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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Iron Curtain [Blu-ray]

 

(William A. Wellman, 1948)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Video: Signal One Entertainment

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:26:48.328

Disc Size: 23,506,200,708 bytes

Feature Size: 23,398,708,800 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.01 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: April 24th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080P / 24 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• Second disc DVD
 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Soviet soldier turned bureaucrat Igor Gouzenko is assigned to his first overseas posting in 1943 to Ottawa, Canada, as a cipher clerk for the military attaché, their offices in a secret wing of the Soviet embassy. Igor is not to tell anyone what he does for a living, he given a cover story which he is to recite even when questioned by his own people. He and his wife Anna Gouzenko are supposed to be cordial to their Canadian neighbors and associates, but not fraternize or befriend them, as they are still considered the enemy, despite both countries being on the same side in the war. Igor follows his instructions to a T, but it is more difficult for Anna, who does not have the distraction of work during the day, and who can see that their neighbors are not their enemies but good people much like themselves. Over the next few years, Igor sees that what is happening around him and the work in which he is involved will not result in a world in which he wants to raise his newborn son.

 

 

The Film:

By the late '40s, anti-communist fervour in Hollywood and throughout the US had reached fever pitch. This brisk, documentary-style thriller, based on the experiences of a code clerk in the Russian embassy in Washington, captures the mood of the times. Andrews is the turncoat who wants asylum in the West so his son can grow up in 'freedom'. Given that he's prepared to share all the latest dope about Soviet espionage techniques, it is not surprising his old colleagues are so keen to assassinate him.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

A clerk in the Soviet embassy in Canada after World War II, Igor Gouzenko (Dana Andrews) is increasingly troubled by his work for duplicitous government officials. Hoping to forge a better life for his wife, Anna (Gene Tierney), and their young son, Igor decides to defect. Though he's pursued by loyal Soviets who are charged with bringing him back to the Soviet Union, he provides Canadian officials with key documents detailing his government's underhanded efforts to obtain atomic bomb plans.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

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

The Iron Curtain comes to Blu-ray from Signal One in the UK. It is single-layered with a high bitrate for the 1.5 hour feature. It has appealing contrast and substantial grain textures. The image is clean an consistent and I was appreciative of the fine quality. This gives a solid 1080P presentation with rich, impressive visuals. No complaints at all.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio comes in a linear PCM 1.0 channel track at 1152 kbps (24-bit). There are almost no aggressive effects - generally a dialogue-driven film, with narration, and no credited score but we can hear Russian classical music composed by Shostakovich, Prokofieff, Khachaturian and Miaskovsky. It sounds as strong and rich, as the video. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

Strangely, bare-bones from Signal One - not even a menu, but the package does include a second disc DVD, making it 'Dual Format'.

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Iron Curtain isn't Noir although has some of the dark cinema conventions. Its a personal story of one man's wavering loyalty, love for family and his motivating, and morally provoked, actions. It's a good film! The Signal One Blu-ray is bare-bones but offers a stellar  a/v presentation, thick with grain and starring some favorites in Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, June Havoc and support. Unique film - but still plenty of value.   

Gary Tooze

April 26th, 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
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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