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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Directed by Dick Powell
USA 1957

 

Director Dick Powell was the juvenile or young tenor in many musicals, who made a strange about-face and turned to often convincing tough guy roles. His most memorable one was in the film noir "Murder, My Sweet. " Later he produced an directed five features, of which Number Four, "The Enemy Below" is by far the best, and good by any standards.

It is a World War II submarine yarn about an American destroyer captained by Robert Mitchum who is hunting down a German sub in a cat-and-mouse game. The U-Boat is commanded by Curt Jurgens. His able second and good friend is played by Theodore Bikel.

A sure-handledly directed film, it may be formulaic, but with a difference, mostly because of the interesting resemblances and differences between Mitchum and Jurgens, and some solid characterizations in other roles. Naturally, it has the expected quota of stiff upper lip and "Up periscope!", some bits about humanity, and last minute sentimental touches thrown in.

Within the war film genre there is a sub-genre about undersea warfare. Within the latter, there is a sub-sub-genre--as here-- which celebrates the respect that brave, professional commanders feel for their opponents' skill and courage. There's a job to be done, and it must get done without hate, without showing the enemies as cruel men, if not monsters. In fact the main German opponents are humanized and rather "sympatisch. " The opposing commanders are not rah-rah or gung-ho, but tired of war and disillusioned.

Excerpt from Edwin Jahuel's review located HERE.

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 25th, 1957

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Comparison:

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 Box Covers

   

   

  

Also available in The Heroes of War Collection - Naval Battles which includes  The Frogmen, Morituri,  and Sink the Bismarck!
Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:37:27 1:37:36.225
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.0 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,148,327,274 bytes

Feature: 20,549,437,440 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 24.94 Mbps

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 4.0), DUBs: Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0) DTS-HD Master Audio English 1620 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1620 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles English, Spanish, None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• 3 Movietone News Reels
• Trailers 

DVD Release Date: May 5th, 2004

Keep Case
Chapters: 28

Release Information:
Studio: Kino

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,148,327,274 bytes

Feature: 20,549,437,440 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 24.94 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Trailers (The Enemy Below - 2:19, Run Silent, Run Deep - 3:02, Fixed Bayonets - 2:36, The Secret Invasion - 3:11, The Train - 4:36)

Blu-ray Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters:9

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray October 16': Kino's 2016 Blu-ray transfer seems to have some Cinemascope mumps (wider-fatter faces) and colors do some shifting as compared to the SD. It's superior to the SD but The Enemy Below may never look pristine and glossy. It is very flat but there is texture visible and looks smooth in-motion. It is reasonably clean with only minor frame-specific damage (see last capture.) There is minor information cropped off the right edge. Perhaps this is the best the film can look but it is very underwhelming visually although the cinematography has some more impressive shots of the Pacific and the USS Haynes.

Kino use a DTS-HD Master at 1620 kbps (16-bit). It exports the films aggressive effect sounds competently. The score by Leigh Harline (Pickup on South Street, 23 Paces to Baker Street, House of Bamboo, Broken Lance) seems to benefit although the theme is a bit repetitive. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

Just trailers for The Enemy Below , Run Silent, Run Deep , Fixed Bayonets , The Secret Invasion and The Train.

I really love Mitchum in The Enemy Below - he is excellent, as usual, and it's a good marine-battle story. Well directed by Powell and a film that is well worth repeat viewing. Keep your expectations on the Blu-ray video in-check and you will enjoy this film experience.

***

ON THE DVD: Perhaps a notch below what we might consider to be Fox's usual competent standard for DVD transfer. The image is a bit hazy, differing from similar genre Fox releases of this period. Colors are bright but I suspect some manipulation as skin tones shift to reddish hue in certain sequences. Still, it is hardly much to gripe about if you are watching on a tube - the image is still anamorphic and progressive with consistent audio and optional subtitles. They are included 3 MovieTone newsreels, which is an extensive supplement by Fox's usual 'bare-bones' editions. The deal-maker in this package is the price tag at around $10 for one of the better submarine-naval thrillers, and possibly the best to come out of the 50's. The film is excellent, folks.

Gary W. Tooze

 





DVD Menus


 

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample - ONLY DVD offers subtitles

 

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Frame Specific damage


 Box Covers

   

   

  

Also available in The Heroes of War Collection - Naval Battles which includes  The Frogmen, Morituri,  and Sink the Bismarck!
Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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