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Son of Frankenstein [Blu-ray]
(Rowland V. Lee, 1939)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Universal Pictures Company Inc.
Video: Elephant Films
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,375,563,231 bytes
Feature Size: 14,931,763,200 bytes
Video Bitrate: 14.98 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase
Release date: October 21st, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1818 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1818 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1846 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1846 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
• Frankenstein par Jean-Pierre Dionnet (11:17)
Second disc DVD included
Description: The most elaborate--and longest--of Universal's Frankenstein series, Son of Frankenstein represents Boris Karloff's last appearance in the role of the Monster. The title character is played by Basil Rathbone, who with wife Josephine Hutchinson and son Donnie Donegan returns to the Old Country to take over his late father's estate. Rathbone receives a cool reception from the local villagers, who remember all too well the havoc wreaked by his father's monstrous creation. Though he assures his neighbors that he has no intention of following in his father's footsteps, Rathbone is hounded by suspicious town constable Lionel Atwill, whose stiff artificial arm is an unfortunate legacy of an earlier confrontation with Karloff. Also hanging around Frankenstein Castle is crazed shepherd Bela Lugosi), whose neck was broken in an unsuccessful hanging attempt. Lugosi wishes to exact revenge on the city fathers who'd tried to execute him, and to that end persuades Rathbone to revive the hideous Karloff. At first resistant, Rathbone becomes as obsessed as his father with the notion of creating artificial life. Now the fun begins, directed with Germanic intensity by Rowland V. Lee. Though Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein has rendered Son of Frankenstein virtually impossible to take seriously, the film remains an excellent marriage of the slick, sanitized production values of the "New Universal" and the Gothic zeitgeist of the earlier Frankenstein epics. Best line: Lugosi, looking over the dormant body of The Monster, explains raspily that "He does...things...for me." Hans J. Salter's intense musical score for Son of Frankenstein would continue to resurface in Universal's Mummy B pictures of the 1940s. Watch for Ward Bond in a bit part as a police officer...and see if you can spot Dwight Frye, whose supporting part was excised from the final release print, among the villagers.
Baron Wolf von Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone) is determined to prove the legitimacy of his father's scientific work, thus rescuing the family name from disgrace. With the help of Ygor (Bela Lugosi), a grave robber, Wolf successfully reanimates the monster (Boris Karloff) his father originally brought back from the dead. But when several villagers are killed mysteriously, Wolf must find the culprit in order to vindicate his creation, or face the possibility that he may be responsible.
Eight years after he originated the role of the Monster, Karloff
delivers his third (and final) performance as the tortured creature in
this second sequel in Universal's Frankenstein series.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Son of Frankenstein delightfully comes to Blu-ray from Elephant Films in France - along with a few other Uni-Horrors not picked-up for North American release. The image is modestly transferred with a low bitrate but the source is excellent with plenty of rich grain textures. Contrast layering benefits the 1080P visuals. No marks or scratches that I noticed. This Blu-ray has a genuine feel with a reasonable film-like sense to it. Visually I was satisfied.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Elephant Films use an uncompressed DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1818 kbps (24-bit) in the original English with a similar optional French DUB. Aside from the laboratory electrics, the drama is almost exclusively in the impressive and atmospheric score byFrank Skinner (Destry Rides Again, Magnificent Obsession, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, All That Heaven Allows, and The Naked City among his credits.) It sounds very strong adding to the suspense and mood. There are, fully, optional French subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - playable worldwide.
Some discussion (in 1080i) in French by Jean-Pierre Dionnet but not English-friendly (no subs). There is a photos gallery and 5 trailers of films from this collection. A PAL DVD is included.
March 16th, 2016
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 3500 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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