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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Brave One [Blu-ray]


(Irving Rapper, 1956)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: King Brothers Productions

Video: VCI



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

Runtime: 1:39:48.649

Disc Size: 24,284,059,668 bytes

Feature Size: 21,898,856,448 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.67 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 14th, 2016



Aspect ratio: 2.50:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC



LPCM Audio English 4608 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4608 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio French 768 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit



English, Spanish, None



• Re-Mastered Trailer (2:51)
Musical Score by Victor Young (31:38)





Description: A film full of warmth and sensitivity, The Brave One is story about the friendship of a boy and a bull. Gitano or Gypsy is the name the boy gives the bull whose life he saves during a storm. The animal follows him around like a puppy until the legal owners spirit the mature Gitano away to do battle with top matador Fermin Rivera in the Plaza de Mexico bullring in Mexico City. The boy protests in vain at the cruelty of the arena and finally secures a "pardon" for his pet signed by the President of Mexico, but he is too late. The bullfight continues. What follows is such a display of courage that the crowd calls for the "undulto" a demand that the bull be allowed to live. Based on a true incident, the film earned a "Best Story" Academy AwardŽ for Robert Rich - who, much to the embarrassment of the Academy, turned out to be blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.



The Film:

The Brave One is a bull named Gitano (or Gypsy). Mexican lad Michael Ray "adopts" Gitano after saving the animal's life during a storm. The friendship between bull and boy is threatened when Gitano's legal owners claim the animal and ship it off to the bullring. Moved by the boy's plight, the President of Mexico signs a "pardon" for Gitano-but not soon enough to prevent the bull's appearance at the Plaze de Mexico at Mexico City, where he faces top matador Fermin Rivera. The Brave One was helmed by Irving Rapper, a man best known for his Bette Davis vehicles at Warner Bros. Based on a true incident, the film earned a "best story" Academy Award for one Robert Rich-who, much to the embarrassment of the Academy (and the delight of civil libertarians) turned out to be blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Long available only in its "flat", black and white TV version, The Brave One was recently restored to its Technicolor and CinemaScope glory by the American Movie Classics cable service

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

According to the promotional narrative in the trailer: “…again and again and again your blood will raise, your heart stand still as you share the hopes and dreams and fears of every boy who ever had a pet …”. And, while the second part of that statement is valid for modern-day viewers of any age, the film’s lengthy run time is likely to cause boredom (instead of causing a rise in the blood).

What I found most exciting were the bullfighting scenes, which provided the sense of suspense that is somewhat lacking in other places of the film’s story development. Only this time I found myself cheering for the bull instead of the matador (the bullfighter).

Excerpt from TheSkyKid located HERE

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

WTF? The Brave One comes to Blu-ray from VCI. The, presumably restored, image is problematic. Aside from looking very green at times - where is the grain? The transfer is flat and overly digitized showing an unpleasant, waxy, DNR-heavy appearance. Ughhh. VCI may have finally used AVC over MPEG2 but this manipulation is worse, IMO. Horrid.


















Audio :

VCI use a linear PCM with the 3 options of a 5.1 bump (with little separation but intense depth), 2.0 channel or a French DUB - all at 16-bit. I did notice some sync issues with the dialogue but the score composed by the great Victor Young (The Big Clock, The File on Thelma Jordan, Three Faces West, The Sun Shines Bright, Johnny Guitar, China Gate etc.) sounds pleasing. There are optional English or Spanish subtitles offered and the box back-cover states it is 'Region A'-locked.



Extras :

Only a re-mastered trailer and 1/2 hour's worth of the musical score by Victor Young.



I honestly don't mean to pick on VCI, but... something is afoul in the decision-making process of their BD transfer authoring. I kinda liked the film when I wasn't disgusted by the video faux-pas. This is another mess from this production company. Potential purchasers have been warned.  

Gary Tooze

June 10th, 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.

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Gary W. Tooze






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