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(aka "Jungle Fighters")

 

Directed by Leslie Norman
UK 1961

 

During the Japanese invasion of Burma in 1942, a troop of British soldiers on a jungle mission lose radio contact with their base, and then clash over how to proceed. When a Japanese scout wanders into their camp and they take him prisoner, tensions increase further as the soldiers become so concerned with arguing out their own destinies, the enemy has to take second place. Adapted from a play by Willis Hall (Billy Liar), The Long and the Short and the Tall (also known as Jungle Fighters) shows with a terrible truth that in war there can be no second chances. Veteran filmmaker Leslie Norman (The Night My Number Came Up, Dunkirk) directed this thrilling WWII adventure starring Richard Todd (The Dam Busters), Laurence Harvey (The Manchurian Candidate), Richard Harris (The Heroes of Telemark), David McCallum (The Great Escape) and John Meillon (633 Squadron), with beautiful black-and-white cinematography by Erwin Hillier (Operation Crossbow) and a rousing score by Stanley Black (The Flesh and the Fiends).

***

Based on a play by Willis Hall. A troop of British soldiers are out in the jungle to record jungle noises and troop noises in the jungle so that the recordings can be played back by other troops to divert the enemy to their whereabouts. As they progress to what they think is closer to the base camp they find themselves farther and farther from radio range until the only channel they can get clearly is that of a Japanese broadcast. They now realize they are probably only 10 to 15 miles from a Japanese camp! The tension is added to by rowdy and openly admitted "non-hero" Private Bamforth who has nothing good to say about anyone and especially Corporal Johnstone (who holds an equal dislike for Bamforth). When a Japanese soldier is taken as their prisoner, the true colours of each man comes to the surface...

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 16th, 1961 (Mar del Plata Film Festival)

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:45:58.101        
Video

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,576,934,831 bytes

Feature: 33,033,879,552 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 Blu-ray:

Audio

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)s

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,576,934,831 bytes

Feature: 33,033,879,552 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Trailers


Blu-ray Release Date:
May 19th, 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 (May 2020): Kino have transferred Leslie Norman's The Long and the Short and the Tall to Blu-ray. As the standard for Kino - this is a dual-layered transfer with a max'ed out bitrate. Contrast plays well with the sweaty bodies and economic black and white cinematography. It looks very solid and consistent in the 1.66:1 aspect ratio. the 1080P is very pleasing in-motion. No issues with the HD presentation. 

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (16-bit) in the original English language. There are a few jungle-related effects and war-ish gunplay plus an effective score by Stanley Black (Happy Ever After, Valentino, The Day the Earth Caught Fire, War-Gods of the Deep, 1960's Hammer film Stop Me Before I Kill! etc.). It sounds buoyant and works well with the film's tensions. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray is a bare-bones affair with only trailers (none for the film.) I think this deserved a commentary - it is a well-above-average movie.

The Long and the Short and the Tall has a stacked cast. It's adaptation from the stage seems adept and the Burmese jungle carries the mystery of foreboding death. Lots to appreciate - start realism - kudos to Todd, Harvey, Harris, McCallum... the bare-bones Kino Blu-ray has value for the exceptional film - the price should reflect its lack of extras making it as easy, reasonably-priced, purchase, imo. Recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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