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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea [Blu-ray]

 

(Lewis John Carlino, 1976)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Martin Poll-Lewis John Carlino Production

Video: Shout! Factory

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:44:28.720 

Disc Size: 21,486,793,846 bytes

Feature Size: 21,237,467,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.92 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 26th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.24:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

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.

 

 

The Film:

"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.

With the inspired work of his director of photography, Douglas Slocombe, the transposition is an atmospheric triumph. The sweet but somber English coast, its lowering skies and transforming bursts of sunshine, the clean presence of the sea, the white seaside house where the widowed mother lives and into which the sailor comes—all these develop a powerful emotional background for their relationship.

Excerpt from TheNYTimes located HERE

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 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.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

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. 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 but carries little depth in this lossless transfer. There are no subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.

 

Extras :

Nothing in the way of extras and only a single screen menu.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea is not only an odd title, but, predictably, an odd film as well... and an odd Yellow-Submarine-esque poster! It was recognized for the sadistic qualities of the youth leader which he imparts upon his impressionable rebel-bent followers, but also because of the film's perversities; having poor Sarah Miles masturbate with her 'peeping Tom' son watching and then embarrassingly masturbated by rugged Kris under the restaurant table while the frowning neighbours look on disapprovingly. Yeah - that's a kinda strange, potentially erotic, circumstance. The Shout! Factory Blu-ray is a dud and even this, misunderstood, film deserves better - especially when you consider the impressive scenery and cinematography. Pass. 

Gary Tooze

July 22nd, 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.

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
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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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