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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Bobby Deerfield [Blu-ray]


(Sydney Pollack, 1977)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Twilight Time



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

Runtime: 2:04:28.711 

Disc Size: 41,491,450,363 bytes

Feature Size: 40,809,953,280 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Chapters: 24

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: September, 2016



Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3060 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3060 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2053 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2053 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1941 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1941 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1738 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1738 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1854 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1854 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), None



Audio Commentary with Sydney Pollack
Isolated Score Track
Original Theatrical Trailer (2:30)

Liner notes by Julie Kirgo

Limited to 3,000 Copies!





Description: Intelligently directed by Sidney Pollack (3 Days of the Condor), Bobby Deerfield (1977) is a romantic melodrama starring the beautiful young Al Pacino as an American driver on the European racing circuit who falls in love with an impulsive eccentric (Marthe Keller). Their love affair takes on added depth when she challenges his sullen introversion – and when he discovers her tragic secret. Highlighted by Henri DecaŽ’s dreamy cinematography and a lovely score from the great Dave Grusin, available here as an isolated track.



The Film:

"Bobby Deerfield" may turn out to be the year's most cynical movie made by people who know better, including Sydney Pollack, the director, and Alvin Sargent, who wrote the screenplay. It stars Al Pacino as a self-centered, remarkably uninteresting (and uninterested) international race-car driver and Marthe Keller as his doomed, soon-to-be-bald beloved, a girl whose manic behavior is supposed to indicate a love of life but suggests rather more strongly that she's in desperate need of a Valium.

Excerpt from The NY Times located HERE

Largely forgotten, but remembered chiefly as “Al Pacino’s racecar movie,” Bobby Deerfield is not so much a failed vanity project as it is a groping, often sensitive and rather death-obsessed character study based on Erich Maria Remarque’s fatalistically titled novel Heaven Has No Favorites. We barely ever see Pacino’s Bobby in his racecar, and there is not much actual racing footage. Instead, we are treated to a patient, often exasperating two-hander between garrulous, impulsive Lillian (Marthe Keller) and the enclosed, cautious Bobby. There’s strikingly little plot, and we learn quite early that Lillian is dying, so the only drama is in these two people and their desultory interaction with each other against various European locales, which leads to an extremely bizarre scene where Bobby imitates Mae West, opens up about his family, and learns to tell lies about himself, which is seen as some kind of psychological breakthrough by the spiky Lillian.

Excerpt from Slant located HERE


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

Bobby Deerfield comes to Twilight Time Blu-ray in a dual-layered, 1080P transfer with their usual high bitrate. The visuals are solid with rich colors and consistent detail in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio. There is a pleasing film-like thickness but the visuals also export some depth. This Blu-ray gives a good HD presentation - consistent, no flaws - probably as good as it will get for this film.



















Audio :

Twilight Time offer three audio options - a DTS-HD Master 5.1 bump at a healthy 3060 kbps, a similar encoded 2.0 channel stereo and a simple mono track - all 24-bit. the surround sounds decent for the racetrack sequences but I settled on the mono. Dave Grusin's (The Front, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, ...And Justice For All, 3 Days of the Condor) score sounds very suitable to the film's romantic endeavors. It's quite crisp and clean. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.


Extras :

Twilight Time add the older audio commentary with director Sydney Pollack. he's a pleasure to listen to although I might have preferred more critical analysis of the film. There is also the usual Isolated Score Track and an original theatrical trailer. The package has some liner notes by Julie Kirgo and is limited to 3,000 copies.



Let's be kind and just say that Bobby Deerfield is no A Man and a Woman. An odd production that tries to rely on the Euro-atmosphere with the classy car-racing but there seems an awkward disconnect when Pacino is away from it.  It seems most suitable to Pacino fans. He's his usual excellent self and Marthe Keller (Fedora, Marathon Man) can't be blamed. It just feels contrived or forced at times. The Twilight Time Blu-ray provides a good a/v transfer for the film and further value with the commentary, isolated score and liner notes. It may not be a film to revisit but there are a few positives. 

Gary Tooze

October 25th, 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
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Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

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Gary W. Tooze






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