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directed by Elia Kazan
USA 1947

One of the early films by Method Actor's director Elia Kazan (A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront), Boomerang! also marked one of the early American Hollywood entries into the Cannes Film Festival in 1947. Kazan's impactful noir drama stars a cast of stalwarts of the '40s and '50s hard-boiled streak and his own oeuvre, including Dana Andrews, Lee J. Cobb, Jane Wyatt, Arthur Kennedy, and Karl Malden.

When the murder of a piece results in a botched police investigation, prosecutor Henry Harvey (Dana Andrews) leads an effort to bring the murderer to justice. Once blackmail creeps into the investigation, all bets on an unclouded trial are off, resulting in an explosive finale that remains one of the toughest in Kazan's work.

With its documentary-like treatment of the procedural, and generally authentic portrayal of an exurban Connecticut town, Kazan's film was a success at the time of its release, and garnered awards from both the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of review for Kazan's direction. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present Boomerang! for the first time anywhere on Blu-ray, in a special Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) edition.

 

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Elia Kazan's brilliant docu-drama about an innocent man brow-beaten into confessing to the murder of a minister. Andrews is the D.A. who decides to dig deeper into what seems like an open-and-shut case. Look for playwright Arthur Miller in the suspect line-up. Based on an article by Anthony Abbott in Reader's Digest. Credits Cast: Dana Andrews Director: Elia Kazan Synopsis This melodrama, based on the true story of an unsolved murder, carefully combines fact with fiction in semi-documentary style. When a prosecuting attorney investigates the killing of a Connecticut clergyman, he begins to suspect that the accused man is innocent -- and sets out to prove it.

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When a Bridgeport priest is found murdered, suspicion quickly falls on down-and-out Kennedy. As he is the only suspect, it seems likely that he will have to pay for the crime, guilty or not, as the locals need a culprit to lay their fears to rest. Step in Andrews, the State Attorney, who is determined that justice will be done no matter what public opinion dictates. Based on an actual case and shot in impressive semi-documentary style by Kazan, Boomerang raises a complex issue without falling for the temptation to offer easy solutions. The performances, especially by Andrews, are spot on.

Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE

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The first of Louis de Rochemont's documentary-styled dramas (he was the producer of the newsreel series The March of Time). Dana Andrews, the honest DA of a corrupt New England town, defends an innocent man accused of killing a priest. This 1947 film is limited in scope and feeling, but the superficial dramatics work well enough. The direction is the work of a young Elia Kazan, a few years before he found himself.

 

Excerpt from Dave Kehr's capsule review at the Chicago Reader located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 5th, 1947

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Recently Released Essential Noirs

Comparison: 

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

 

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the DVD Review!

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 

Box Covers

   

Distribution

20th Century Fox

Region 1 - NTSC

Masters of Cinema - Spine #89

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:27:54 1:28:00.275 1:28:04.320
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 9.1 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,046,575,532 bytes

Feature: 27,552,135,168 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.16 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,046,575,532 bytes

Feature: 18,148,921,344 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.86 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: Masters of Cinema Blu-ray

Bitrate: Kino Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 1.0) LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

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)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps

Subtitles English, Spanish, None English (SDH), None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by film historians James Ursini and Alain Silver
• Photo galleries
• Fox Noir Trailers: I Wake Up Screaming, House of Strangers, Vicki
• Theatrical Trailer

Original DVD Release Date: June 6, 2006 (WITHDRAWN)
Keep Case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Eureka MoC

Aspect Ratio:
Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,046,575,532 bytes

Feature: 27,552,135,168 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.16 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Commentary by film historians Alain Silver and James Ursini

• Trailer (2:29)
• Elia Kazan - An Outsider 1982 Documentary about the filmmaker (53:14 in 1080i)
• 44 PAGE BOOKLET with a new essay by Glenn Kenny, Vintage interview material, Original article that inspired the film, Rare behind-the-scenes imagery

Dual-Format DVD included

Blu-ray Release Date: May 26th, 2014
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio: Kino

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,046,575,532 bytes

Feature: 18,148,921,344 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.86 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary by Film Noir Historian Imogen Sara Smith
• Audio Commentary By Film Historians Alain Silver and James Ursini

• Trailers Cry of the City - 2:33, Boomerang - 2:30, I Wake Up Screaming - 2:16, 99 River Street - 2:13, Shield For Murder - 1:45, Daisy Kenyon - 2:45

Blu-ray Release Date: November 15th, 2016
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters:8

 

 

 

Comments

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

 

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray December 16': Kino's 2016 Blu-ray transfer is only single-layered and has a lower bitrate than the UK transfer. Pixels move around in the comparison captures - both have slight background artifacts. Grain textures remain present and the Kino visuals may be slightly lighter. Boomerang will never look tight, glossy and pristine and the Kino resembles the Masters of Cinema more than it is different. I didn't find either overly soft (waxy) - perhaps MoC a shade more - but the artifacts are there, in both, is you are sensitive to them. It's more likely a factor of the source and/or production but there presence is odd but somehow reassuring that they are on both. I consider the 1080P image quality acceptable and easily in advance of the SD.

 

Kino use a DTS-HD Master - the lossless transfer benefits the score by David Buttolph's (Rope, Three Secrets, Kiss of Death, Blood and Sand) and supports the film very nicely. I didn't note any significant anomalies in the film's soundtrack - although, like the MoC, it may waver a shade at times. The Kino does not offer subtitles and is region 'A'-locked Blu-ray.

 

Kino offer two audio commentaries - the first by film noir historian Imogen Sara Smith and it is quite professional, refraining from being too dry. She has done work on Criterion Blu-rays - Odd Man Out, Ride the Pink Horse and In a Lonely Place with essays and interviews. This may be her first commentary and she covers a lot on the 'House Un-American Activities' and its relevancy to some of the cast/crew. She is the author of In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City and knows her stuff. I hope we hear more from her. We also get the one on both the UK BD and DVD with film historians Alain Silver and James Ursini. There are also trailers Cry of the City, Boomerang, I Wake Up Screaming, 99 River Street, Shield For Murder, and Daisy Kenyon.

I tend to be less discerning when it comes to Noir - I'm really juts so happy to own and see films from the cycle. The Kino has value with the commentaries and it's another 'dark cinema' effort that I can re-watch over and over. Recommended!

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ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - May 2014': Boomerang! - firstly noticeable on the DVD - never looked totally crisp. It always had a very thick appearance with some contrast flickering as if the source had some compromised density. The new 1080P transfer from Masters of Cinema, in the UK, supports the film's textures. There may be some information cropped off the top edge. This is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate. It is not exceptional in appearance but looks very film-like in motion. The visuals have a few minor speckles but is both damage and noise free - and provides a consistent HD presentation.

 

NOTE: Some have noted this MoC transfer as being waxy and we will eventually compare to a future 'Region A' Blu-ray version.

 

Audio is via a 2/.0 channel linear PCM track at 2304 kbps. There are optional white subtitles (sample below) on the region 'B'-locked Blu-ray.

 

Firstly, we get the same excellent commentary by film historians Alain Silver and James Ursini as found on the 2006 Fox DVD. Masters of Cinema include the sensitive documentary "Elia Kazan: An Outsider" directed by Annie Tresgot. It is from 1982, shot at the director's Connecticut property, Kazan discusses his acting debut in Hollywood. Then, during a walk in the forest, he speaks about his native Turkey relating his life as an immigrant, debuting at Group Theatre, his work at the Actors Studio, its meetings plus other projects. There is also a trailer (without text or narration - just like the DVD) and 44-page liner notes booklet with a new essay by Glenn Kenny, vintage interview material, original article that inspired the film, and rare behind-the-scenes imagery. The Dual-Format package also contains a DVD of the feature.

 

I love Noir on Blu-ray and this is a gem. I appreciated the higher resolution image, uncompressed sound and wonderful extras. Strongly recommended!

 

***

NOTE (August 08'): It's back! - and exactly the same as I can determine - same extras (commentary is there) - same transfer. But it still not listed at Amazon US yet - only on Amazon Canada (they deliver worldwide) - and that's where I got my copy from. It's so cheap it's ridiculous.

***

NOTE: As Brian tells us: "Fox cancelled the Boomerang! release at the last minute (presumably due to a rights snafu) after it had been shipped to retailers. Similar situation to the original release of Ed Wood (or De Sica's Shoeshine) where copies still trickled out despite the cancellation."

Gregory tells us: 'There's some flickering and a bit of damage, but overall the print is good. The sound quality is fine, although I heard a bit of crackle in one scene between Dana Andrews and Jane Wyatt. The included Boomerang trailer is missing text and narration...'

DVDBeaver would never stoop so low as to croon 'nah, nah, nah, nah - we have it and you don't!' but, well...

It looks as good as any of the past Fox Noir releases - fine digital noise, good grey-tones and contrast. Get out to your local Borders and see if you can snag a copy or two. If this doesn't resurface soon, it may be a great clandestine disc to own!

-Gary Tooze

 


Menu

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


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

 

Subtitle Sample - NOTE: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray does not offer subtitles

 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

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

 

 

More Masters of Cinema Blu-ray Captures

 


Recently Released Essential Noirs

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

Box Covers

   

Distribution

20th Century Fox

Region 1 - NTSC

Masters of Cinema - Spine #89

Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 




 

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