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The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea [Blu-ray]
(Lewis John Carlino, 1976)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Martin Poll-Lewis John Carlino Production
Video: Shout! Factory / Scorpion Releasing
Region: 'A' (both) (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:44:28.720 / 1:45:01.295
Disc Size: 21,486,793,846 bytes / 44,657,744,051 bytes
Feature Size: 21,237,467,136 bytes / 30,544,490,496 bytes
Video Bitrate: 23.92 Mbps / 35.00 Mbps
Chapters: 12 / 12
Case: Standard Blu-ray case (both)
Release date: January 26th, 2017 / June 16th, 2020
Aspect ratio: 2.24:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1760 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1760 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1835 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1835 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
None / English (SDH), none
NEW Interview with Star Sarah
Description: English widow Anne Osborne (Sarah Miles) lives by the sea with her young son, Jonathan. The arrival of a rugged American sailor, Jim (Kris Kristofferson), brings Anne the joy and sensual fulfillment she thought had gone forever, but her son is disturbed by this new intruder and joins a perverse group of fellow students led by the charismatic Chief. With its disturbing shock ending and frank love scenes, this stylish adaptation of the novel by legendary writer Yukio Mishima has become a timeless classic with powerhouse performances, exquisite cinematography by the legendary Douglas Slocombe (Raiders of the Lost Ark), and a haunting score by Johnny Mandel (M*A*S*H).
In a small English port town, adolescent Jonathan Osborne (Jonathan Kahn) and his widowed mother, Anne (Sarah Miles), lead a fairly predictable life until American sailor Jim Cameron (Kris Kristofferson) comes to town and sweeps Anne off her feet. Jonathan is wary of this intruder, but likes him in spite of himself -- for a time. It's only when Jim moves in permanently that Jonathan is pushed too far. With the help of a sadistic gang of neighborhood boys, he plots to eliminate Jim for good.
"Sailor" is a radical transplant of a short story by the Japanese
writer Yukio Mishima, a writer who gathered around himself a kind of
heroic cult and who killed himself to protest the softness of the times,
Lewis John Carlino moved it from Yokohama to Dartmouth, a Devon port.
Jonathan Osborne, the 14-year-old son of widow Anne Osborne, has become involved with a group of boys led by a neo-Nietzschean sadistic boy named "Chief." Anne daydreams about her husband who died three years earlier. When a large merchant ship anchors temporarily in the harbour, Anne arranges to give her son a tour of the vessel. They meet the second officer of the ship, Jim Cameron. Jim takes a liking to both the boy and his mother. Jim and Anne become involved romantically which throws Jonathan into a rage of jealousy. Cameron returns to sea and while he is gone, Jonathan reveals his jealous sentiment to the group leader, Chief. When Cameron comes back to renew his relationship with Anne and forsake his life on the sea, Chief and the boys concoct a sinister plot to do away with the intruder.Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea looks very poor on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory. It is described with the caveat "Note: This Blu-ray was created using the best available film elements which was a film print and not the original negative!". The 2.24:1 image transfer, on a single-layered disc, is soft, with speckles, no depth and artefacts. Skin tones fluctuate looking too yellow or pink-ish at times, and primary colors have little depth or tightness looking faded. It appears to be a poor source - appearing akin to an analog upgrade. The visual presentation is partially saved by the impressive cinematography of Douglas Slocombe (Rollerball, The Fearless Vampire Killers) but it's impossible to believe that a superior 1080P image isn't within the capabilities of another Blu-ray production company. Frankly, it shouldn't have been released like this.
The Scorpion Releasing is cited as a "Brand New 2019 HD Scan of the Original Camera Negative". It is in the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio and gains an immense amount of information mostly on the right edge of the frame, a shade on the top and it loses a sliver ohm the left edge. This may be one of the most effusive transfer upgrades in a long while.... possibly ever. The comparison only exemplifies how weak the Shout! Factory 1080P image is. It should never have been released at all. The Scorpion colors are far bolder and richer while detail rises dramatically - there is depth. There is a slight blue and green leaning to the Scorpion - but no where near on the level of the faded green-yellow cast of the Shout! Factory. The video differences are extreme. The Scorpion may not be perfect but it's such a huge improvement that we aren't about to look a gift-horse in the mouth.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Subtitle Sample - Scorpion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
A standard lossless DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel stereo track at 1760 kbps (16-bit) isn't dynamic either. Dialogue has no crispness and there are fluctuations in the volume levels. There are no subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.
Scorpion better the Shout! Factory here as well with a lossless (DTS-HD Master) but 24-bit as opposed to Shout! Factory's 16-bit. The score by Johnny Mandel's (I Want to Live! Pretty Poison, Point Blank, Deathtrap, M*A*S*H, That Cold Day in the Park, Heaven with a Gun etc.) adds to the film's unusualness and has some improved buoyancy in the audio although occasionally dialogue seems muffled by the ocean waves. Scorpion add optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray disc.
Nothing in the way of extras and only a single screen menu.
Scorpion also handily trounces the Shout! Factory in the extras department as well. There are new interview with Star Sarah Miles for 10-minutes talking about how she had read the book before being offer to read the screenplay, an 18-minute interview with writer/director Lewis John Carlino discussing Japanese sensibilities and aesthetics. He admits that it is an odd film. I liked the new interviews with crew members Anthony Wayne (assistant director), Robin Vidgeon (focus puller), Graham Attwood (stills photographer), Hugh Harlow (production manager) and Ian Whittaker. The last chap - the 'set dresser' - doesn't hold back says he hated working on the film, that they hated him and he has never seen The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea and has no intention to. He stayed as far away from the nude scenes as he could and thought the locals were fooled into thinking the film was different and were shocked when they actually saw it in the theatre. It was refreshing to hear him vent. These interviews run a total of about 1/2 hour and there are a handful of Scorpion trailers - none for the feature. There is reversible cover art (see below).
Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Scorpion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Well, the film hasn't got any less odd, but I did enjoy my viewing via the Scorpion HD presentation significantly more. There is some beautiful scenery in The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea in Dartmouth, Devon - the ocean and rolling hills. It's a perversely intriguing romance with some distasteful juvenile behaviour. I will watch this again, now, and the extras are revealing. There isn't any doubt which Blu-ray to own.
July 22nd, 2017
July 1st, 2020
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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