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Directed by Frank Capra
USA 1933

Deliciously romantic melodrama - and unknown Capra territory - which has the great (and underrated) Stanwyck as Megan Davis, an American missionary who comes to wartorn Shanghai in the 30s and is kidnapped by a Chinese warlord. Coming across as a kind of raw, emotional The King and I (but without the whistling of happy tunes, thankfully), the film's narrative dips in and out of Stanwyck's strange dreams, where she is both attracted and repelled by the sophisticated General (Asther). A heady and sensual cocktail of drama and emotion and, in pre-Hollywood morality code times, a goodly amount of sexual tension.

Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE

 

  Poster

 

Theatrical Release: January 3rd, 1933

Reviews                                                            More Reviews                                                      DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

 

Universal - Region 2 - PAL vs. Sony Pictures / TCM (Frank Capra: The Early Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL LEFT

2) Sony Pictures / TCM (Frank Capra: The Early Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the TCM Captures!

 

 Box Cover

 

  

 

CLICK TO ENLARGE DVD Package

Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 2 - PAL

Sony Pictures / TCM

Region 1 - NTSC

Sony Pictures

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:23:42 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:27:09 1:27:21.236
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.7 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.96 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,166,694,112 bytes

Feature: 18,456,477,696 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  Dolby Digital Mono (English) DTS-HD Master Audio English 1714 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1714 kbps / 16-bit (DTSCore: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles English, None None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Part of the Barbara Stanwyck - Screen Goddess Boxset which includes Double Indemnity, The Lady Eve, All I Desire, The Bitter Tea of General Yen, Golden Boy and The Miracle Woman and a large 12 page booklet on Barbara Stanwyck 

DVD Release Date: October 17th, 2005

Keep Case (see image above for Boxset packaging)
Chapters: 8

Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures / TCM

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Defining Capra's Early Style with Martin Scorsese and Ron Howard (9:08)
• Screen Snapshots (Behind-the-Scenes Production Short) (9:32)
• Galleries (Stills, Posters, Lobby Cards)
• TCMDb Article

DVD Release Date: September 3, 2012

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio: Sony

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,166,694,112 bytes

Feature: 18,456,477,696 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

None

 

Blu-ray Release Date: September 5th, 2017
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 16

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Sony - Region FREE  Blu-ray - September 2017: There is also an MoD DVD HERE. I don't know... I heard good things about this 1080P image, but I already knew the print was strong looking at the PAL DVD, that I own - that now looks boosted. But I see less grain and some noise on the BD. It's thick and very film-like but I can't help think that a higher bitrate might bring out more of that wonderful grain. Just like the DVD - the source density is fabulous and there are rich deep, black levels. It looks quite impressive in-motion. Audio is lossless but 16-bit. I may be a bit edgy as, by looking at the disc (purple not silver back), this is MoD, (not pressed) has no extras or a menu and they want triple, what I think, today's similar value offers. What gives?

I LOVE this film, and I feel equally as strong about Miss Stanwyck. The Bitter Tea of General Yen is a real gem... another fabulous Capra work - I can't say enough about the amazing atmosphere. It really deserves SO MUCH better.... and so do its fans. If you haven't seen the film and aren't concerned about the price (or it goes down in the future) then this is a great way to see the film. The bare-bones Blu-ray package is kind of depressing in its bareness and frugal authoring. Geez...

***

ON THE DVD: Firstly - a fascinating film that really captivated me. I am very high on this whole boxset - marvelous individual films in their own right. I found this transfer very acceptable considering the age of the film. There is perhaps a smattering of contrast boosting in some scenes but overall it is untouched. Lots of film grain is noticeable and Stanwyck glows onscreen looking as radiantly sexual as she ever has. The optional subtitles are quite poorly done on a black background overlapping the screen - but they are clearly visible and accurate to the dialogue. This is prime Pre-Code territory and a fabulously exotic and sensual film.

Gary W. Tooze

 


Universal - Region 2 - PAL


Sony Pictures / TCM (Frank Capra: The Early Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

 

Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Sony Pictures / TCM (Frank Capra: The Early Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Sony Pictures / TCM (Frank Capra: The Early Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Sony Pictures / TCM (Frank Capra: The Early Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Sony Pictures / TCM (Frank Capra: The Early Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Sony Pictures / TCM (Frank Capra: The Early Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Sony Pictures / TCM (Frank Capra: The Early Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Universal - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Sony Pictures / TCM (Frank Capra: The Early Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Screen Captures

 

 Box Cover

 

  

 

CLICK TO ENLARGE DVD Package

Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 2 - PAL

Sony Pictures / TCM

Region 1 - NTSC

Sony Pictures

Region FREE - Blu-ray




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Gary Tooze

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