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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Robert Wise
USA 1959

Considered by many to be the last of the true 40s and 50s film noirs, is the story of a daring robbery gone wrong.

When ruthless killer Earle Slater (Robert Ryan) teams up with crooked ex-cop Dave Burke (Ed Begley), and gambler Johnny Ingram (Harry Belafonte) to rob a New York bank, things quickly start to go wrong. Fuelled by his racist hatred, Earle continually clashes with Johnny resulting in the heist quickly spiralling out of control. With the escalating tension comes increasing violence as Slater's prejudice drives both him and Ingram to the very edge.

With its dark jazz score and brooding atmosphere Odds Against Tomorrow represents one of the most important films about race and racism, and was directed by four time Oscar winner Robert Wise (The Sound of Music, West Side Story).

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 15th, 1959 - USA

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Comparison:

MGM -  Region 1 - NTSC vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) BFI Video Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

Distribution MGM - Region 1- NTSC BFI Video
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:36:00 1:35:46.500
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.48 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,096,182,668 bytes

Feature: 28,274,804,736 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.04 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) 

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Robert Ryan at the National Film Theatre: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• None 

DVD Release Date: December 2nd, 2003

Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio:
BFI Video Publishing

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,096,182,668 bytes

Feature: 28,274,804,736 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.04 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Odds Against Tomorrow post screening Q+A with Harry Belafonte (49:14)

Adrian Wootton on Odds Against Tomorrow (29:31)

The Guardian Interview: Robert Wise at the National Film Theatre ( 1:13:50)

The John Player Lecture: Robert Ryan at the National Film Theatre

• Original trailer (3:10)
• Fully illustrated booklet with new writing on the film


Blu-ray Release Date: October 24th, 2016
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: (October 2016) BFI Region 'B' - Blu-ray: WOW - does this ever look amazing. The essential Noir Odds Against Tomorrow get the Blu-ray treatment from BFI in the UK and the results are leaps and bounds beyond the greenish 2003 DVD from MGM. The film's magnificent shadow and light cinematography comes through so well with the layered contrast of 1080P resolution. I can't say more than the captures - there are some speckles and light vertical scratches but this is a huge triumph for Noir fans. The grain is consistent and fine. It looks just as brilliant in-motion.

BFI use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit). The moody score is by Jazz pianist John Lewis. He, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson and drummer Kenny Clarke were the original members of the Modern Jazz Quartet. This music sounds exquisite in lossless. Of course, we also get the bonus of Harry Belafonte's My Baby's Not Around and All Men Are Evil. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'B'-locked Blu-ray.

I haven't had a chance to indulge in the extras - tonight I will make the time. BFI stack the package starting with a 50-minute Odds Against Tomorrow post screening Q+A with Harry Belafonte from August 2009 - Chicago, Adrian Wootton on Odds Against Tomorrow for just shy of 1/2 and hour. A 1 1/4 hour Guardian Interview: Robert Wise at the National Film Theatre and The John Player Lecture: Robert Ryan at the National Film Theatre that appears to play alongside the film. There is an original trailer and a liner notes illustrated booklet with new writing on the film.

I'm very pleased with this Blu-ray. You can appreciate Odds Against Tomorrow to a much higher degree with both the stellar a/v and the extensive supplements. I could have taken captures of the latter scene with Gloria Grahame and Ryan all day. We give this our highest recommendation!

***

ON THE DVD: Standard fare from MGM - good, but not great image - very green - poor contrast and muddy - no extras at all. This is a pretty interesting film from a master director, it would have been nice if they had put some effort into it as it was released only last year (2003).  out of         

Gary W. Tooze


Recommended Reading in Film Noir (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 



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1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) BFI Video Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) BFI Video Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) BFI Video Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) BFI Video Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) BFI Video Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) BFI Video Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

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Distribution MGM - Region 1- NTSC BFI Video
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray


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Gary Tooze