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"Pimpernel" Smith [Blu-ray]
(Leslie Howard, 1941)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: British National Films
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,468,740,014 bytes
Feature Size: 24,326,909,952 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23.50 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: November 15th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1791 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1791 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
• English (SDH), None
Inspired by Baroness Emmuska Orczy's The Scarlet
Pimpernel, Pimpernel Smith stays true to the
source material while allowing director and star Leslie
Howard to present a thought-provoking and entertaining
English archaeologist Horatio Smith (Leslie Howard) takes his students to Germany before the start of World War II to study the existence of early Aryans. He is actually there, however, to free concentration camp inmates. General von Graum (Francis Sullivan), a Gestapo head, dispatches the beautiful Ludmilla Koslowski (Mary Morris) to find the man behind the escapes, but she instead allies with Horatio. Together they scheme to free Ludmilla's father, Sidimir (Peter Gawthorne).Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Leslie Howard was among the British actors based in Hollywood who returned home during World War I to do their bit for the war effort, and this tale of a reincarnated Scarlet Pimpernel smuggling people out from under the Nazi's noses typifies the star's attitude to traditionally English values. Deftly directed and imaginatively edited, the film may nevertheless be just too restrained and Anglo-Saxon for its own good (especially Howard's characterisation of the absent-minded archaeology professor setting out to disprove the existence of an Aryan civilisation).Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Pimpernel Smith arrives on Blu-ray from Olive Films. This is only single-layered but has a reasonable bitrate for the 2-hour film. The feature looks quite pleasing with some rich grain textures. Contrast exports decent layering with appreciative shadow-detail and inky blacks. There is no real depth but this is all very watchable in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio with a few speckles but no detrimental flaws. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and the consistency and overall quality add to the very positive viewing experience.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio is transferred to a DTS-HD Master (24-bit). Audio is exported cleanly and without errors. The score by John Greenwood (Secret Agent, Man of Aran, Elephant Boy) sounds fine in the lossless adding another layer to the adventure/mystery features of the film. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with the majority of their releases.
November 18th, 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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