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The Purple Plain [Blu-ray]
(Robert Parrish, 1954)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Two Cities Films
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,103,387,861 bytes
Feature Size: 22,247,565,312 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.94 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 1559 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1559 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
•Trailers for On the Beach (4:46), The Wonderful Country (2:57) and Billy Two Hats (3:59)
Description:The Blinding Sky... The Blazing Sands... The Merciless Jungles of Burma s Purple Hell ... Comes the Mightiest of all Adventures Between Heaven and Earth! Screen icon Gregory Peck (On the Beach, Moby Dick, Night People) gives a commanding and convincing performance in this exotic World War II drama. An engrossing and visually alluring film full of harrowing suspense, The Purple Plain is a classic war film everyone should see. After his wife is killed during the Blitz, Forrester (Peck) is bent on achieving one thing in the war: his death. But when his plane crash-lands in enemy territory, he realizes that he must save himself in order to guide his two injured companions to safety. As they cross the Burmese desert with no food and little water, Forrester's will to live grows stronger than ever! Stylishly directed by Robert Parrish (The Wonderful Country, The Destructors) and based on a novel by H.E. Bates (Summertime).
An H.E. Bates novel was the source for this psychological wartime drama set in Burma. Canadian pilot Gregory Peck and two comrades-in-arms crash in the Burmese wilds. The three men are forced to hack and crawl their way to safety, surrounded on all sides by the Japanese. Peck's subordinates don't completely trust their leader, and not without reason: Peck's nerves have been at the breaking point for months, and this experience may send him around the bend. But the ordeal strengthens Peck's psyche. Despite its American star, director and distributor (United Artists), The Purple Plain is a British production; thanks to its top-drawer production values and evocative color photography by Geoffrey Unsworth, the film brought in customers on both sides of the big pond.
Hollywood's love affair with international production proved a boon in
1954 when Gregory Peck starred in The Purple Plain, a thought-provoking
World War II picture about a Canadian flyer trapped behind enemy lines
in Burma. Although it ultimately underperformed at the box office, The
Purple Plain has become one of Peck's most respected pictures while also
serving as the highlight of director Robert Parrish's unjustly sporadic
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The Purple Plain varies in quality in 1080P. The image shows inconsistencies not just the aircraft stock footage and but others sequences notable later in the film in the night scenes. The source has a few speckles and the stock footage is rife with vertical scratches. I think this may have been originally in 1.37:1 but this Blu-ray is 1.66:1 and for the most part has impressive detail in close-ups and looks quite pleasing in-motion. This Blu-ray is subject to the available source and I'm more keen to have seen it than complain about the image irregularities.
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 1559 kbps in the original English language. There are effects in the film - mostly the aircraft bombing scenes and the crash. They sound quite effective.John Veale's score is less committed but adds some flavor in the lossless. It sounds solid. There are optional English subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
March 14th, 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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