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Directed by Karl Malden
USA
1957

 

Directed by actor Karl Malden, Time Limit is a courtroom drama minus the courtroom. Army Colonel William Edwards (Richard Widmark) is investigating the case of Major Harry Cargill (Richard Basehart), accused of collaborating with the enemy while he and his unit were held captive in a Korean POW camp. Cargill freely admits his guilt, and evidence proves that he signed a germ-warfare confession, and broadcast anti-American speeches over Korean radio. In fact, it would be a simple open and shut case were it not for Basehart's refusal to defend himself. Arousing further suspicion is the fact that Basehart's collaboration with the enemy immediately followed the death of two of his soldiers, and the surviving members in the unit all recite an identical, rehearsed account of those deaths. Under enormous pressure to take his depositions and press for a swift court-martial, Edwards delves into the mystery, refusing to accept superficial explanations for the events in question. When the truth is finally revealed by Lieutenant George Miller (Rip Torn), it sheds a completely new light on Cargill's behavior.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

***

Military investigator Colonel Edwards is assigned a case involving Major Cargill, a Korean War POW who is accused of treason. Although Cargill admits his guilt and Edwards' superiors are impatiently pushing Edwards to move this case to court martial, Edwards becomes convinced of Cargill's innocence.

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 23rd, 1957

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Comparison:

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

  

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:36:45          1:36:54.350 
Video 1.6.5:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.67 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,839,613,284 bytes

Feature: 30,204,315,648 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.92 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 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

Subtitles None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Letterboxed Aspect Ratio 1.65:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: May 12th, 2009

Keep Case
Chapters: 10

 

Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 32,839,613,284 bytes

Feature: 30,204,315,648 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Theatrical Trailer (3:15)


Blu-ray Release Date:
April 14th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (March 2020): Kino have transferred Karl Malden's Time Limit to 1080P Blu-ray. The transfer is being advertised as from a "Brand New 2K Master". Different from the DVD , this is in the correct 1.85:1 and we can see the MGM was an open-matte source. The HD presentation gains a shade of information on the side edges and loses from the top and bottom. The 1080P is a huge improvement with superior contrast (inky blacks), frequent depth and consistent grain textures. It is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate - more than 6X that of the out-of-print DVD.

NOTE: We have added 25 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono track (16-bit) in the original English language. There are minor aggressive effects (limited gunplay) but a solid score by Fred Steiner (The Killers, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, The Twilight Zone) not related to the legendary Max but rather son of film composer George Steiner. The lossless sounds clean with significant depth over the lossy Dolby of the DVD. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray has only trailers as supplements. I think it's a film that definitely deserves a commentary - there is a lot under the surface here including Malden's direction and his adeptness at procuring the impressive performances. 

Karl Malden's Time Limit is his only directorial credit (with uncredited co-direction in The Hanging Tree). It's kind of a masterpiece with excellent performances from the two Richards (Basehart - who was nominated for a BAFTA - and Widmark) with support from June Lockhart, Martin Balsam, Rip Torn etc. It has a courtroom drama feel with definite comparisons to John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate (not only because of the presence of actor Khigh Dhiegh!). There is a reason the DVD was selling so high via third party distributors. The bare-bone Kino status is reflected in a more reasonable price. This Blu-ray still gets a very strong recommendation from us.

Gary Tooze

ON THE DVD: What the hell, MGM? Solid film - but DVD authoring and transfer from a decade ago. Not only is the film in some sort of compromised 1.65:1 aspect ratio - it is widescreen letterboxed (non 16X9 enhanced) and has no menus at all. Compound this will the warning that the film has been modified to fit the screen - WRONG! - it decidedly does not fit my HD TV screen. The resulting rendering leaves borders and the black and white image is hazy - if barely passable. This is a film that deserves much better treatment - especially in 2009.

Unless there is something wrong with my copy - this has no menus, subtitle options or extras. I really enjoyed the film - but why bring it out now - in this single-layered, lackluster DVD edition? Who is making the decisions at MGM/Fox on this one? Spend your $10 on Man Hunt

Gary W. Tooze

 


MGM DVD Caveat

 

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


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

 

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

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Box Cover

  

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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Gary Tooze

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