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Fahrenheit 451

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/truffaut.htm
U.K. 1966

An underrated film, perhaps because it is less science fiction than a tale of 'once upon a time'. Where Ray Bradbury's novel posited a strange, terrifyingly mechanised society which has banned books in the interests of material well-being, Truffaut presents a cosy world not so very different from our own, with television a universal father-figure pouring out reassuring messages, and the only element of menace a fire-engine tearing down the road. A bright, gleaming childhood red, the engine is like a reminder of toyhood days; and as Werner's fireman hero goes about his task of destroying literature, his growing awareness of the almost human way in which books curl up and die in the flames gradually assumes the dimensions of a quest for a legendary lost treasure - movingly glimpsed as he slowly and painfully deciphers the title-page of David Copperfield. Here the rich, nostalgic pull of the past wins out over technocracy, and the film ends, as it began, with a scene lifted right out of time: a wonderful shot of the rebels - each dedicated to the preservation of a literary masterpiece by committing it to memory - wandering in contented, idyllic exile by the edge of a glitteringly icy lake.

Posters

Theatrical Release Date: September 11th, 1966 - France

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Comparison:

Universal - Region 2,4 - PAL vs. Universal - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MK2 - Region 2 - PAL vs. Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Universal (50th Anniversary) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

All DVD captures courtesy of Pavel Borodin Thanks Pavel !

1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND
3) MK2 - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

  

  

 

 

   

 

Distribution

Universal

Region 2,4 - PAL

Universal

Region 1  - NTSC

MK2
Region 2 - PAL
Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray Universal (50th Anniversary) - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:47:44 (4% PAL speedup) 1:52:16 1:47:36 (4% PAL speedup) 1:52:24.738 1:52:24.738
Video 1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.95
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.81 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.77:1 Original Aspect Ratio 16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.53
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 27,699,875,320 bytes

Feature: 22,568,146,944 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.90 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,470,384,277 bytes

Feature: 27,375,108,096 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
Bitrate:

Universal

 

Bitrate:

Universal

 

Bitrate:

MK2

Bitrate: Koch

Blu-ray

Bitrate: Universal

Blu-ray

Audio English, French, German (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)

English, French (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio German 1057 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1057 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1031 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1031 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1057 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1057 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1562 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1562 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio Japanese 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

DTS Audio English 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English, French, German, none English, French, Spanish and none French (forced) English, German, None English, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Japanese, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Special Features:
• The Novel: A discussion with Ray Bradbury
• Making of Fahrenheit 451
• Commentary with Julie Christie
• The Music of Fahrenheit 451
• The Original Title Sequence
• Photo Poster Gallery

DVD Release Date: Nov 10th, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 16

 

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Special Features:
• The Novel: A discussion with Ray Bradbury
• Making of Fahrenheit 451
• Commentary with Julie Christie
• The Music of Fahrenheit 451
• The Original Title Sequence
• Photo Poster Gallery
• Trailer

DVD Release Date: April 1, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: MK2 (France)

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.77:1



Edition Details:
Special Features:
La présentation du film par Serge Toubiana
Une interview de François Truffaut
Truffaut parle de la genèse du film
Truffaut parle de sa rencontre avec Ray Bradbury
Truffaut parle du choix des acteurs, du tournage à Londres
Extraits du journal de tournage de François Truffaut lus par Serge Rousseau (75 min)
Une interview de Julie Christie à Paris à l'occasion de la première du film
Un portrait de l'écrivain Ray Bradbury

DVD Release Date: 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 26

Release Information:
Studio: Koch Media
 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 27,699,875,320 bytes

Feature: 22,568,146,944 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.90 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Commentary with Julie Christie (editor Thom Noble, producer Lewis M. Allen, film scholar Annette Insdorf etc.)

Making Of  (44:31)

• Featurette with Ray Bradbury (11:28)

Featurette on Music (16:42)

• Newsreel with Julie Christie (3:40)

Newsreel with Francois Truffaut (15:05)

• English Trailer (2:38)

• German Trailer (0:59)

• Gallery (9:02)

Blu-ray Release Date: September 13th, 2013
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Universal
 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,470,384,277 bytes

Feature: 27,375,108,096 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Commentary with Julie Christie (editor Thom Noble, producer Lewis M. Allen, film scholar Annette Insdorf etc.)

• Making Of  (44:31)

• Featurette with Ray Bradbury (11:28)

• Featurette on Music (16:42)

• English Trailer (2:38)

• Gallery (5:08)

Blu-ray Release Date: June 6th, 2017
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

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

 

ADDITION: Universal (50th Anniversary) - Region FREE - Blu-ray June 17': This is to confirm that the Universal 50th Anniversary Blu-ray transfer is from the same restoration as the 2013 German BD, as we anticipated. It is more technically robust and the image is a shade richer and darker, but the weaknesses are still prevalent, however it is slightly superior in-motion to the Koch, although few would notice or make issue.

 

Audio is a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel (24-bit) and advances, marginally, over the Koch (that is 16-bit.) This can be significant to some considering the impact of the score. There are optional subtitle and the Blu-ray disc is, also, region FREE.

 

Despite being labeled as '50 Anniversary' it has no new extras and it even has fewer supplements than the Koch. The commentary is still there, as is the 3/4 hour 'making of', the featurette with Ray Bradbury and another on the film's music. There is a trailer and image gallery. We lose the 20-minutes worth of 'newsreels' with Julie Christie and Francois Truffaut that are on the Koch.

 

I should note after choosing the language there is no menu only one appearing over the film - which starts immediately. I find this form of authoring lazy.

 

So... despite the less-effectual image, fewer extras etc. we still recommend at the offered price (less than $10.) Let's hope Universal, or someone, revisits Fahrenheit 451 for an upgraded Blu-ray release soon!   

***

 

ADDITION: Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray May 17': Firstly, I will be getting and comparing the new Universal Blu-ray but I have strong suspicions that it will be the same (or at least very similar) to this German Blu-ray transfer from 2013. Koch's 2016 Blu-ray has issues - as does the DVDs. It's noise that is inconsistent but mars the overall presentation with an unnatural softness. The image can look frail, exporting edge-enhancement and, while improving upon the SDs, is disappointing. It does start with the Universal logo. Now, to be fair, the visuals look fine through most of the presentation, but when the digitization occurs - it's fairly obvious (even on my, smaller, 40" system). Saying that the 1080P image is superior showing more detail, tighter and richer colors etc. but I have my doubts that the 50th Anniversary Universal Blu-ray will correct these deficiencies - that seem, strangely, inherent. The image is clean, no blemishes but underwhelms to those with a discerning expectation for the HD video.

 

Koch go DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel (only 16-bit) - not very robust and this is an rea that Universal could more easily advance upon. Effects only show a modicum of depth (sirens etc.). The great Bernard Herrmann's (Cape Fear, The Magnificent Ambersons, Taxi Driver, The Wrong Man, Dressed to Kill, etc. etc.) score can seem occasionally awkward at times but certainly impacts upon the viewing in brilliant, surprising ways, - obviously, more so in the lossless. Koch add a German DUB and optional German and English subtitles (see sample below). Despite the back cover - this Blu-ray is region FREE! (as the, upcoming, Universal will be.)

 

All the extras of the DVDs are here including the commentary with Julie Christie with additions by editor Thom Noble, producer Lewis M. Allen and film scholar Annette Insdorf etc. (each new speaker announced). There is the lengthy Making Of, piece with Bradbury, another on the music, trailers etc. Plus there is a short video with Julie Christie and 1/4 hour with Truffaut. Lastly, is a gallery of image - lots of posters and stills.

 

For serious home theatre aficionados, especially those who may project, this doesn't bode well for the upcoming Universal Blu-ray. I could be wrong and we will compare - but, actually, the very low price  ($8 USD) is another telltale of a lack of new effort put into the package. Stay tuned!

***

ADDITION: (Universal Region 2,4 - July - 04 ) - The Region 1 DVD still has the edge in image. The region 2,4 (Universal) looks brightened... so much so that detail has been removed from some of the shots (specifically from the first large capture below). When you mess with the brightness level - you destroy any tight contrast (blacks no longer appear deep and pitch) and this is evident in comparing the Region 1 vs. the PAL editions. MK2 is still the winner in Extras. Colors appear more vibrant on the Universal region 2, but I suspect it is manipulated and therefore possibly changing it from its original intent. Saying that though it looks remarkably clean and not terribly off hue from the Universal region 1. I say get the Universal Region 1 for the image and MK2 for the extras (for real keeners).

***

The Universal Region 1 is sharper, but one of these editions has had color manipulation. Without further evidence it is hard to distinguish exactly who is the culprit. Using contrast boosting (brightness) and skin tones as clues, I am led to believe it is the Universal which appears to have too much brightened red in its image. It is hard to say for sure, but as the MK2 version is somewhat softer you may wish to go for the Universal DVD regardless of the color manipulation. I don't have a 3rd DVD for comparison on the color front so I will give the image tussle to Universal, Extras - a slight edge to MK2 - and Menus to MK2 as well, with the sound being equal.   

 - Gary W. Tooze

NOTE: The big drawback to the Mk2 edition is that the French subtitles appear forced (mandatory). Forum member 'mordo' has posted instructions to remove the French subtitles mentioned above. These instructions are for a European Panasonic A-350:
Press stop at the menu, and then just start the movie from title 8 (not chapter 8)



DVD Menus

(
Universal - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT Universal - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. MK2 - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 


 

1) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND
3) MK2 - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM



1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND
3) MK2 - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND
3) MK2 - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND
3) MK2 - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray FOURTH

5) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND
3) MK2 - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 


Recommended Reading on Truffaut /  French Cinema (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

The Films in My Life
by Francois Truffaut, Leonard Mayhew

François Truffaut
by Annette Insdorf
HITCHCOCK (REVISED EDITION)
by Helen G. Scott, Francois Truffaut
The French New Wave: An Artistic School
by Michel Marie, Richard John Neupert, Richard Neupert
A History of the French New Wave Cinema
by Richard Neupert
French New Wave
by Jean Douchet, Robert Bonnono, Cedric Anger, Robert Bononno
French Cinema: From Its Beginnings to the Present
by Remi Fournier Lanzoni
Truffaut: A Biography by Antoine do Baecque and Serge Toubiana

Check out more in "The Library"


 

Box Covers

  

  

 

 

   

 

Distribution

Universal

Region 2,4 - PAL

Universal

Region 1  - NTSC

MK2
Region 2 - PAL
Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray Universal (50th Anniversary) - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...