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USA 19
54

 

Fuller's hard-nosed style adds wallop to this routine submarine picture - formulaic material in which Widmark's crew dive under the ice and foil an attempt by those wicked communists to amass a fearsome atomic arsenal in the Arctic. The cunning plan, you see, is to cause the Third World War and blame it on the Yanks (just like they did at Hiroshima and Nagazaki, I'll bet). Darvi is the decorative one with not very much to do.

Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE

Known for his uninhibited camera movements, Fuller was the obvious person for Fox to ask to make a CinemaScope movie in an enclosed space in order to prove to doubting executives that the walls of the cinema would not appear to rotate during tracking shots or pans. The result was Hell and High Water, which is mostly set aboard a submarine, and tells the story of a group of patriots and mercenaries who stop the Chinese from dropping an atomic bomb from an 'American' plane at the time of the Korean war. A deeply pessimistic film, it questions the roots of loyalty and identity by examining the stated motives of its characters at every stage of the film. Widmark is at his ambiguous best.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 1st, 1954

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Comparison:

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Twilight Time
Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:43:00  1:43:09.224 
Video 2.55:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.64 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

2.55:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,920,910,106 bytes

Feature: 30,387,922,944 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 4.0), DUB: French (Dolby Digital mono) 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2629 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2629 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2015 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2015 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2201 kbps 3.0 / 48 kHz / 2201 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 3.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, Spanish, None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio  2.55:1

Edition Details:

• Featurette: Richard Widmark: Strength of Characters (44:18)
• Interactive Pressbook Gallery
• Stills Gallery
• Trailer

DVD Release Date: May 22nd, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio: Twilight Time

2.55:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,920,910,106 bytes

Feature: 30,387,922,944 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• AE Biography TV Show - Richard Widmark: Strength of Characters (44:23)
• Isolated Music Track
• Two Theatrical Trailers (2:03 + 2:27)

• Liner notes by Julie Kirgo
• Limited to 3,000 Copies!
 

Blu-ray Release Date: May, 2016
Black-Standard
Blu-ray case

Chapters: 24

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Twilight Time - Region FREE Blu-ray June 2017': Twilight Time's new 1080P is on a dual-layered disc with their usual high bitrate. It so refreshing compared to the adept 20th Century Fox DVD from a decade ago. The impressive Cinemascope 2.55:1 aspect ratio shows more information in the frame on all four sides. The visuals are brighter, and the contrast is significantly more layered. Depth is apparent. Colors shift a bit and the visuals have a heavy, film-like thickness, It looks dramatically improved - just the type of film that needed an HD transfer.

Twilight Time offer a DTS-HD Master  5.1 surround bump or a 2.0 channel track (both 24-bit). It is an obvious improvement over the SD with more demonstrative, deeper, war/submarine effects and consistent, clear dialogue. The score by, the great, Alfred Newman (Call Northside 777, Cry of the City, The Diary of Anne Frank, Bus Stop, Blood and Sand, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Panic in the Streets, The Song of Bernadette etc. etc.) and it gains significant benefit from the uncompressed transfer and the film music and effects are a notable part of the viewing experience. There are optional English subtitles and the Blu-ray disc is region FREE - limited to 3,000 copies.

The same AE Biography 3/4 piece on Widmark found on the 2007 DVD, two trailers and liner notes by Julie Kirgo. I thoroughly enjoyed this Fuller effort, with the dramatic scope and vastly improved a/v. It is quite an effective submarine film... certainly recommended! 

***

ON THE DVD: Fox does there usual competent work on a film that is much better than I anticipated. It is no masterpiece and utilizes Fuller's typical ham-fisted techniques (note the hydrogen bomb over the title sequence), but it has his signature and marks the film with the director's obvious intent - unique and refreshing. Anamorphic, progressive and a dual-layered transfer support the glorious 2.55 cinemascope ratio. The image is not pristine sharp, and there are some artifacts (sky and water) but it looked acceptably impressive on my system. Colors are a bit dull but appear true with no manipulations. The (original?) 4.0 track is included - with a French mono DUB - and it sounded a shade more intense than a 2.0 channel - appropriately clear and consistent. There are English and Spanish optional subtitles.

Supplements include a long (45 minutes worth) featurette on Widmark called Strength of Character - originally an AE Biography special - it includes clips and interview segments with Sidney Poitier, Widmark himself and others. A nice inclusion for his fans. There is also a Pressbook gallery (scanned as images and difficult to read), a Stills Gallery (images from the film and some posters) and a theatrical trailer.

It is Sam Fuller, a solid DVD with a decent featurette and only costs $11 - so we surely recommend! 

Gary W. Tooze

 

 


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Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 


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Subtitle Sample

 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Covers

 

 

Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Twilight Time
Region FREE - Blu-ray

 




 

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