|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
The Garden of Allah [Blu-ray]
(Richard Boleslawski, 1936)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Selznick International Pictures
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 21,129,523,544 bytes
Feature Size: 18,597,126,144 bytes
Video Bitrate: 28.12 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: January 9th, 2018
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1558 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1558 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Description:No Man Can Resist Her! Screen legends Marlene Dietrich (The Blue Angel) and Charles Boyer (Gaslight) achieve the finest performances of their careers, as they taste forbidden fruit under the seductive, blazing skies of the Sahara. Featuring a sumptuous score by composer Max Steiner (The Fountainhead), this sweeping epic of passionate romance is one of the most beautiful and atmospherically compelling pictures ever made. After the death of her father, convent-educated Domini Enfilden (Deitrich) heads for the desert seeking peace. But instead of tranquility, the sultry beauty finds passion in the arms of Boris Androvsky (Boyer) - secretly a Trappist monk who has broken his vows and lost his faith. Will Domini discover Boris' secret, and will his hidden past destroy their future happiness? Richard Boleslawski (Theodora Goes Wild) directed this David O. Selznick (Duel in the Sun) classic co-starring Basil Rathbone (The Mark of Zorro) and C. Aubrey Smith (The Hurricane).
Marlene Dietrich's first Technicolor film is, in the
simplest terms, beautiful.
The Garden of Allah was based on a popular novel by Robert
Hichens and had already been filmed twice before as a silent picture in
1916 and 1927. While still at MGM, Selznick envisioned Greta Garbo in
the role of Domini, a devout woman who unknowingly falls in love with a
Trappist monk who has fled his order in a crisis of faith. When Selznick
left MGM and founded his own production company, Selznick International
Pictures, he bought the rights to the story for $62,000. By then he had
hired actress Merle Oberon to play Domini, but he ended up paying her
$25,000 to cancel her contract since he didn't feel she had enough
box-office draw. Selznick replaced her with Marlene Dietrich, on loan
from Paramount, who still had box-office appeal despite a string of
recent disappointments. Selznick paid her $200,000 and hired debonair
French actor Charles Boyer to play the tortured monk, Boris Androvsky.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The Garden of Allah looks better than I anticipated in 1080P. This early Technicolor holds up without excessive bleeding or sharp variations (after the first few minutes) in the palette. These films have their own 'look' and it's appealing when not misaligned. Some blues/purples and reds/maroons are impressive in the HD transfer that has a supportive bitrate. There are some color flecks but not much in terms of scratches or damage. The source must have been in decent shape. Its texture-thick and has a natural softness. I though this Blu-ray picture quality was very good all things considered.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1558 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language with some Farsi. There are only a few aggressive effects (horses etc.) in the film but the audio is notable for the iconic Max Steiner's (Since You Went Away, Sergeant York, Key Largo, Casablanca, The Caine Mutiny, Bird of Paradise, Beyond the Forest, Pursued etc. etc.) sweeping score that sounds dramatic suiting the vast desert visuals. There are optional English subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Just 5 trailers - none for the film.
January 3rd, 2018