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Directed by George Stevens
USA 1951

 

Montgomery Clift stars as George Eastman, a poor young man determined to win a place in respectable society and the heart of a beautiful socialite (Elizabeth Taylor). Shelley Winters plays the factory girl whose dark secret threatens Eastman’s professional and romantic prospects.

***

A Place in the Sun (1951) is a powerful social drama and romance from director/producer George Stevens. The black and white film plays on the audience's emotions, by involving and drawing them into complicity with the tragic resolution. Methodically, the film is stylistically dark, almost with film-noirish qualities, yet it has some of the most romantic and passionate sequences ever filmed - between the radiant debutante, 18 year-old Elizabeth Taylor (in her first adult role) and 29 year-old Montgomery Clift, who stars as a laboring wage slave.

Its theme emphasizes the wide gap between the frivolous rich and the downtrodden, outsider poor, and how fate heavy-handedly can control life. An aspiring, upwardly-mobile, lonely working-class protagonist with evangelical roots is obsessed with getting ahead and 'making it.' He mixes with a different upper social class through a passionate romantic relationship with a beautiful rich girl, and begins to climb the social and professional ladder. But then he becomes victimized by his environment, circumstances, the society of the time, and the loss of his own morals when he impregnates a lowly, disenfranchised, clingy, and plain co-worker.

This first-rate melodramatic film is an adaptation of Theodore Dreiser's lengthy, best-selling 1925 novel, An American Tragedy, and it was also based on the Patrick Kearney play.

Excerpt of Tim Dirks review on The Greatest Films located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 5th, 1951 (Cannes Film Festival)

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Review: Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:01:57.059        
Video

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,375,426,724 bytes

Feature: 36,786,192,384 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2650 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2650 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Imprint

 

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,375,426,724 bytes

Feature: 36,786,192,384 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio commentary with George Stevens Jr. and associate producer Ivan Moffat
• “George Stevens and His Place in the Sun” featurette (22:23)
• “George Stevens: The Filmmakers Who Knew Him” – Warren Beatty, Frank Capra, and others reminisce about working with Stevens (45:27)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:37)
• Photo Gallery (11:55)
Imprint Trailer (0:26)
• Optional English subtitles
• Limited Edition slipcase on the first 1000 copies


Blu-ray Release Date:
September 4th, 2020
Transparent Blu-ray Case inside slipcase (see below)

Chapters 912

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Imprint Blu-ray (September 2020): Imprint have transferred George Stevens' A Place in the Sun to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "1080p presentation taken from the latest 4K restoration of the film". It is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. How does it look? Frequently not great. It's another of those instances where it advances beyond SD (DVD) but either the source condition or other factors inhibit it from achieving the type of dynamic appearance we have come to expect from this HD format. Now, it does have instances where it looks very strong with depth, grain and fine detail. These are more the exception though. It does lean to the black levels having some degree of being crushed. Contrast is not premium. This presentation does have a nice film-like textures - better exposed than SD, but only comparing it to another 1080P will further observations reveal the adeptness of this transfer. I'm not overly displeased and, sort of, expected it looking mostly flat and a bit video-y. The DVD was no prize in terms of visual appeal either and it may just be one of those films that doesn't translate well to digital. Perhaps this is the reason it has not been released on Blu-ray until now.  

NOTE: We have added 74 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Imprint offer a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround bump (as found on the 2001 DVD) but thankfully a linear PCM dual-mono track (both 24-bit) in the original English language. This is quite impressive as the DVD did not offer original mono at all. It's now authentically flat with the emotional score by Franz Waxman (Rear Window, Untamed, Rebecca, Dark Passage, Bride of Frankenstein, Rear Window, Sunset Boulevard) with other music, ex. Mona Lisa played as background music and Out of Nowhere played on the radio. It sounds clean with some minor buoyancy. Imprint offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

Beyond an extensive 'Stills Gallery' and their own short trailer for products, the Imprint Blu-ray offers only the exact supplements of the 2001 DVD. We get the audio commentary with George Stevens Jr. and associate producer Ivan Moffat, the 22-minute, 2001-produced featurette “George Stevens and His Place in the Sun” with input from George Stevens Jr., Ivan Moffat, Elizabeth and Shelley Winters. Also repeated is the 3/4 hour “George Stevens: The Filmmakers Who Knew Him” with Frank Capra, Rouben Mamoulian, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Alan J. Pakula, Robert Wise, Fred Zinnemann etc. also made in 2001. There is a theatrical trailer and a limited edition slipcase (1000 copies.)

George Stevens' A Place in the Sun is a total masterpiece. It's a film I was thrilled to hear was coming to Blu-ray. Imprint's package is a bit underwhelming with no new substantive extras, a modest 1080P image (even if from a 4K restoration) but the original audio option. The jury is still out on these guys and for the exorbitant price of this release - only the very serious fans of the film, Monty or Liz should consider indulging. It'll be a keeper for me and its superiority over the (almost 20-year old) DVD - and original audio inclusion - is appreciated by this reviewer. I also like the slipcase. To each his own. I'm leaning, at present, to these guys being the 'real deal'. Time will tell.

Gary Tooze

 


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