|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(Felix E. Feist, 1933)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: K.B.S. Productions Inc.
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 28,166,407,025 bytes
Feature Size: 13,941,927,936 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.64 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 21st, 2017
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1553 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1553 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
•Audio Commentary by Film Historian Richard Harland Smith
• The Complete 1934 Feature Film BACK PAGE Starring Peggy Shannon, the star of Deluge(1:04:50.428 - 13 Meg - 23.98 Mbps)
• Trailers - The Hurricane (2:42), Avalanche (2:12), Meteor (3:36)
Description:Newly Restored! Earthquakes in the Pacific send a massive tsunami around the globe, reducing New York City to rubble. Martin Webster (Sidney Blackmer, Rosemary's Baby) survives the catastrophe but is separated from his wife (Lois Wilson) and children. Pairing up with a headstrong young woman (Peggy Shannon), Webster struggles to rebuild civiilzation and cultivate a new post-apocalyptic moral code amidst the pillagers and vigilantes who remain. For years considered a lost film, and later emerging in a poor-quality Italian-dubbed version, Deluge is the holy grail of disaster movies. In 2016, Serge Bromberg of Lobster Films, with the help of the Library of Congress, located the original 35mm film elements, including the English-language soundtrack, and it is from these materials that the restoration has been meticulously performed. Directed by Felix E. Feist (The Devil Thumbs a Ride, Donovan's Brain), DELUGE lives up to its near-mythic reputation. Not only are the destruction scenes truly extraordinary, the drama of survival among the rubble is presented with a dark candor that is far more complex than one expects of a film of this vintage. Also featured on this disc is the Pre-Code drama BACK PAGE, starring Peggy Shannon (DELUGE) as a small-town newspaper woman who tries to bring down a notorious white-collar criminal.
After dilating upon the actions of alarmed
meteorological experts and then showing what purport to
be cities demolished by earthquakes and a flood, "Deluge,"
the current pictorial attraction at the Rialto, turns to
villainy and romance. It is remarkable how soon the few
remaining mortals regain their composure after the world
disaster and become quite interested in living in
caverns and shacks. There is the handsome but not
precisely brainy hero who battles with a rugged
scoundrel to save a fair college graduate, presumed at
the time to be the only woman alive in that part of the
This remarkable early-talkie "disaster" flick was the first directorial effort of Felix E. Feist. An enormous tidal wave destroys New York City and most of the Eastern seaboard -- and that's only the beginning of the picture! The rest of the film deals with the aftermath of the deluge. Hero Martin (Sidney Blackmer), certain that his wife Helen (Lois Wilson) and his children have died in the disaster, begins a romance with bathing beauty Claire (Peggy Shannon). They must fight for their lives against Jephson (Fred Kohler Sr.) and his band of outlaws, who are using the apocalyptic crisis as an excuse to rape and pillage. Surviving one peril after another, the couple is forced to face their biggest crisis when it turns out that Martin's family has not perished after all. Claire nobly solves everyone's problem by swimming out to sea, never to be heard from again. Ned Mann's special effects and miniature work are first-rate, resurfacing as stock footage for years afterward (incidentally, some of the earthquake footage was filmed during an actual California quake in early 1933). Also praiseworthy is the superb, wall-to-wall musical score. For years considered a "lost" film, Deluge was found again in 1987 and has since been restored to an approximation of its original form -- though a full-scale videotape release is long overdue.Excerpt from B+N located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Firstly, Deluge is a hoot. What an ambitious, pre-code film topic. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray is transferred in 1080P. It has some predictable marks and damage (see last 2 captures) but it seems to lessen after the first 15-minutes but there are frame-specific marks throughout. The grain is rich but the visuals, can vary from scene to scene. It looks like Lobster Films and Serge Bromberg are to thank for restoring and reviving this title (and 'Back Page'). This Blu-ray gave me a pleasurable viewing but individuals should be aware of its inherent weaknesses. I find that they add an intangible historical value to the film experience. The texture is a gorgeous attribute - exemplified by this higher resolution.
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 1553 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. There many effects in the film - wind, rain, rumbling earthquakes, floods, gunplay but they are at the mercy of the production's modest capabilities. The dialogue was a bit scattered but audible - which would probably on-par with the production. There was an uncredited score by Val Burton (doing a few film compositions including James Whale's 1931 Waterloo Bridge) and it rocks and rolls right along with the intense action of the first 1/3 of the film. Super. There are optional English subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Kudos to the, new, audio commentary by film historian Richard Harland Smith - it's filled with interesting tidbits, references and production details. I found it very rewarding. Kino also include the complete 1934 feature film BACK PAGE, another early effort (still pre-code?) also starring Peggy Shannon, the lead of Deluge. It runs about 1 hour 5-minutes and is of decent video quality (see captures). It's about a young female reporter who is fired from a big city newspaper, then decides to take over a troubled small town journal. She encounters difficulties bringing up details about 1930's feminism etc. There are also trailers for The Hurricane, Avalanche, and Meteor.
February 18th, 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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