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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Long, Hot Summer [Blu-ray]

 

(Martin Ritt, 1958)

 

There is also a European, Region FREE, Blu-ray available:

   

   

  

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Jerry Wald Productions

Video: Twilight Time

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:56:45.039  

Disc Size: 36,065,439,823 bytes

Feature Size: 34,155,896,832 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Chapters: 24

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: August, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2747 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2747 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2053 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2053 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1766 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1766 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), None

 

Extras:

• Isolated Music Track
Hollywood Backstories: The Long, Hot Summer (21:28)
Fox Movietone Newsreel (2:00)
Original Theatrical Trailer (2:38)

Liner notes by Julie Kirgo

Limited to 3,000 Copies!

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The extraordinary team of director Martin Ritt and writers Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr. adapt a pair of William Faulkner narratives in The Long, Hot Summer (1958.) Paul Newman gives perhaps his most Newmanian performance as a crafty drifter who drops like a bomb into the wealthy Varner family, already a stewpot of lust, rivalry, and dysfunction. Orson Welles is the manipulative paterfamilias; Joanne Woodward his intelligent, wary daughter; Anthony Franciosa his weakling son; Angela Lansbury his long-suffering mistress; and Lee Remick his sexed-up daughter-in-law. This seductive cocktail is handsomely scored by the great Alex North.

***

Handsome vagabond Ben Quick (Paul Newman) returns to the Mississippi town his late father called home, but rumors of his dad's pyromaniac tendencies follow him as soon as he sets foot there. The proud young man's determination eventually wins over civic leader Will Varner (Orson Welles), who decides Ben might be just the man for his daughter, Clara (Joanne Woodward) -- much to the displeasure of Will's gutless son (Anthony Franciosa) and Clara's society boyfriend (Richard Anderson.)

 

 

The Film:

Frenchman's Bend is a small town in rural Mississippi. Equipped with the usual southern combination of corn-fed hicks and lace-clad gentry, the town exists in the shadow of the great Will Varner. Played with cigar-chomping glee by a genuinely magnificent Orson Welles, Varner's character is so huge that it seems to have engulfed both the town and his family. However, while the town benefits from Varner's economic genius and energy, his family suffers. Jody (Anthony Franciosa) is a man who knows that he will never live up to his father's reputation or expectation. Utterly in love with his beautiful wife Eula, he has long since given up trying to make anything of himself and so he lives in the present. Like a child he survives on parental gifts whether in the shape of money or wives.

Clara (Joanne Woodward) also suffers as a result of her father's overbearing personality. Beautiful, intelligent and complicated, Clara is so terrified of picking the wrong man that she has devoted her life to winning the affections of a man she knows has eyes only for his equally overbearing mother. Dominating the psychological as well as the physical and economic landscape, Varner realises that things must change but, rather than loosen his grip and allow people to live, he prefers to plot and scheme while the life he really wants seems to be ebbing away from him with each passing year. With so much unhappiness and so much resentment only adding to the heat of a long hot summer, it seems that only a single spark would be needed for the whole place to catch fire.

Excerpt from VideoVista located HERE

A steamy, Freudian tale of family intrigue set in the deep South, based on a compilation of stories by William Faulkner. Welles is the tyrannical Varner, whose rejected weakling son (an excessively neurotic performance from Franciosa) seeks consolation in bed with his sexy wife (Remick). A suspected 'barn burner' and definite trouble-maker, Ben Quick (Newman) arrives in town, and is welcomed by Varner as a suitable heir to his empire. The sparks fly between Quick and Varner's schoolmistress daughter (Newman and Woodward together for the first time), but under her cold exterior beats a passionate heart, and predictably they are in each other's arms by the final shot. The ending is an unconvincing cop out, but it can't spoil the film's compulsive dramatic tension (or a marvellous comic cameo from Angela Lansbury as Welles' long-suffering mistress).

Excerpt from Timeout located HERE

 

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

The Long, Hot Summer comes to Twilight Time Blu-ray in a, beautiful, dual-layered, 1080P transfer with their usual high bitrate. The visuals are extremely attractive. Colors are bright, deep and rich and the film textures are visible and consistent. Contrast is superb exporting inky black levels. The image is clean without speckles or marks. This Blu-ray gives a heavy, film-like, presentation in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio with some Cinemascope mumps - and the final result, in-motion, is bordering on spectacular.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

We get the option of bother a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track or a 5.1 bump - both in 24-bit. The film has effects but nothing overly aggressive and the separation seems a bit wasted only notable in spots. Dialogue is clean with a few richer moments in Welles' deep voice. The score is by the great Alex North (The Wonderful Country, Man with the Gun, Under the Volcano, Viva Zapata, Spartacus, Man With the Gun, A Streetcar Named Desire and more) plus Jimmie Rodgers singing the theme. It all sounds very strong and clean in the lossless. There are optional English subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.

 

 

Extras :

The aforementioned score is available in an isolated music track, plus what looks to have been ported over from the DVD - an old featurette from Hollywood Backstories: The Long, Hot Summer running shy of 22-minutes with plenty of snippet interviews. We also get a Fox Movietone Newsreel and an original theatrical trailer. The package, limited to 3,000 copies, has liner notes by Julie Kirgo.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Long, Hot Summer is just a great film - the deep south atmosphere, the Faulkner story, the impressive cast with Newman, Woodward, Welles, Remick, Franciosa, and Lansbury. The film has so much charisma and it's one I could watch yearly. The Twilight Time Blu-ray package is handsome and provides an excellent 1080P a/v transfer for the film although no new extras, as in a commentary. The presentation is so awe-inspiring and the film is a classic - an easy purchase, fit for any digital library. 

Gary Tooze

August 23rd, 2017

There is also a European, Region FREE, Blu-ray available:

   

   

  

 

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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