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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Suddenly, Last Summer [Blu-ray]
(Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1959)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Video: Twilight Time / Indicator (UK)
Region: FREE(both) (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:54:15.890 / 1:54:17.100
Disc Size: 31,503,664,669 bytes / 48,103,791,988 bytes
Feature Size: 30,743,261,184 bytes / 35,630,902,656 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps / 35.00 Mbps
Chapters: 24 / 12
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case (both)
Release date: August, 2016 / April 30th, 2018
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)
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
• English (SDH), None
• Isolated Music Track
• Liner notes by Julie Kirgo
Limited to 3,000 Copies!
Mankiewicz Interview (1990, 9:51): the renowned filmmaker
discusses his career in a segment from the French TV series
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.
Same '4K restoration from the original negative' transfer image quality - perhaps a notch superior in-motion with the higher bitrate. The Indicator is also highly impressive looking.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
We get a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono 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.
Indicator use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) and it, also, sounds excellent. Great support for the higher end - notable in the Arnold score and it is also available as an isolated option. Indicator include optional English (SDH) subtitles and their disc is both Region FREE and limited to 3,000 copies.
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.
Indicator stack the extras. There is a 1990, 10-minute, interview with Joseph L Mankiewicz discussing his career in a segment from the French TV series Cinéma cinémas. We get to see Elizabeth Taylor talking about Montgomery Clift from shortly after his tragic death in July 1966 - it's in poor quality and has optional English subtitles. Gary Raymond does a new 6-minute interview on 'Suddenly, Last Summer'. About Last Summer is new and spends 1/4 hour with second assistant editor John Crome who shares his experience of making Suddenly, Last Summer. Remembering Last Summer has a brief 3-minutes with continuity supervisor Elaine Schreyeck as she recalls working with Mankiewicz, Hepburn and Clift. The Predator and the Prey was made in 2017 and runs 25-minutes. It has critic and film historian Michel Ciment examines the film's production and explores its complex themes and concerns - in French with English subtitles. There is the aforementioned isolated music and effects track, a Trailers from Hell piece, an Images Gallery and an original theatrical trailer and the package has a limited edition exclusive 40-page booklet with a new essay by Samm Deighan, a set report from Films and Filming magazine, a profile of production designer Oliver Messel, Tennessee Williams on Suddenly, Last Summer, a statement by producer Sam Spiegel, contemporary reviews, and film credits.
Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Still a very interesting film, and Indicator add relevant interview supplements. Once again they have gone the extra mile with their Blu-ray package and it advances as the definitive for this enigmatic film. Certainly recommended!
August 24th, 2017
April 19th, 2018