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David and Bathsheba [Blu-ray]
(Henry King, 1951)
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: 30,142,871,750 bytes
Feature Size: 27,889,158,144 bytes
Video Bitrate: 28.85 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: January 10th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1558 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1558 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
• Once in 3,000 Years (3:38)
• Trailers for David and Bathsheba (color - 2:42 / black + white - 0:54)
• TV Spot (0:54)
Description: For this woman, he broke God s own Commandment! Screen legend, Gregory Peck (Yellow Sky, Night People) stars in this gripping retelling of the beloved Old Testament story. King David (Peck) has killed Goliath, prevailed in countless battles, but cannot vanquish his illicit love for the beautiful Bathsheba (Susan Hayward, Rawhide, I Want to Live). David sends her husband, Uriah (Kieron Moore, Arabesque), into a hopeless battle, setting into motion his own downward spiral. Neglecting kingdom and faith, he incurs the wrath of God, the destruction of his country and the ill will of his people, who expect Bathsheba to pay the ultimate price for adultery. This gorgeously shot, rapturously acted and deeply moving tale of love, obsession, tragedy, loss and redemption is as beautiful as it is timeless. Directed by the great Henry King (Prince of Foxes) and co-starring Raymond Massey (The Hurricane). Nominated for five Oscars including Best Screenplay by Philip Dunne (The Robe) and Best Cinematography by four-time Academy Award winner Leon Shamroy (Planet of the Apes) ---- Cinematographer, Leon Shamroy was nominated for 18 Academy Awards and won four: The Black Swan (1943), Wilson (1945), Leave Her to Heaven (1946) and Cleopatra (1964).
David and Bathsheba is a respectable, slightly stodgy cinematic adaptation of the Old Testament story. King David (Gregory Peck), much beloved by his subjects and a war hero of long standing, falls victim to the sins of the flesh when he falls in love with Bathsheba (Susan Hayward), the wife of Uriah (Kieron Moore), one of David's most trusted soldiers. His downfall begins when David orders Uriah into a suicidal battle, knowing that this will clear the way for his relationship with Bathsheba. His infatuation leads him to neglect his kingdom and his people, and invokes the wrath of God. Only after his land has been devastated by God's hand does David offer atonement. The film's lavish production values compensate ever so slightly for the long-winded script. David and Bathsheba was the last major "flat-screen" Biblical epic; it was filmed in 1951 B.C. -- Before Cinemascope.
In the 11th century B.C., Israelite military leader Joab is patroling his army's camp outside the city of Rabbah, the stronghold of their enemies the Ammonites, when he realizes that David, the King of Israel, is missing. Joab is infuriated to learn that David has joined Uriah on the nightly patrol mission, and sends a hundred men to find him. After a brief battle with the Ammonites, the wounded David returns safely to camp, accompanied by Uriah, who worships the king. Although David longs for the days when he, like Uriah, was a simple captain, he returns to the safety of Jerusalem and turns his attention to other affairs of state. Upon his arrival, Nathan, a well-respected prophet, assures David that God approves of his plan to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.Excerpt from TCM located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The dual-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of the Technicolor epic David and Bathsheba looks beautiful. Colors are rich and lustrous - contrast is wonderfully layered by the high resolution and the golden-filter hues of Goliath flashback sequences is very pleasing and authentic. The source is clean, and I noticed no noise - there is texture, depth and consistent detail in close-ups. This Blu-ray isn't perfect, but kudos to the film's art direction - it looks highly impressive in 1080P.
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 1558 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. There are effects in the film but the audio is most notable for the impressive orchestralscore by the great Alfred Newman (Cry of the City, The Diary of Anne Frank, Bus Stop, Blood and Sand, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Prince of Foxes, Panic in the Streets, The Song of Bernadette etc. etc.) - it has a rousing, epic feel and sounds beautiful in the lossless. There are optional English subtitles offered (see sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Extras include the 3.5 minute promo entitled Once in 3,000 Years with Hayward, Peck, director King and others discussing details pre-production around the studio lot. There are also 2 trailers for David and Bathsheba (color - 2:42 / black + white - 0:54) , a TV Spot and trailers forYellow Sky, On the Beach, I Want to Live, Rawhide, and Billy Two-Hats.
February 22nd, 2017
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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