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Boy on a Dolphin [Blu-ray]
(Jean Negulesco, 1957)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 25,995,864,138 bytes
Feature Size: 23,323,668,480 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.86 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 25th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1555 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1555 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Description:A Brand New 4K Restoration! Italian goddess Sophia Loren (Marriage Italian Style) made her American film debut in this adventure yarn set upon the Greek island of Hydra. There in a seaside village the beautiful Phaedra (Loren), a sponge diver finds a breath-taking gold statue of a boy riding a dolphin. Her slimy and crooked boyfriend (Jorge Mistral, Luis Bunuel's Wuthering Heights) wants to sell it to an unscrupulous and wealthy art collector, but Phaedra wants to hand it over to an American anthropologist, Jim Calder (Alan Ladd, Shane), who would return it to the Greek government, so it could be displayed in a prominent Greek museum. Beautifully shot in cinemascope by Milton R. Krasner (23 Paces to Baker Street) with a screenplay by Ivan Moffat and Dwight Taylor (based on a novel by David Divine, Dunkirk) and great direction by Jean Negulesco (1953's Titanic). Co-starring Clifton Webb (Laura).
Originally, the film was to star Cary Grant and Loren,
The Pride and the Passion (1957), where the two
had sparked up a real-life romance. Boy on a Dolphin
was four days into shooting in Greece when Grant
cancelled. His wife, Betsy Drake, had survived the
sinking of the Andrea Doria ocean liner and he went to
be with her. Robert Mitchum was next up, but in the end,
Alan Ladd was signed by Twentieth Century-Fox president
Spyros Skouras, a considerable surprise to director Jean
Negulesco, who thought Ladd was all wrong for the part;
he was too diminutive in size (reported from 5'4" to
5'6") and presence to visually compliment his costar
Loren. "It sounded then and sounds now pure insanity,"
Negulesco says in his autobiography,
Things I Did and Things I Think I Did.
The titular "Boy," which adorns the bow of a vessel that has lain
sunken off the island of Hydra for 1,900 years, is accidentally
discovered by Signorina Loren, a volatile sponge diver, and Jorge
Mistral, her belligerent Albanian boy friend. The idea is to sell this
art treasure, a practice officially frowned upon by the Greek
Government. Alan Ladd, a dedicated archaeologist, agrees to help
Signorina Loren, but Clifton Webb, a rich, suave esthete, who is equally
dedicated to snagging the statue for himself, offers her lots of
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Boy on a Dolphin looks much better than I was anticipating 1080P. It is cited as a "A Brand New 4K Restoration". Colors have a richness and the film's inherent softness is consistent throughout. Contrast is quite strong but detail is not pristine. The film's almost exclusive outdoor sequences can tend to look quite impressive as do the Greek island 'scapes'. The source is clean, and I noticed no noise but there is little depth and a nice film-like thickness to the image quality. Kudos to Sophia - the visuals are pleasing to impressive. This Blu-ray gave me a very watchable, and pleasurable, viewing in regards to the picture quality.
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 1555 kbps in the original English language. There are some underwater scenes that don't come into play in the film's soundstage. The score is by Hugo Friedhofer (Man in the Attic, Ace in the Hole, Body and Soul, Gilda, The Bishop's Wife) and the film's music is exported solidly - reasonably tight and fresh sounding. The dialogue was sometimes harder to distinguish - which would probably on-par with the production. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
October 6th, 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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