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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Driftwood [Blu-ray]


(Allan Dwan, 1947)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Republic Pictures

Video: Kino Classics



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

Runtime: 1:28:22.755

Disc Size: 22,374,723,064 bytes

Feature Size: 21,569,445,888 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.81 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 21st, 2017



Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1822 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1822 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB



English, None



• Audio Commentary by Film Historian Jeremy Arnold
Trailers - I'll Be Seeing You and Since You Went Away (2:48)





Description: The Magic of eight-year-old Jenny (Natalie Wood, West Side Story) comes alive in this spirited, funny and immensely charming story of a lost orphan girl's effects on the townspeople who find her. After witnessing a small plane crash, a frightened Jenny seeks comfort in the home of a small-town doctor (Dean Jagger, Rawhide). Like a whirlwind of truth, Jenny speaks her mind, questions everything and changes the lives and loves of everyone she meets until she's stricken with a plague that threatens the whole town. Now, the Doc must discover a cure or lose her. Driftwood was produced and directed by Hollywood veteran Allan Dwan (Slightly Scarlet), who directed over 400 features and shorts from 1911 to 1961. The classic drama features stunning black-and-white cinematography by the legendary cameraman John Alton (The Crooked Way) with a wonderful cast featuring Ruth Warrick (Citizen Kane), Walter Brennan (Rio Bravo), Charlotte Greenwood (Oklahoma!), Jerome Cowan (Miracle on 34th Street), Margaret Hamilton (The Wizard of Oz) and Alan Napier (Alfred from TV's Batman).



The Film:

Allan Dwan directs the family-oriented drama Driftwood, starring nine-year-old Natalie Wood. Orphan Jenny Hollingsworth (Wood) is found in a rural small town in Nevada that is ravaged by Rocky Mountain fever. She meets the local doctor, Steve Webster (Dean Jagger), who is working on a research project. Steve plans on leaving the girl with his girlfriend, Susan Moore (Ruth Warrick), while he goes to San Francisco to do research. However, Jenny's dog attacks a little boy and gets taken away by Sheriff Bolton (James Bell). Jenny develops Rocky Mountain fever from the dog and gets deathly ill. Also starring Walter Brennan as Murph, Charlotte Greenwood as Mathilda, and Jerome Cowan as Mayor Snyder.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Fascinating and unusual movie about a young, orphaned girl found wandering in the wilderness by an idealistic doctor, and taken back to be cared for at his village, a hothouse of political intrigue where the authorities refuse him full medical facilities, and where the girl herself provokes outrage among the locals with her outspoken honesty and strange, biblical morality. At times the religious allegory is pushed a bit too far, and there's a certain amount of sentimentality about a dog the girl finds. But generally, it's an admirably dreamlike and often dark conjuring up of the way the adult world is viewed by children, in its own way almost as effective as Curse of the Cat People, made three years earlier.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Driftwood is advertised as a 'Brand New HD Master from a 4K Scan.' It looks solid with some inherent softness from a source that can look dull with contrast not at peak levels. It has a film-like heaviness and texture with some instances of depth. Certain sequences seem sharper than others but, overall, it looked quite pleasing in-motion. This Blu-ray provides a very watchable, and pleasurable, viewing in regards to the picture quality.





















Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1822 kbps (24-bit) in the original English language. There are few effects - the plane crash is modest but a pleasing score by Nathan Scott (Hoodlum Empire, The Red Menace, Wake of the Red Witch). It sounds flat but consistent in the lossless. There are optional English subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Included is an informative audio commentary by film historian Jeremy Arnold (author of Turner Classic Movies: The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter) exposing some minutia of the production and performers plus some good details on director Allan Dwan. There are also trailers for I'll Be Seeing You and Since You Went Away.




Driftwood is a lovely, Capra-esque, film with appealing small-town characterizations by Walter Brennan, Natalie Wood, Margaret Hamilton etc.. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray offers a wonderful film looking great in a 4K-restoration plus the valuable commentary. For those who appreciate vintage film - this is kind of a must-own, imo. Absolutely recommended!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 33% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

October 24th, 2017



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