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Suddenly, Last Summer [Blu-ray]
(Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1959)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Video: Twilight Time
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 31,503,664,669 bytes
Feature Size: 30,743,261,184 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: August, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1,85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1912 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1912 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1869 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1869 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
• English (SDH), None
• Isolated Music Track
• Liner notes by Julie Kirgo
Limited to 3,000 Copies!
Description: Joseph L. Mankiewicz directs this 1959 adaptation by Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams of Williams’ provocative play, Suddenly, Last Summer. Elizabeth Taylor stars as a young woman who knows such terrible truths about the death of her cousin Sebastian that his mother (Katharine Hepburn) is determined to have her lobotomized; Montgomery Clift is the psychiatrist brought in to evaluate the lovely, profoundly disturbed patient. Both Taylor and Hepburn received Best Actress Oscar® nominations; the film, denounced as obscene, was a hit at the box office.
In this adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play, young socialite Catherine Holly (Elizabeth Taylor) is traumatized and committed after witnessing her cousin's violent death on a trip to Europe. Her aunt, Violet Venable (Katharine Hepburn), wants to hide the events of her son's death and attempts to bribe young surgeon Dr. John Cukrowicz (Montgomery Clift) to perform a lobotomy on Catherine. But John vows to find out the truth about Catherine's state before taking any action.
Since the 1930s, the MPAA - the film industry's self-censorship
organization - had been strictly enforcing its production code, which
stipulated what could and could not be shown on the screen. But by the
late '50s, public standards of morality were loosening, and filmmakers
were pushing the boundaries of the code by dealing more frankly with
once-taboo topics such as sex and drugs. One of the most daring
productions was Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), which came at the end of
the decade and served as a harbinger of things to come in the films of
From a Tennessee Williams play, an outrageous, melodramatic shocker touching on madness, homosexual prostitution, incest, disease and cannibalism, replete with enough imagery to sustain an American Lit seminar for months.Excerpt from Timeout located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Suddenly, Last Summer comes to Twilight Time Blu-ray in a, beautiful, dual-layered, 1080P transfer with their usual high bitrate. The black and white visuals are gorgeous. I saw one minor bit of compression (background), although it could have been a slow dissolve. The detail and contrast-layering in this HD image are remarkable. Jack Hildyard 's probing cinematography is exquisite. The image is clean with plenty of depth and crisp sharpness in close-ups. This Blu-ray gives a superb, film-like, presentation in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio - and in-motion, it looks just as impressive - see the screen captures for verification.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
We get a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1912 kbps (24-bit.) The film has a few effects but nothing aggressive and dialogue is clean and easily audible. The score was composed by Malcolm Arnold (The Forbidden Street, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, The Bridge On the River Kwai, Island in the Sun, Stolen Face, Hobson's Choice) and conducted by Buxton Orr (Fiend Without a Face). The film has emotional outburst and the orchestral score plays gently running beside the film. It is also available as a isolated track. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.
Nothing but the aforementioned isolated music track and an original theatrical trailer, but there are liner notes with photos and an essay by Julie Kirgo. This package is limited to 3,000 copies.
August 24th, 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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