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The Gallant Hours [Blu-ray]
(Robert Montgomery, 1960)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Cagney-Montgomery Production
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 28,609,847,864 bytes
Feature Size: 27,485,583,360 bytes
Video Bitrate: 28.32 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: April 5th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
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)
•Trailers for The Gallant Hours (2:49), Run Silent, Run Deep (3:02) and On the Beach (4:46)
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 "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.
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."
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
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.
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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