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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport (London) / The V Olympic Winter Games Saint Moritz, 1948 aka "Fight Without Hate" [Blu-ray]

 

(Castleton Knight, 1948)

 

This is the 7th Blu-ray of Criterion's Thirty-Two Blu-ray Special Edition 100 Years of Olympic Films that contains 53 newly restored films from 41 editions of the Olympic Games, presented together for the first time. It boasts landmark 4K restorations of Olympia, Tokyo Olympiad, and Visions of Eight, among other titles with new scores for the silent films, composed by Maud Nelissen, Donald Sosin, and Frido ter Beek. It also contains a lavishly illustrated, 216-page hardcover book, featuring notes on the films by cinema historian Peter Cowie; a foreword by Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee; a short history of the restoration project by restoration producer Adrian Wood; and hundreds of photographs from a century of Olympic Games.  This package will be released on December 5th, 2017. We will review/compare each disc as we view them.

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: International Olympic Committee

Video: Criterion Collection (Part of Spine #900)

 

Disc:

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

XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport (London) Runtime: 2:18:25.255

The V Olympic Winter Games Saint Moritz, 1948 Runtime: 1:31:15.178 

Disc Size: 45,420,870,594 bytes

XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport (London) Feature Size: 26,693,947,392 bytes

The V Olympic Winter Games Saint Moritz, 1948 Feature Size: 18,493,790,208 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.16 Mbps / 23.47 Mbps

Chapters: 39 / 22

Case: Custom Blu-ray case (see below)

Release date: December 5th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

 

LPCM Audio French 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:
The package contains a 216-page hardcover book, featuring notes on the films by cinema historian Peter Cowie; a foreword by Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee; a short history of the restoration project by restoration producer Adrian Wood; and hundreds of photographs from a century of Olympic Games.

 

Bitrate:

1) XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - TOP

2) The V Olympic Winter Games Saint Moritz, 1948 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 

 

Description: Fanny Blankers-Koen, “the Flying Housewife” from the Netherlands, galvanizes the Games at the age of thirty with her gold medals in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 80-meter hurdles, and 4 x 100–meter relay.

 

 

 

 

 

The Film:

Put on "hold" during the war years, the annual Olympic Games were revived in Switzerland and Greece in 1948. Less than three weeks after the conclusion of the Winter Games in St. Moritz, XIVth Olympiad-The Glory of Sport was shipped to thousands of movie theaters in America and Great Britain. Filmed in color, this 130-minute documentary captures all the pomp and splendor of the athletic event, even without the benefit of satellite technology and the instant replay. Commenting upon the action are American sportcasters Ted Husing and Bill Stern, not to mention a host of BBC personalities. Sixteen different versions of XIVth Olympiad were prepared in as many languages for simultaneous release in September of 1948.

Excerpt from AllMovie located HERE

The Manchester Guardian review of "The Fourteenth Olympiad, the Glory of Sport" - which was rushed out less than four weeks after the end of the Games - is less than flattering, saying that 'this British film, for all its Technicolor, is no more than a utility model.'

The film is compared unfavourably to Olympia, Leni Riefenstahl's documentary of the 1936 Games - a film which, in spite of what the Manchester Guardian calls its 'vile propaganda' is also praised here for its 'splendid artistry.' It was not the first time in 1948 that the Manchester Guardian acknowledged the tensions between the political and artistic that would taint Riefenstahl for years - after a press showing of the film in February, the paper said that Olympia was 'on the whole a beautiful film, even if it is badly disfigured by the National Socialist propaganda which its makers saw fit to include.'

TheGuardainlocatedHERE

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

This 7th Blu-ray of Criterion's Thirty-Two Blu-ray Special Edition 100 Years of Olympic Films contains XIVth Olympiad: The Glory of Sport and The V Olympic Winter Games Saint Moritz, 1948 aka "Fight Without Hate", both made in 1948. The Glory of Sport looks impressive - colors are very bright and the image quality appealing. There are a couple of less crisp scenes but this appears to be the camera work of the era - catching certain athletic endeavors often serendipitously. The shorter, black and white Saint Moritz documentary, also known as Fight Without Hate, doesn't fare quite as well being less consistent in terms of video quality - although sometimes the contrast and black levels, from an obvious source with fluctuating density, can look very strong at times. As far as 'in-motion' both looked more than acceptable and, frequently, extremely impressive. 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Criterion use a linear PCM mono tracks at 1152 kbps (24-bit) for both in their original languages (English for The Glory of Sport and French for Fight Without Hate.)  The narration is consistent and easily audible while the music is very pleasantly supportive in both documentaries. It includes many national songs/anthems and some standard fare orchestral music. Both offer optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified the disc as being region 'A' -locked.

 

Extras :

Criterion add no digital extras to this Blu-ray disc but the package has a lavishly illustrated, 216-page hardcover book, featuring notes on the films by cinema historian Peter Cowie, along with a letter from Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, a short history of the project by restoration producer Adrian Wood, and hundreds of photographs from a century of Olympic Games.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
XIVth Olympiad-The Glory of Sport is another fascinating piece of history and the restoration looks excellent in HD. The complete
Blu-ray package is overflowing with valuable, educational, inspiring, historically-relevant content and this seventh disc has more of that appeal. This is something you can really sit back and absorb. It's another impressive part of Criterion's Thirty-Two Blu-ray Special Edition.

Gary Tooze

December 2nd, 2017




 

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