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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Directed by Howard Hawks
USA 1941

 

Prize-winning Tennessee marksman Alvin York (Gary Cooper), a recent convert to Christianity, finds himself torn between his non-violent beliefs and his desire to serve his country when recruited to fight in World War I. Kindly Major Buxton (Stanley Ridges) convinces York to engage in battle, where the pacifist's prowess with a rifle earns him honors as he continues to struggle with his decision to kill. Howard Hawks directs this adaptation of the real York's memoirs.

***

Based on the true story of a deeply religious pacifist who became a much-decorated WWI hero, this is simultaneously Hawks' most 'respectable' and most artistically conventional major film. Oscar-winning Cooper is in engagingly relaxed form as the country boy who goes to war, in a fit of pique, after feeling cheated out of some farmland he wanted to buy, and Hawks manages to chart his transformation from pacifist to soldier with disarming ease. But, with serious issues and moral pieties at its heart, it lacks the subversive wit and depth of feeling for individuals that typifies his best work; too often it is picturesque (although the battle scenes, with the exception of the famous 'turkey-shoot' in which Germans are bumped off like birds, are shot with a strong feel for the pain and squalor of war)...

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 2nd, 1941

Reviews                                                                              More Reviews                                                                   DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Warner Home Video (2-disc) - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC vs. SchröderMedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - LEFT

2) SchröderMedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

  

  

 

   

 

  

Also available in The Gary Cooper - The Signature Collection (Sergeant York / The Fountainhead / Dallas / Springfield Rifle / The Wreck of the Mary Deare)

           

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC SchröderMedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:13:52  2:14:06.288 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.94 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered

Disc Size: 23,516,572,721 bytes

Feature: 23,334,844,416 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.89 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 828 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 828 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

DUB:

DTS-HD Master Audio German 882 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 882 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps / DN -4dB

Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Jeannine Basinger
• Classic Cartoon Porky's Preview
• Vintage short Lions for Sale
• Cooper Trailer Gallery
• New making-of-featurette Sergeant York: Of God and Country (38:52)
• Vintage biographical profile Gary Cooper: American Life, American Legend (42:08)

DVD Release Date: November 7th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 33

Release Information:
Studio: Schrö
derMedia

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
 

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered

Disc Size: 23,516,572,721 bytes

Feature: 23,334,844,416 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.89 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Jeannine Basinger
• T
railer (1:56)

Blu-ray Release Date:
August 3rd, 2017
Srandard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

 

ADDITION: Schröder Media - Region FREE - Blu-ray (October 2017): Firstly, this is advertised as limited to 1,000 copies. I might have thought that this was an SD bump - as with the DVD the opening credits are also pictureboxed - but it show more information in the frame than the SD transfer. I did some research on Schröder Media and they appear legitimate. They focus on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD primarily in the German-speaking sector (Austria, Germany, Switzerland) in both the rental and retail business. This is done in cooperation with production and licensing partners.

 

The image is okay on the surface but when you zoom-in, it doesn't look like grain but has a digitized, artefact-y, appearance. The 2 1/4 hour film is on a single-layered disc with a sub-20 Mbps bitrate. The 1080P does look superior to the SD - marginally brighter, more detail, depth but it can be a bit clunky in-motion, with some mild artifacts appearing at the bottom of the frame. In the final tally this higher resolution can improve upon SD, depending on your system, but is far from an ideal HD presentation of this classic film. Warner should really release this...

 

Audio is in DTS-HD Master tracks (only 16-bit) in the original English or the option of a German DUB. I did find the dialogue hushed and the iconic Max Steiner (Key Largo, Casablanca, The Caine Mutiny, Bird of Paradise, Beyond the Forest, Pursued etc. etc.) score significantly louder causing me to fiddle with the volume button a few times. There are no subtitle options and the Blu-ray disc is Region FREE.

 

This Blu-ray includes the Jeannine Basinger commentary and a trailer. The menu system is unusual.

 

An odd, suspicious, release that brings up quite a few questions. We only endorse to those less-discerning on the, projected, HD image - although, for many modest systems, it can look superior to SD. The audio issues are another story. I LOVE this film - such an amazing story - a defining role for Cooper - but we can only hope for something more robust and more polished... soon.

***

ON THE DVD (2006): This film, made in 1941, looks quite good on DVD. Greytones and contrast are super - black levels possibly boosted to pitch depth and sharpness better than acceptable. A few light scratches were visible. This film looks and sounds even better than I was anticipating.

Jeannine Basinger's commentary is as prepared and thorough as two previous that I recall (Wyler's Jezebel and Cukor's The Philadelphia Story). Her voice has a measured pace that covers many areas of the film, Cooper, Hawks , Sergeant York's production as well as the life Alvin York. She presents the conflict of the character's dichotomy (pacifist war hero) in a easy-to-listen to fashion.

I love the inclusion of the cartoon and vintage short but the second disc with the two featurettes only adds to the fascinating curiosity of the story and a fair, if short, homage to Gary Cooper.

I'm actually surprised it took so long to bring this masterpiece film to DVD, but I suppose the wait was well worth it for this is an impressive package. The story is so incredible, even more so that it is true - the single greatest individual feat in military history but York's complexity is the real story - a plain-spoken, backwoods, Abe-Lincoln style hero. You could not imagine anyone but Cooper playing the role. This is a must-own DVD!

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus


 

Disc 2


 

SchröderMedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) SchröderMedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) SchröderMedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) SchröderMedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) SchröderMedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) SchröderMedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) SchröderMedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) SchröderMedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Covers

  

  

 

   

 

  

Also available in The Gary Cooper - The Signature Collection (Sergeant York / The Fountainhead / Dallas / Springfield Rifle / The Wreck of the Mary Deare)

           

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC SchröderMedia - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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