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The Bridge at Remagen [Blu-ray]
(John Guillermin, 1969)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Wolper Pictures
Video: Twilight Time
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 32,094,389,929 bytes
Feature Size: 31,273,187,328 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: March, 2016
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2053 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2053 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1682 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1682 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
• English (SDH), None
• Isolated Score
• Liner notes by Julie Kirgo
Limited to 3,000 Copies!
Description: The Bridge at Remagen (1969) stars George Segal, Ben Gazzara, and Robert Vaughn in this tale of a desperate battle in the waning days of World War II. Segal is a war-weary combat team leader charged with taking a bridge over the Rhine during the Allies’ final push into Germany; Vaughn is his German opposite number, who’d rather blow up the bridge than have the Americans capture it. John Guillermin (The Towering Inferno) directs; the film was shot by the masterful veteran Stanley Cortez and features a score by the one and only Elmer Bernstein.
Fatigued by the long combat in Europe, Lt. Phil Hartman (George Segal) and his men are ordered to advance on Remagen, a possible toehold into enemy territory. Meanwhile, Maj. Paul Kreuger (Robert Vaughn) of the German armed forces is ordered to defend the town and the nearby bridge across the Rhine. As a desperate battle commences, Hartman and Kreuger both find themselves pawns of larger forces and witness how war can turn each side against itself.
The Bridge at Remagen was strongly influenced by the war epic, The Longest Day (1962) and has a similar narrative structure which crosscuts between the opposing forces as their actions lead to the final confrontation. Director John Guillermin overcame the deficiencies of a somewhat shallow script (the Germans are presented as little more than stereotypes) by concentrating on solid, fast-paced action sequences. Hal Needham, who later found fame directing Burt Reynolds in hits like Smokey and the Bandit (1977), supervised the fine stunt work; and Stanley Cortez's sharp photography adds grit to the terse battle scenes. The sound effects are ear splitting, but if you like explosions, there are lots of them. A solid casts also helps provide strong characterizations: George Segal (who would soon transition to romantic comedies) is surprisingly good as a tough and uncompromising platoon leader and Ben Gazzara projects a roguish charm as his sidekick. But it's Bradford Dillman, as the ambitious and insidious Major Barnes, who makes the strongest impression as an officer willing to achieve victory at any cost, even if it means sacrificing some troops.Excerpt from TCM located HERE
The supporting cast is filled with fine performances. The standouts are
Hans Christian Blech (“Battle of the Bulge”) as Captain Schmidt, a weary Wehrmacht Officer who feels his duty is to protect the civilians whom
Kreuger puts in harm’s way by continuing a hopeless fight. Blech’s
acting ability ranges from quiet humility to occasional fits of rage,
bringing a dimensionality to a role not commonly found in war epics.
Joachim Hansen (“Breakthrough”) disagrees with Schmidt; he is devoted to
the High Command and wants a battle with the Americans more than
anything. Both actors bring passion to their roles and make these very
believable wartime officers, not simply normal caricatures and
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Bridge at Remagen comes to Twilight Time Blu-ray in a dual-layered, 1080P transfer with their usual high bitrate. The visuals are quite strong with tight colors and layered contrast. There is a little softness but is consistent and inherent in the production. In-motion it looks impressive with no damage or speckles. I see no strong evidence of manipulation or noise. This Blu-ray gives a very pleasing presentation in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio - and overall a striking-looking war epic.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 2053 kbps (24-bit) sounds clean with reasonable depth in pushing the film's intense war-related gunfire and extensive explosions. The stirring score by Elmer Bernstein (The Comancheros, The World of Henry Orient, Kings of the Sun, Hud, To Kill a Mockingbird, Summer and Smoke) sounds strong in the lossless, often rousing and inspiring. It is also available in an isolated score track. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.
Essentially bare-bones with only an original theatrical trailer plus the liner notes by Julie Kirgo. It is limited to 3,000 copies.
June 27th, 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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