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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Gallant Hours [Blu-ray]

 

(Robert Montgomery, 1960)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Cagney-Montgomery Production

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:55:59.577

Disc Size: 28,609,847,864 bytes

Feature Size: 27,485,583,360 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.32 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 5th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1570 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1570 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, None

 

Extras:

Trailers for The Gallant Hours (2:49), Run Silent, Run Deep (3:02) and On the Beach (4:46)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Hollywood legend James Cagney (White Heat, The Roaring Twenties) stars as Fleet Admiral William F. Bull Halsey Jr. Acting great Robert Montgomery (Ride the Pink Horse) produced and directed this classic WWII classic a semi-documentary dramatization tracing the days before the battle of Guadalcanal, in which Admiral Halsey, Commander of the South Pacific Forces, makes courageous and crucial decisions that start to turn the tide against the Japanese. Beautifully shot by Joseph MacDonald (The Sand Pebbles) and featuring a stellar cast that includes Dennis Weaver (Storm Fear, Duel) and Richard Jaeckel (The Dirty Dozen).

 

 

The Film:

The "mutual admiration society" consisting of actor James Cagney and actor/director Robert Montgomery culminated in the 1960 film The Gallant Hours. Cagney stars as war hero Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey. On the verge of retirement, Halsey recalls his most fateful wartime experience: his five-week showdown between himself and Japanese Admiral Yamamoto (James T. Goto) in 1942. In command of the American naval forces in the Pacific, Halsey scores a crucial, tide-turning victory at Guadalcanal. In concentrating on the participants rather than the battle itself, The Gallant Hours is a character study of a remarkable American. The a cappella "score" performed by Ken Darby and the King's Men Quartet is a matter of taste.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

Cagney and Montgomery were friends for years, even if they were an unlikely duo on the surface Cagney the kid from the streets of New York, a self-admitted "strong Roosevelt liberal" who was once accused of Communist ties; Montgomery, scion of the privileged class, a conservative who appeared as a friendly witness before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Nevertheless, they got along well and enjoyed working on The Gallant Hours. Both admired Halsey greatly, and the project became a labor of love for them. Cagney had high regard for Montgomery as a "deeply read, wonderfully intelligent man with a great social flair." In his autobiography, Cagney noted that his friend was "a chap raised with a silver spoon in his mouth who on ability and guts alone became the leader of the Screen Actors Guild, and in their first big fight with the Producers Association, laid his career right on the line." He also admired the way Montgomery tackled "the big guns of the television networks."

The Gallant Hours was their only movie together, although Cagney had appeared in an episode of Montgomery's Emmy-winning TV anthology series Robert Montgomery Presents in 1956. Cagney said in his autobiography that he played the role of an Army sergeant escorting the body of a dead buddy home from Korea "because I promised Bob that if I ever did any work on television, I'd do the first with him." Rarely seen on the small screen, Cagney also showed up on several shows after the release of The Gallant Hours to promote the picture, including one guest spot where he got to meet two other men he admired, heavyweight boxing champs Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

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

The dual-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The Gallant Hours has a high bitrate for the 2-hour film and looks quite solid in the 1080P resolution. Contrast is quite strong but detail, perhaps, a little wanting. It is in the 1.66:1 aspect ratio. The source is clean and consistent, and I noticed no noise. It advances over SD and this Blu-ray gave me a very watchable, and pleasurable, viewing in regards to the in-motion picture quality. It probably won't be looking significantly superior for home theatre viewing.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1570 kbps in the original English language. There are few war effects in the film - a lot of dialogue and less action sequences. A score is credited to Roger Wagner but at the time of filming, there was a musicians strike - so there is no specified musical score and choir music was utilized in its place. The 'theme' words and music are written by Ward Costello and sung by the Roger Wagner Chorale. It sounds quite regal, if not perfectly appropriate, in the lossless. There are optional English subtitles (see sample above) offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Only trailers for The Gallant Hours, Run Silent, Run Deep and On the Beach.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Gallant Hours is a very above-average War-bio. It is impressive every time I see it - as is Cagney in the lead as Adm. William F. Halsey Jr. . The historical significance of the 5-week period docu-dramatized in the film is examined without overly bombastic flag-waving although it still remains a 'pride-evoking' film experience. The bare-bones Kino Lorber
Blu-ray seems the only way to see this gem in 1080P - and I think it is worthy - as a film in its own right. Recommended!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 45% OFF pre-order at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

March 15th, 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 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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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