|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
The Vikings [Blu-ray]
(Richard Fleischer , 1958)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Brynaprod S.A.
Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 44,175,209,050 bytes
Feature Size: 33,912,647,040 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.88 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 16th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
English (SDH), none
• Exclusive new video interview with film historian Sheldon Hall
• Reversible Sleeve
Description: One of the most spectacular and action packed
epics of the fifties, Richard Fleischer's The Vikings
wowed audiences worldwide with its stunning visuals, brutal
action and star studded cast.
Viking half-brothers Douglas and Curtis fight it out for the throne of Northumbria. Plenty of pillaging, axe-throwing, hearty quaffing of ale, storming of castles, heroic jumping into wolf pits, and manly talk about the glories of entering Valhalla with sword in hand. Handsomely shot by Jack Cardiff, and directed with muscle and verve by Fleischer, this thoroughly entertaining historical epic stands up to umpteen viewings.
The Vikings was based on the novel The Vikings by Edison
Marshall, and adapted into a screenplay by Dale Wasserman and Calder
Willingham, the latter of whom collaborated with Douglas and Stanley Kubrick on Paths of Glory (1957). Never one to back down from an
epic effort, Kirk Douglas was the true shepherd of the project through
his own independent company Bryna Productions. Richard Fleischer, who
directed Douglas's production of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
(1954), called the shots behind the camera. Given the difficulty of the
shoot, The Vikings needed Douglas' strong, assured hand and
rock-hard ego to guide it. The projected $2.5 million budget doubled
with the leasing of an entire Norwegian fjord, the construction of a
full-scale Viking village, and design and production of a fleet of
authentic longships copied from reproductions in museums. Further
ballooning the budget were the transportation costs incurred from
shuttling cast and crew to and from the remote set by a fleet of 17 PT
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Vikings looks fabulous on Blu-ray from Eureka Cinema in the UK. The image quality shows a fine layer of grain and impressive Technicolor is rich and deep. The visuals are highly remarkable both because of the strong, dual-layered, 1080P transfer and the exquisite Jack Cardiff cinematography. This Blu-ray image is a beauty with excellent contrast, depth and those amazing colors. Visually this gets high marks.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Eureka use a linear PCM mono track with refreshing depth supporting the film's many aggressive effects - battle, wolves, axe-hurdling etc.The score by Mario Nascimbene (When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, The Barefoot Contessa, Barabbas, A Farewell to Arms, Love in the City) gains benefit from the uncompressed transfer and plays well with the action augmenting the film's established period and tone. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Solid supplements too with a new 1/2 hour video interview with film historian Sheldon Hall about The Vikings shedding light on details of the production, casting etc. Excellent. A Tale of Norway is a 28-minute vintage featurette about the making of the film, presented by director Richard Fleischer. There is an original theatrical trailer -= the package has a reversible sleeve (see below) - and the package comes with a liner notes booklet featuring the words of Richard Fleischer; a poster gallery and rare archival imagery.
October 19th, 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 3500 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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