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The Long, Hot Summer [Blu-ray]
(Martin Ritt, 1958)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Jerry Wald Productions
Video: Twilight Time
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 36,065,439,823 bytes
Feature Size: 34,155,896,832 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: August, 2016
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
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)
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)
• English (SDH), None
• Isolated Music Track
• Liner notes by Julie Kirgo
Limited to 3,000 Copies!
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.)
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.
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
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.
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.
August 23rd, 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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