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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Robert Wise
USA 1949

 

Boxing Wednesdays. Wrestling on Fridays. Stoker Thompson is on Paradise City's Wednesday card, fighting after the main event. He's been 20 years in the game and is sure he's just one punch away from big paydays. But there's one thing Stoker doesn't yet know: his manager wants him to take a dive tonight.

The Set-Up comes out swinging as one of the great films about the so-called sweet science. Robert Wise directs, shaping real-time events into an acclaimed and unsparing film-noir look at the stale-air venues, bloodthirsty fans, ring savagery and delusional dreams of boxing's palooka world. Robert Ryan embraces perhaps his finest screen hour as Stoker. Audrey Totter, an icon of the noir genre like Ryan, plays Stoker's steadfast wife. In a sport that would take their last flicker of dignity, the Thompsons are reclaiming theirs.

***

As shown by the clock face that opens and closes the film, The Set-Up takes place within a compact 72 minutes, with the action played out in "real time." Robert Ryan plays Bill "Stoker" Thompson, a washed-up boxer who refuses to give up his career despite the pleas of his wife Julie (Audrey Totter). There's little chance that he's going to win this evening's bout; still, Stoker's manager Tiny (George Tobias) has secretly made a deal with a crooked gambler (Alan Baxter). Stoker is to take a dive, a fact withheld from him until the fight is well under way. His last vestige of pride is aroused in the ring, but the story doesn't end there. The fight sequence is one of the most brutal ever filmed, with close ups of Ryan's pummeled face intercut with shots of screaming spectators in the throes of bloodlust. Adapted by Art Cohn from a narrative poem by Joseph Moncure March, The Set-Up is arguably Robert Ryan's finest starring film.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 29th, 1949

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Warner - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

  

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:12:24        1:12:34.600 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.72 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
Chapters : 20

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,960,039,826 bytes

Feature: 21,889,056,768 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.98 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 mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1996 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1996 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Commentary:
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2021 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2021 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

 Commentary with Martin Scorsese and Robert Wise

DVD Release Date:
July 6th, 2004
Keep Case 
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio:
Warner Archive

 

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,960,039,826 bytes

Feature: 21,889,056,768 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

 Commentary with Martin Scorsese and Robert Wise


Blu-ray Release Date:
September 24th, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 21

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Warner Archive Blu-ray (October 2019): Warner Archive have transferred Robert Wise's The Set-up to 1080P Blu-ray. Someone told me recently, not to bother reviewing Warner Archive BDs (essentially because I have to buy them out-of-pocket) because they are all solid transfers, high bitrates, well-kept source material and they all advance notably over the previous DVD with a shade more information on the left side of the frame, better texture, contrast and detail. This is thankfully true, as well, in the case of The Set-up, which is, one of my favorite Noirs.

On their Blu-ray, Warner Archive use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. It is another advancement in the film's music (uncredited) by Roy Webb (Becky Sharp, A Bill of Divorcement, Notorious, The Spiral Staircase, The Curse of the Cat People, I Married a Witch, The Fallen Sparrow, The Window, Journey Into Fear, I Walked with a Zombie etc.). The Set-up has some music by Jimmy McHugh (A Touch of Texas, A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening) and also Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness of You". Warner Archive offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

We get the same commentary with Martin Scorsese and Robert Wise that was on the 2004 DVD. It's a short film and Wise doesn't seem to talk much with Marty taking the lead lauding many of the director's other films. Wise mentions that The Set-up is from a narrative poem and there is value here, but it is the only extra - nothing new (sigh).

One of the great Robert Ryan's best roles. The Set-up has Robert Wise's attention to detail showing all sides of the boxing profession. Brilliant Noir. It's a film I am very happy to own on the Blu-ray format. I can watch this film twice a year for the rest of my life. Our highest recommendation!

Gary Tooze

 


Warner - Region 1 - NTSC

 

Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray


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

 

 

1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


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Box Cover

  

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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