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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Delinquents [Blu-ray]


(Robert Altman, 1957)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: United Artists

Video: Olive Films



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:11:52.308

Disc Size: 21,613,606,963 bytes

Feature Size: 21,042,413,568 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 21st, 2017



Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 2009 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2009 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



• English, None



• Trailer (1:56)





Description: The Delinquents, maverick filmmaker Robert Altman’s feature film debut, is the ultimate in the kids-gone-bad film genre. Pre-Billy Jack actor Tom Laughlin stars as Scotty, a young man drawn into a potentially deadly friendship when he inadvertently becomes involved with “the wrong crowd.” Naiveté will lead Scotty and his girlfriend, Janice (Rosemary Howard) into dangerous waters when adolescent fun escalates into robbery, assault and kidnapping.

The Delinquents, written and directed by Robert Altman (MASH), co-stars Peter Miller (Forbidden Planet), Dick Bakalyan (Chinatown) and Helen Hawley (Two-Gun Betty).


Goodhearted teen Scotty (Tom Laughlin) just wants to spend time with his girl, but her disapproving folks break up the young lovers' relationship. Scotty grows despondent but bumps into fellow youngsters Cholly (Peter Miller) and Eddy (Richard Bakalyan), who cheer him up with their mischievous ways. They induct Scotty into their band of hooligans, but the group's harmless rock-'n'-roll-fueled antics quickly give way to violent rumbles at drive-ins, and Scotty winds up in major trouble



The Film:

Shot on a low budget of between $45,000 and $63,000 in and around Kansas City, The Delinquents (1957) is one for the film history books. On the surface, it looks indistinguishable from other drive-in movies about hot-rod gangs, misunderstood teenagers, and wild parties. But the film has a fresh, improvisational style (note the opening sequence in a Kansas City nightclub), and check out those credits. It not only marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Robert Altman but it also features Tom Laughlin (future star of Billy Jack) in his first major role. Alfred Hitchcock was so impressed with The Delinquents that he offered the young director some work, which led Altman to direct a few half-hour episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

According to writer Patrick McGilligan in his biography, Robert Altman: Jumping Off the Cliff, there was immediate tension on the set of The Delinquents: "It was not a marriage made in heaven: the square, free-wheeling Altman and the bohemian, mercurial Laughlin, both of them future counterculture heroes. Altman has described Laughlin during the filming as "an unbelievable pain in the ass," totally egomaniacal, guilty that he had not become a priest, with a "big Catholic hang-up" and a James Dean complex.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Robert Altman's first feature film deals with the age-old problem of juvenile delinquency. Laughlin stars as a clean-cut, straight-arrow suddenly mixed up with a gang of hoodlums who kidnap his girl (Howard), force him to drink booze, and then frame him for a gas station holdup they pulled. In the end, everyone gets lectured by the cops. The film was shot in Kansas City using mostly local talent in the casting. The highlight is a rumble scene at a drive-in theater.

Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE

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

The Delinquents arrives on Blu-ray from Olive Films. This is only single-layered but has a max'ed out bitrate for the 1 1/4 hour film. Contrast is quite adept and the grain is excellent - consistent and fine. The Blu-ray is in the 1.66:1 aspect ratio and I saw no untoward damage. It looks surprisingly strong considering the modest production values. There is reasonable detail and some depth exported by the 1080P.



















Audio :

Audio is transferred to a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 2009 kbps (24-bit). No effects fro the low budget effort. There is uncredited music from Gene Garf and Louis Palange while Julia Lee sings in a couple of sequences. It is all pretty unremarkable but audible. There are optional English (yellow font) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Only a trailer  - which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with the majority of their releases.



Well, what can you say? If you were expecting some hidden masterpiece from Robert Altman's debut film it is noticeably absent. The Delinquents has more in common with a Public Service Announcement than the director's brilliant 3 Woman. I would only say that it seemed competent although Altman would later state "Nobody knew what they were doing. I don't think it has any meaning for anybody." I guess, you never know what kissing and alcohol can lead to kids! The bare-bones Blu-ray is fine if you just want to see the film. But, the questions is, why would you want to do that? Pass. There is not enough value here, imo.

Gary Tooze

March 21st, 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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Gary W. Tooze






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