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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Bend of the Snake' or 'Where the River Bends')

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/mann.htm
USA 1952

Glyn McLyntock (James Stewart) is escorting a wagon train to Portland, when he stops to save Emerson Cole (Arthur Kennedy) from being lynched. The new buddies help fight off a pack of marauding Indians as the settlers bunk down for the evening, but their friendship eventually turns to a bitter hatred fueled by the greed of the crazed Gold Rush fever. Gambler Trey Wilson (Rock Hudson) is choosing sides. Making new vows Glyn must face his notorious past to join the familial settlement on the river's bend.

One of the best of the Anthony Mann / James Stewart team-ups - and many of these are in a very esteemed class of the western genre. After the quintessential Winchester '73 - the studio used the same producer and writer in hopes of further success. Add Technicolor into the mix and the inherent problems that Gold-fever and tempted pioneers were facing and we have another simple narrative classic of the genre with defining heroes and those twisted by desire for money.

Poster

Theatrical Release: January 23rd, 1952 - Oregon - USA

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Comparison:

Universal (Westerns Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal (James Stewart - The Western Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) Universal (Westerns Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Universal (James Stewart - The Western Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

  

Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:31:06  1:31:06  1:31:05.042
Video 1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.74 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 
1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.74 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered

Disc Size: 23,254,016,752 bytes

Feature: 22,635,988,992 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.98

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: Koch Media Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)  English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0) 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 894 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 894 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

DUBs:

DTS-HD Master Audio German 889 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 889 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 669 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 669 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / 16-bit)
Isolated effects and score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 626 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 626 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps / 16-bit)

Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None English, Spanish, French, None English, German, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.37:1

Edition Details:

• Theatrical  trailer (4:3) - 1:48

DVD Release Date: May 6th, 2003

Keep Case
Chapters:
20

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.37:1

Edition Details:

• Theatrical  trailer (4:3) - 1:48

set contains - Destry Rides Again / Winchester 73 / Bend of the River / The Far Country / Night Passage / The Rare Breed

DVD Release Date: May 20th, 2008

Slim transparent Case (6 inside box)
Chapters:
20

Release Information:
Studio: Koch
Media

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
 

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered

Disc Size: 23,254,016,752 bytes

Feature: 22,635,988,992 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.98

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• TV Synchro (1:31:05)
• Kino trailer (1:46)
• Artwork (2:47)
• Photos (2:48)


Blu-ray Release Date:
August 10th, 2017
White Blu-ray Case

Chapters 11

 

 

 

Comments:

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

 

ADDITION: Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray (October 2017): The 1080P can, for the most part, look quite pleasing but it has instances of color bleeding and low-frequency edge-enhancement.

 

 

RE: Color bleeding, Simon tell us in email: "As you probably know, this is inherent in only pre-1954 3-strip Technicolor movies...... The 3 negatives shrink slightly at different rates.

The 3-strip process is a dye transfer process from 3 b/w film negs shot simultaneously thru color filters. The cameras were huge & bulky. The colors are pretty permanent, unlike post 1954 single strip color that is highly prone to fading of different colors at different rates. For some reason the 3 b/w negs are not equally stable in film dimension, although theoretically they should be.

The first time this was publicised was when MGM did their WS reissue of Gone with the Wind around 1960 or early 61..... They had to re-register the 1939 Technicolor negs---especially the yellow, as I recall reading then...... Perhaps the mis-register was more obvious because of the big blow up they gave the movie to maybe 70mm & cropping off the top & bottom to give it a WS ratio, which was so badly received critically that it was junked for subsequent reissues.

Probably itís not been as noticeable in DVD releases of older 3-strip movies because of the lower resolution.

I feel it unlikely that the Germans had access to the original U-I negatives but maybe Universal supplied them with a digital copy from the states--- I donít know... It may also be that the negs had already gone out of registration when a new Bend of the River print was pulled in the 1960s or 70s for TV consumption....anyway, U-I did not go to the cost of re-registering that MGM afforded for GWTW or more recently Warners for Wizard of Oz or any other of the pre-1954 color movies in their library, to which they gave a primo release.

Thereís probably a bunch of technical writing on this subject that Iíve not seen, & the particulars to how much which color separation negative shrinks.....but Iíve never researched.....

However, we are liable to see the color haloing from the out of register colors in any pre-1954 movie BD that has not undergone expensive restoration, or perhaps been drawn from perhaps a single color master that was made from the 3 color before they shrunk.

It was a problem with the Barefoot Contessa BD last year.
" (Thanks Simon!)

 

Discerning eyes will notice it but overall the colors are brighter and richer than the older DVDs. My preference would have been for finer, more consistent, grain - it can tend to look blotchy. Detail advances and the score by Hans J. Salter (The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T., Man Without a Star, Cover Up, The Wolfman, The Mole People) via a lossless DTS-HD Master mono (in either English or German DUB options) - 16-bit - sounds very nice if lacking powerful depth. There are both optional English or German subtitles and the Blu-ray disc, starting with the Universal logo, is Region FREE. NOTE: the 2nd English track (4th, optional, track of the presentation) is an isolated effects and score track - also in DTS-HD Master.

 

Extras list a 'TV Synchro' which is the same video transfer but seem to offer an alternate German DUB (it starts with the 3rd track option - the second German track of the disc.) There is also a trailer, some artwork (mostly posters and titlecards) and another gallery with photos.

 

This is an imperfect video appearance - requires re-registering 3-strip - but I suspect it has more to do with the source and a restoration is required. The film, certainly warrants it, but will it ever come? I enjoyed seeing this classic on Blu-ray despite the weaknesses. A pure, Anthony Mann, western gem with a great cast. Winchester '73 and many more of the director-actor pairings need to be released on BD. 

 

***

 

ADDITION: James Stewart - The Western Collection contains Destry Rides Again / Winchester 73 / Bend of the River / The Far Country / Night Passage and The Rare Breed. These two Bend of the River editions are exactly the same - same 2003-dated VOB files. The only difference is that the cover is now a transparent slimcase with black and white art.

I'd VERY high on this James Stewart - The Western Collection - we've reviewed/compared all titles now (links in paragraph above). For these six western gems the price amounts to $5 a piece which is really a ridiculous deal. Strongly recommended!    

ON THE ORIGINAL RELEASE: Don't fret over the Universal screen warning "This film has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit your screen." - it was shot in 1.37 and this is how it is presented on this DVD. Dark with no digital manipulation and good colors, although skin tones seem quite reddish. This is a very sharp image and Universal have got a few of these from their Westerns Collection really right. No extras save a trailer but a damn good western and an above average image - tack on decent subtitles, original audio and a reasonable price and the formula equals - must buy status!  out of    

Gary W. Tooze


James Stewart - The Western Collection package
 

 

DVD Menus

NOTE: the editions are exactly the same (aside from a new slim case cover and black and white art!)


 

Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Universal (Westerns Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (James Stewart - The Western Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Subtitle Sample

 

NOTE: the DVD editions are exactly the same (aside from a slim case cover and black and white art!)

 


 

1) Universal (Westerns Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (James Stewart - The Western Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Universal (Westerns Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (James Stewart - The Western Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Universal (Westerns Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Universal (James Stewart - The Western Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Box Cover

 

   

  

Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Koch Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray





 

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