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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Man in the Glass Booth [Blu-ray]

 

(Arthur Hiller, 1975)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Cinévision Ltée

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:56:56.509

Disc Size: 41,103,033,753 bytes

Feature Size: 29,604,390,912 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.46 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 6th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• Interview with director Arthur Hiller (22:21)
Interview with Edie Landau (26:16)
Ely Landau: In Front of the Camera, a promotional film for the American Film Theatre (6:30)
Gallery of 12 trailers for the American Film Theatre

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: A manic Jewish millionaire (Maximilian Schell), already teetering on the edge of sanity, becomes purely diabolical when he is abducted from his Manhattan penthouse by Israeli agents and put on trial for war crimes committed while serving as colonel in a Nazi concentration camp. Testifying within a sound-proof, bullet-proof glass case, he unleashes a torrent of vitriol upon his accusers, and exposes a secret that is as tragic as it is terrifying. Upon its release, the Los Angeles Times called the film, daring, outrageous, utterly provocative, endlessly ambiguous and strikingly effective. In this new 2K restoration from the original 35mm negative, the film proves itself to be just as powerful today as it was more than forty years ago.

 

 

The Film:

Movie trivia fanatics will recognize the 1975 feature "The Man in the Glass Booth" as the only production within the American Film Theatre canon to receive an Academy Award nomination: Maximilian Schell as Best Actor. But there is hardly anything trivial about the film or the stunning performance at its center. Dwelling on complicated themes of guilt, justice and retribution, the film is a shattering experience and its long-overdue DVD debut will help bring it to new audiences who must come to appreciate what it has to offer.

Based on the play by British actor Robert Shaw (who, strangely, insisted that his name be removed from the credits), "The Man in the Glass Booth" is about one Arthur Goldman, a New York real estate mogul and man-about-town who rules his empire from a sweeping penthouse apartment. Yet Goldman achieved great financial and social success while carrying a heavy emotional burden: during the 1940s, Goldman survived the Holocaust while his family perished in the concentration camps. The undercurrents of this trauma begins to increasingly surface, to the point that Goldman hallucinates that he spies his dead father and Nazi officers on the streets of New York.

Excerpt from IMDb located HERE

 

Actor/writer Robert Shaw's powerhouse stage play The Man in the Glass Booth was transferred to the screen as part of the American Film Theatre series. Maximilian Schell plays Arthur Goldman, a Jewish businessmen living in Manhattan in 1965. A group of Israeli underground agents barge into Goldman's office and kidnap him. He is brought to Israel, placed in a bulletproof glass booth, and put on trial. His accusers charge that Goldman is not a Jew, but in fact a notorious Nazi war criminal, guilty of unspeakable crimes against humanity. Robert Shaw's name does not appear in the credits of The Man in the Glass Booth; he was so displeased with Edward Anhalt's screen adaptation that he had his name removed from the project.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

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

The dual-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The Man in the Glass Booth has an issue in 1080P. Around the middle of the film there are some noticeable compression artifacts (see last capture.) There are only apparent enough to identify - not ruin the presentation. There is also some very minor, frame-specific, damage. The visuals are not dynamic but that may be more to do with the film. There is some decent detail and depth exported. This Blu-ray gave me a  watchable, if imperfect, viewing in regards to the picture quality.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Damage

 

 

Compression artifacts

 

 

Audio :

Audio, which is almost exclusively dialogue, is transferred in a linear PCM 2.0 channel track (16-bit). There is no credited score but there is some music with Lawrence Pressman and Maximilian Schell singing Es war ein Edelweiss and you can hear Haydn's Deitschland Uber Alles. It is all clear if unremarkable in the uncompressed. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Kino include a, revealing, 22-minute interview with director Arthur Hiller and a second running 26-minutes with Edie Landau - both from 2002 - discussing the production. There is also 6.5 minutes of Ely Landau: In Front of the Camera, a promotional film for the American Film Theatre plus a gallery of 12 trailers for the American Film Theatre.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I had never seen The Man in the Glass Booth. I liked the concept but had trouble investing myself in the entire film. I was very interested in the storyline but felt it was unnecessarily bogged down with Schell's performance - which I didn't care for. The Kino Lorber
Blu-ray has value if you have not seen the film previously. A commentary would have been a worthy addition to establish background, though but I was entertained enough to fully complete my viewing. There are a significant number of people out there who will, very much, appreciate The Man in the Glass Booth, the 1080P Blu-ray presentation and the extras. 

Gary Tooze

June 22nd, 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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