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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "L'homme des vallées perdues" )

directed by George Stevens
USA 1953

The recurring theme of heroic nobility and valor with a protagonist that could be described as a loner is quite common for the old westerns of John Ford and Anthony Mann. This isolated characterization could often be a reflective comparison to the wide expanse of the often un-chartered wild west itself. Lonely men in lonely towns with neighbors on homesteads miles apart. A comparison is surely there.

George Stevens (Giant) made a remarkable contribution to the western lore with his film 'Shane'. The screenplay was based on Jack Schaefer's successful 1949 book of the same name and the film received six Academy Awards nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Brandon de Wilde), Best Supporting Actor (Jack Palance), Best Director, Best Screenplay (by A. B. Guthrie, Jr.), and Best Color Cinematography, and won its sole Oscar award for photographer Loyal Griggs. We seem abandoned in the late 1880s, settlers struggling for a new life and having each other as the only support mechanism. If it crumbles, we all crumble. The brilliance of the direction is it subtly detailing the story with minimal dialogue and like its protagonists preferring more to work within a certain unspoken code of behavior. The ending is uncompromising with the savior of the community becoming the outcast, and he rides off alone into the glorious mountains. Does valor require a decorated champion? or are the deeds themselves more expected than unique and hence the legend of such men seems to grow as the stories are told, often from young boys who become strong young men with real role models for their maturity. Justly considered one of the greatest 'heroic' westerns ever made.

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: 23 April 1953

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Recommended Reading for Western Genre Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

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Comparison:

Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Paramount - Region 2,4 - PAL vs. Paramount  - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

Big thanks to Link and Vincent Lacomme for the DVD Screen Caps!

 

1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Paramount - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray  THIRD

3) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray  RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

Reissue coming May 22nd, 2017:

Coming out as a single-disc (1.37:1) Blu-ray from Masters of Cinema in June of 2016:

 

Distribution

Paramount

Region 1 - NTSC

Paramount
Region 2,4 - PAL
Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray Masters of Cinema - Spine # 123
Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:57:48 1:53:09 (4% PAL speedup) 1:58:02.950 1:58:00.698 / 1:58:00.698 / 1:57:59.614
Video

1.33 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.78 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.90 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,823,583,424 bytes

Feature: 30,298,890,240 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.69 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,695,728,088 bytes

Feature: 36,881,040,768 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.89 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,670,026,500 bytes

Theatrical: 23,832,432,000 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.99 Mbps

Revised AR: 23,828,929,920 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

 

Paramount

 

Bitrate:

 

PAL

 

Bitrate: Paramount

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate: Masters of Cinema

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate: Masters of Cinema 1.66:1 Theatrical Framing

Blu-ray

 

Bitrate: Masters of Cinema - 1.66:1 Revised framing

Blu-ray

 

Audio English 2.0 Mono DUB: French 2.0 Mono

English 2.0 Mono DUBs: French 2.0 Mono, Italian 2.0 Mono, Spanish 2.0 Mono, German 2.0 Mono

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2053 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2053 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB

Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

Blu-ray 1

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Blu-ray 2

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English, none English, English for the hearing impaired, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croat, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, none English (HoH), French, Spanish, none English (SDH), none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.37

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer
• Audio Commentary with George Stevens Jr. and Ivan Moffat (no subtitles)

DVD Release Date: May 13, 2003
Amaray

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.37

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (1:56 no subtitles 4/3)
• Audio Commentary with George Stevens Jr. and Ivan Moffat (with English, French, Italian, Spanish, German subtitles)

 

DVD Release Date: October 6, 2003
Amaray

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.37

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,823,583,424 bytes

Feature: 30,298,890,240 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.69 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (1:59)
• Audio Commentary with George Stevens Jr. and Ivan Moffat

Blu-ray Release Date: August 13, 2013
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Masters of Cinema

 

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,695,728,088 bytes

Feature: 36,881,040,768 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.89 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,670,026,500 bytes

Theatrical: 23,832,432,000 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.99 Mbps

Revised AR: 23,828,929,920 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
Audio commentary by George Stevens, Jr. and associate producer Ivan Moffat
• Video interview with film scholar Neil Sinyard (22:18)
• Complete Lux Radio Theater adaptation of Shane (53:47)
• Original theatrical trailer (1:57)
• 36-PAGE BOOKLET featuring writing on the film by critic Penelope Huston, an unpublished interview with Stevens, a treatment for an unfilmed prologue to the film, an essay on the different ratios, and archival imagery.


Blu-ray Release Date: November 30th, 2015
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 10

 

 

 

Comments

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

 

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (December 2015): As with their Touch of Evil Blu-ray the Masters of Cinema gang have brought us different aspect ratios for a classic film. But in this case they are all the same cut of the film - but are differently framed. We get the 1.37:1 AR, which matches up almost exactly with the 2013 Paramount Blu-ray - although at times the colors can seem richer on the UK 1080P. I would say differences are marginal although MoC maxes out their bitrate and this may shows up as a superiority in-motion more than comparing the static captures.

 

Masters of Cinema's second Blu-ray has two more 'versions' both in '166:1' with a 'Theatrical' HD transfer and and an alternate 1.66:1 framing optimized for this ratio - supervised by George Stevens, Jr. Both of these are also 1080P and share the same, lower, but stable bitrate on this second dual-layered Blu-ray. Now, I didn't take the entire film apart to see the differences but you can see it most prominently in the captures where Shane has just fired his gun and the 'alternate' shows more head space above and some cropped off on the bottom. It may seem inconsequential but I am convinced it has an impact on the viewer's overall presentation. What is beneficial is we have the option and it allows for multiple viewings of the iconic film. Providing the 1.66:1 theatrical ratio was an excellent idea, IMO. I'll have to judge the revised-framing in future viewings.

 

For audio, Masters of Cinema go with linear PCM (24-bit) - offering the option of mono or 2.0 channel stereo for all three HD versions. I couldn't say I noticed much difference with the Paramount for the stereo but the mono does give a hollowness to the gunplay while the uncompressed gives it surprising depth.  Another memorable score by Victor Young (Three Faces West, The Sun Shines Bright, Johnny Guitar, China Gate, Bullfighter and the Lady, etc.) that certainly benefits from the lossless rendering. Actually the score is a large part of this film experience and it's readily noticeable the improvement over the SD's simple Dolby transfers. There options subtitles (English - SDH) on MoC's region 'B'-locked Blu-ray disc.

 

Masters of Cinema include the same audio commentary by George Stevens, Jr. and associate producer Ivan Moffat as found on the Paramount discs, but add a new, 22-minute, video interview with film scholar Neil Sinyard and the complete, 54-minute - audio only, Lux Radio Theater adaptation of Shane as well as an original theatrical trailer . The package itself has one of their desirable 36-page liner notes booklets featuring writing on the film by critic Penelope Huston, an unpublished interview with Stevens, a treatment for an unfilmed prologue to the film, an essay on the different ratios, and archival imagery.

 

This two Blu-ray set is limited to only 2000 copies, so it would be prudent to act now if you are keen. This is likely to be one that fetches absurd prices in auction and third party selling in the future. Shane is one of the greats of the genre and this package is certainly the definitive one to own. Perhaps, a reason - all by itself - for Region 'A'-locked viewers to adopt Region freedom. Our highest recommendation!

 

***

ADDITION: Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray (July 2013): Having seen my DVD version of Shane probably a dozen times, the new 1080P image REALLY jump out for me. Not knowing what it looked like theatrically, I can only say that I am very pleased with this appearance. It's clean, colors are very bright - some of the indoor and night sequences are a shade dark. Skin tones are warm. There is more information in the frame on all 4 edges and it's nice to see some of the original grain in the backgrounds. Incredibly deep black levels at times - almost moiring. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate. I see some very minor edge-enhancement if I zoom in far enough. I was mesmerized by the areas of improvement by the Blu-ray.

 

Effects are effective during the fire, bar brawl, dance and the guns shots (definite punch!) - the DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel handles it all expertly. There is a decipherable crispness to the dialogue. There are foreign language DUBs and subtitle options (including English - SDH) on Paramount's region FREE Blu-ray disc.

 

No new extras - we get the George Stevens Jr. and Ivan Moffat commentary and a trailer. For me - one of the most enjoyable re-viewings of the year. Absolutely recommended! 

***

ON THE DVDs: Very similar releases, but the PAL edition appears to be slightly saturated and is also hazier. I don't see any significant cropping. Both have the original audio and the same commentary.

This is a great film, by the way and its nice to see it has more than bare bones for both standards. The PAL edition does, as usual, offer a host of DUBs and subtitle options. Overall we see no reason not to own the NTSC version for its superior image quality. 

-Gary Tooze


 Menus

(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Paramount - Region 2,4 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

 

Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray 1

 

 

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

 


 

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

 

Screen Captures

 

Blu-ray Subtitle Samples

 

1) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray  TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  SECOND

3) 1.66 Theatrical - Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  THIRD

4) Revised Framing - Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 

1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Paramount - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray  THIRD

4) Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  FOURTH

5) 1.66 Theatrical - Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  FIFTH

6) Revised Framing - Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Paramount - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray  THIRD

4) Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  FOURTH

5) 1.66 Theatrical - Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  FIFTH

6) Revised Framing - Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Paramount - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray  THIRD

4) Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  FOURTH

5) 1.66 Theatrical - Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  FIFTH

6) Revised Framing - Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Paramount - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray  THIRD

4) Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  FOURTH

5) 1.66 Theatrical - Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  FIFTH

6) Revised Framing - Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Paramount - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray  THIRD

4) Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  FOURTH

5) 1.66 Theatrical - Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  FIFTH

6) Revised Framing - Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Paramount - Region 2,4 - PAL - SECOND

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray  THIRD

4) Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  FOURTH

5) 1.66 Theatrical - Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  FIFTH

6) Revised Framing - Masters of Cinema - Region "B' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

More 1.33:1 Blu-ray Captures


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-rays

Sound:

MoC Blu-ray (for options)

Extras:

MoC Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

Reissue coming May 22nd, 2017:

Coming out as a single-disc (1.37:1) Blu-ray from Masters of Cinema in June of 2016:

 

Distribution

Paramount

Region 1 - NTSC

Paramount
Region 2,4 - PAL
Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray Masters of Cinema - Spine # 123
Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 




 

 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...