of 1944: Studio Blooper reel 

DVD Release Date: October 3rd, 2006

Slim transparent Keep Case (thinpak)
Chapters: 29

Release Information:
Studio:
Warner

 

Disc Size: 42,115,417,600 bytes

Feature Size: 31,871,852,544 bytes

Total Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
• Warner Night at the Movies 1944 Short Subjects Gallery: MovieTone newsreel (Lady Marines), patriotic short I Won't Play (17:56), musical short Jammin' the Blues (10:15), classic cartoon The Weakly Reporter (6:41)

• Featurette "The Free French: Forgotten Unsung Victors" (16:51)
• Breakdowns of 1944 (6:46): Studio Blooper reel

•  Trailer (2:17)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: November 10th, 2015
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 28

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray January 16': Warner go dual-layered with their MoD of Passage to Marseille starring Bogie and some of the supporting cast from Casablanca (Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre.) It's unfair to compare it to that iconic film from 2 years earlier, but Passage is still an excellent adventure/drama. The image quality is as good as you might hope for - advancing upon the SD - in the key area of contrast - a function of detail. The grain texture is rich and the image slightly darker than the old DVD.

Warner use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono track at a very healthy 1950 kbps (24-bit). It sounds predictably flat but clean and crisp with some impressive depth (plane engines etc.) and the score sounds appropriately dramatic in lossless and is by the great Max Steiner (The Fountainhead, Casablanca, The Caine Mutiny, Bird of Paradise, Beyond the Forest, Pursued etc. etc.) All audio is impressively exported by the lossless - equally the brilliant film-like image. The Warner Blu-ray disc offers large (in all caps!) English subtitles in a gaudy yellow font (see sample) and is region FREE.

There abundant - Warner Night at the Movies - extras duplicate the DVD but to highlight one - I really got a kick out of the Blooper real (entitled 'Breakdowns'). It's only about 7 minutes long but I thoroughly enjoyed it - filmed verbal faux-pas of performers like Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper, Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn, Bette Davis and Bogart himself. Another worthwhile supplement viewing was the 16 minute new featurette The Free French: Forgotten Unsung Victors. For the most part Warner's Night at the Movies 'section' can get a little tiresome but I still enjoy the cartoon entries (in this case - The Weakly Reporter').

The Blu-ray is a keeper - plenty of value here with a great Bogie film - surrounded by the best support in the business. There are some pleasing supplements and we definitely give this a recommendation!

***

ON THE DVD (October 2006): Although this DVD is only 'officially' available in The Humphrey Bogart - The Signature Collection, Vol. 2, a few individual marketplace sellers have broken up the package and are re-selling the single thinpak DVDs (aside from the 3-disc The Maltese Falcon - which is selling separately by Warner). We strongly recommend the complete collection which represents 7 disc (5 feature films - all on dual-layered DVDs) - they are all coded for regions 1 through 4 in the NTSC standard. Each offer original audio and optional English, French or Spanish subtitles. There are extensive extra features (see individual reviews for more detail).

This is a magnificent progressive transfer from Warner on this  Bogie classic. Excellent contrast - the image looks almost brand new with hardly any damage at all. Warner's restoration, combined with what must have been strong elements, give this DVD top marks in the visual category. Audio is likewise clear and clean.

Overall this DVD set is a very good purchase. Warner has continued their commitment to preserving and distributing vintage cinema from the golden age of Hollywood in the best packages possible. Strongly recommended!

Gary W. Tooze

 





DVD Menus


 

Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Cover

NOTE: A few individual sellers have broken up The Humphrey Bogart - The Signature Collection, Vol. 2.

  

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC Warner
Region FREE  -
Blu-ray




 

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