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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Three Brothers aka "Tre fratelli" [Blu-ray]


(Francesco Rosi, 1981)


Being Released, by Arrow, in the US, on Blu-ray in April 2017:



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Gaumont

Video: Arrow Video



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

Runtime: 1:51:23.677 

Disc Size: 39,828,180,205 bytes

Feature Size: 32,651,050,368 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 11

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: April 4th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio Italian 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit



English, none



Archival interview with Francesco Rosi (1:12:12)
Original theatrical trailer (3:20)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
Booklet featuring an essay by Professor Millicent Marcus, a 1981 interview with Rosi and a selection of contemporary reviews (first printing only)

DVD included





Description: Francesco Rosi established himself as one of the greatest chroniclers of Italy's stormy postwar history with such riveting classics as Salvatore Giuliano, The Mattei Affair and Illustrious Corpses. Three Brothers (Tre fratelli) explores similarly knotty social and political territory through the seemingly straightforward story of three siblings returning to their native southern Italy to pay homage to their late mother. However, their various professions a judge in Rome (Philippe Noiret), a spiritual counsellor in Naples (Vittorio Mezzogiorno), a factory worker in Turin (Michele Placido) have a profound effect on their response to this reunion.

Although Oscar-nominated at the time, Three Brothers has never previously been released on any video format in the UK. Arrow Academy is proud to present it here in a brand new 2K restoration.



The Film:

Director Francesco Rosi earned a Best Foreign Film Academy Award nomination for his drama Tre Fratelli (Three Brothers), an adaptation of a work by Andrei Platonov. When the matriarch of an Italian family dies, the husband brings his three boys, each of whom are facing difficult personal problems, back to their farmhouse. Raffaele (Philippe Noiret) is a judge who fears being executed over the politically unsettling case over which he is presiding. Rocco (Vittorio Mezzogiorno) is quite religious and dreams of helping troubled teenagers. Nicola (Michele Placido) is a worker involved in a labor dispute as well as a failed marriage. Each of the men grieves in his own way, while also wrestling with the other emotional issues that are pressing on them.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE


A film of quiet reflection and strengthening resolve (1980) by the superb Italian director Francesco Rosi (Eboli, Salvatore Giuliano). Three brothers who have gone their separate ways professionally and politically gather for the funeral of their mother at the southern farm where they grew up. For each man the homecoming is a chance to retreat from the wider world, make contact with his peasant upbringing, and consider his part in the complex social fabric of Italy. Though the conception is rather schematic and the acting isn't all it could be, Rosi's deep-focus camera work spins a vivid, lyrical drama of regret and rebirth, abstract ethics and pinpoint sensuality. Not Rosi's best, but still an important film by a major talent. With Philippe Noiret and Charles Vanel. (DK) The movie is known in English as Three Brothers.

Excerpt from Dave Kehr at the Chicago Reader located HERE


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

Three Brothers gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow Academy.  It's dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the, almost, 2-hour film. There is a wonderful balance between tightness and texture. The 1080P supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy, rich black levels and some minor depth in the 1.85:1 frame.  It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws with the rendering. There isn't a lot of depth nor gloss but this Blu-ray provides an excellent replication of the theatrical presentation. Quite beautiful.



















Audio :

Arrow provides an authentic linear mono track in Italian - although there are a few sync mismatches as are usual with international casts - and that are probably representative of the original (ex. in the Guardian Interview included he discusses Chronicle of a Death Foretold which was mostly shot in Spanish). The somber score is by Italian composer and jazz musician Piero Piccioni (The 10th Victim, Adua and Her Friends, Hands Over the City, L'assassino, The Moment of Truth) that is subtle but impacting via the lossless. There There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


NOTE: As Michael Brooke tells us in Facebook: "The "sync mismatches" you mention were all flagged up in QC, and when I double-checked everything I found that they all involved either Philippe Noiret, Andréa Ferréol, or both - I'm assuming they were speaking French originally.

In the bar scene roughly halfway through the film, there's a rather bizarre effect that seems to be a case of Francesco Rosi recording the political debate with direct sound (unusual for an Italian film of the period) but also needing to dub Noiret into Italian, so the whole quality of the ambient sound changes whenever he's speaking. But we checked against another source from a different transfer and it's definitely true to the original.
" (Thanks Michael!)


Extras :

Arrow included as an extra a 1 1/4 hour audio interview with Francesco Rosi recorded at the National Film Theatre in London in the summer of 1987. It is hosted by Derek Malcolm and the director mostly speaks English with some translations by Mary Webb. He talks about the crime film genre and some of his work and production choices. There is also an original theatrical trailer and the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin and a booklet featuring an essay by Professor Millicent Marcus, a 1981 interview with Rosi and a selection of contemporary reviews (first printing only). It is Dual-format and includes a DVD of the feature.



Three Brothers is a deliberately-paced, contemplative family drama with crime overtones and it's a beautiful film. Pasqualino DiSantis' cinematography is memorable and the film is thought-provoking.  The Arrow Academy Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation with a good supplement in the Guardian interview. Those who appreciate the director's work or Italian cinema should definitely consider picking this up. It is a film I will certainly watch multiple times. 

Gary Tooze

April 2nd, 2016

Being Released, by Arrow, in the US, on Blu-ray in April 2017:


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.

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Gary W. Tooze






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