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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Carl Franklin
USA 1995

 

Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), writer-director Carl Franklin’s moody, neo-noir adaptation of Walter Mosley’s acclaimed novel, stars the superb Denzel Washington as Easy Rawlins, a laid-off factory worker-turned-private investigator in post-World War II Los Angeles. Easy finds himself in a world of trouble after accepting an apparently simple assignment: find a missing white woman (Jennifer Beals) apparently hiding out in the black juke joints along L.A.’s Central Avenue. Pretty soon, as Easy uncovers a tar pit of corruption, people are turning up dead. The terrific supporting cast includes Tom Sizemore, Don Cheadle (in a career-making performance), Maury Chaykin, Terry Kinney, and Albert Hall.

***

Recently fired and desperate to keep up the payments on his beloved home, WWII veteran Easy Rawlins (Washington) is offered a job by the shady Dewitt Albright (Sizemore): to discover the whereabouts of one Daphne Monet (Beals), a politician's fiancée scandalously rumoured to hang out in black bars. Assured that there's nothing illegal involved, Easy accepts. Pretty soon, however, he finds himself suspected of murdering a friend's girl (Carson) and under threat from both the cops and Albright's thuggish henchmen. Reluctantly, he puts in a call to Mouse (Cheadle), an old friend from his native Texas - reluctantly, because while Mouse has guts and loyalty to spare, he's also a volatile psychopath. Franklin's follow-up to One False Move is an impressively complex, polished and intelligent adaptation of Walter Mosley's thriller. It not only shows us an immaculately recreated world hitherto ignored by the movies (the black neighbourhoods of late '40s LA), but locates race, alongside more familiar elements like money and power, as a central motivating force for the various characters' actions. Mercifully, however, Franklin never preaches but allows the racial theme to emerge naturally from story and situation. Everything - the performances, Tak Fujimoto's elegant camerawork, the jazz and blues soundtrack, the snappy script - slots neatly into his overall design. Sheer pleasure.

Excerpt from Timeout located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 16th, 1995 (Toronto International Film Festival)

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray / - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

or buy directly from Indicator:

Bonus Captures:

 

and 4K UHD by Criterion:

 

Distribution Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Criterion Spine #1135 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray / Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 1:41:17.905         1:41:18.197   1:41:30.667  
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,561,451,516 bytes

Feature: 28,941,096,960 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,534,755,484 bytes

Feature: 34,145,160,768 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.83 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,741,974,340 bytes

Feature: 31,593,535,488 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.58 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Twilight Time Blu-ray:

Bitrate Indicator Blu-ray:

Bitrate Criterion Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3581 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3581 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2100 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2100 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2769 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2769 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1989 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1989 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3385 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3385 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

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

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3593 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3593 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

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

Subtitles English (SDH), None English (SDH), None English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Twilight Time

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,561,451,516 bytes

Feature: 28,941,096,960 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Carl Franklin
• Isolated Score Track
• Don Cheadle Screen Test (14:51)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (2:30)
• Liner notes by Julie Kirgo
Limited to 3,000 Copies!


Blu-ray Release Date:
October, 2015
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio:
Indicator

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,534,755,484 bytes

Feature: 34,145,160,768 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.83 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio commentary with writer and director Carl Franklin (2005)
Dancing with the Devil (2018): archival interview with Franklin, conducted by the Film Noir Foundation's Eddie Muller at a Noir City screening of Devil in a Blue Dress (22:14)
Don Cheadle Screen Test (1994): videotape footage of the actor auditioning for the role of Mouse, with introduction by Franklin (15:01)
Original theatrical trailer (2:27)
Image gallery: promotional and publicity materials
New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Keith Harris, an archival interview with Carl Franklin from Positif magazine, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
UK premiere on Blu-ray
Limited edition of 3,000 copies


Blu-ray Release Date:
December 14th, 2020
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 46,741,974,340 bytes

Feature: 31,593,535,488 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.58 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio commentary featuring Franklin
New conversation between Franklin and actor Don Cheadle (36:45)
New conversation between Walter Mosley, author of the novel on which the film is based, and novelist Attica Locke (25:05)
On-stage conversation between Franklin and film historian Eddie Muller, recorded at the 2018 Noir City Film Festival in Chicago (25:58)
Screen test for Cheadle (13:15)
Trailer (2:29)
PLUS: An essay by critic Julian Kimble


Blu-ray Release Date:
July 19th, 2022
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 13

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Criterion Blu-ray (July 2022): Criterion have transferred Carl Franklin's Devil in a Blue Dress to Blu-ray and a 4K UHD transfer (with the Blu-ray included) - the latter presented with an Dolby Vision HDR pass. It is cited as being a "New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Carl Franklin". We usually aren't able to obtain 4K 2160P captures until after the release date - a function of the encode. This is presently true of almost all 4K UHD transfers. We will add them here when accessible. The 1080P is different than the other two transfers. It has moved a shade to the left, flesh tones are have some color shifts and it has a bit of green. It, likewise, has fine grain and I wish I could say one is definitely superior but the Criterion is simply marginally different. I doubt most will not find the disparity a deal-breaker for this wonderful neo-noir. The 4K UHD, supporting the same palette, has the film's visual attributes appearing more pronounced; tighter color balance and contrast, more grain exposed and a very impressive 2160 resolution image in-motion. It looks extremely film-like. We'll add captures when we are able.

On their Blu-ray, Criterion use an equally robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track (24-bit) in the original English language. My ears can't distinguish any significant differences from Indicator's similar encode. There are aggressive effects including punctuating gunfire that separate tightly - with a wonderful jazzy score (listen for T-Bone Walker, Jimmy Witherspoon, Duke Ellington, Pee Wee Crayton, Bull Moose Jackson, Thelonious Monk and more) by the iconic Elmer Bernstein's (The Great Escape, See No Evil, Sudden Fear, From the Terrace, The Hallelujah Trail, The Grifters, Saturn 3, Birdman of Alcatraz, Love With the Proper Stranger, The Bride at Remagen, The Comancheros, The World of Henry Orient, Kings of the Sun, Hud, To Kill a Mockingbird, Summer and Smoke) score gains from a lossless transfer and adds significantly to the film experience. Like both other Blu-rays the Criterion Blu-ray and 4K UHD offer optional English (SDH) subtitles. There disc, however, is a Region 'A'-locked Blu-ray while the 4K UHD is, as they always are, Region FREE.

The 4K UHD has only the commentary as a supplement. The rest of the extras are on Criterion's second disc Blu-ray, also sold separately. Criterion have some of the older supplements and a few new ones. We get the same 1998 commentary by writer-director Carl Franklin (originally on a DVD) who discusses many aspects of the production, filmmaking behind the scenes, use of street scenes, comments from the opening credits to praise for the performers and minute details following or deviating from the novel. It's informative in how he achieved his noir-ish representation of Devil in a Blue Dress (turning it on its ear) - recalling specifics three years after its completion. We also the repeated 1/4 hour of Don Cheadle's screen test footage - also found on both Blu-rays. Also duplicated are the 26-minute conversation between director Carl Franklin and film noir historian Eddie Muller that was recorded live onstage for a screening of Devil in a Blue Dress at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago on August 17th, 2018, as part of the Noir City Film Festival. New is a 37-minute conversation between actor Don Cheadle and director Carl Franklin that was recorded for Criterion in March 2022. In it, they discuss the casting of Devil in a Blue Dress, the film's performances and direction, and the character of Mouse. Also new is a 25-minute conversation, recorded for Criterion in March 2022, between novelist and screenwriter Attica Locke and author Walter Mosley (who served as an associate producer on the film) about the film adaptation of his novel Devil in a Blue Dress, his other Easy Rawlins novels, and the hard-boiled detective fiction genre in general. It's quite revealing. Lastly the Criterion offers a trailer and the package has liner notes with an essay by critic Julian Kimble.

Devil in a Blue Dress is a fabulous neo-noir mystery/thriller. I always enjoy it - such great art-direction capturing the post-war period (Summer 1948) with a smokey aura of dark clubs, a mysterious, missing, woman and a budding private investigator thrust into the mix while avoiding racial pratfalls and vicious, immoral, characters. Solid performances and a great story. I wish there were more modern films like this - the modern Perry Mason series captures the same L.A. Confidential vibe - controlled exquisitely by director Franklin and Tak Fujimoto's cinematography. It has effective jazzy music. The Criterion Blu-ray has the director-approved 4K-restored transfer, older commentary plus new, and old, extras. The 4K UHD package has the Blu-ray and a 2160 presentation disc. It's a film experience directly appealing to those who crave more Noir in their digital library. It remains strongly recommended!

***

ADDITION: Indicator Blu-ray (December 2020): Indicator have transferred Carl Franklin's Devil in a Blue Dress to Blu-ray in the UK. It is cited as being from a "2K restoration" and I don't see any significant differences from the 2015 Twilight Time 1080P. I might give a slight edge to the Indicator for the higher (max'ed out) video bitrate. It is consistent with fine texture. Kudos also to the lighting, art direction (Dan Webster), set design (Kathryn Peters) and period wardrobe (Sharen Davis) for a moody and authentic atmosphere.

NOTE: We have added 30 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Indicator advance with more robust options for a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track or a linear PCM 2.0 channel track (24-bit) option in the original English language. Like Twilight Time, Indicator offer optional English (SDH) subtitles. There disc, however, is a Region 'B'-locked Blu-ray.

The Indicator Blu-ray offers the same commentary by writer-director Carl Franklin who discusses many aspects of the production, story and praise for the performers. It's a very good follow-up to the film. We also get Don Cheadle's screen test footage with an intro by Franklin - also found on the Twilight Time. new is the Dancing with the Devil (2018) - a 22-minute archival interview with Franklin, conducted by the Film Noir Foundation's Eddie Muller at a Noir City screening of Devil in a Blue Dress. There is also an original theatrical trailer, image gallery: promotional and publicity materials and the package has a limited edition liner notes booklet with a new essay by Keith Harris, an archival interview with Carl Franklin from Positif magazine, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits.

Gary Tooze


Menus / Extras

 

Twilight Time - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


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

 

1) Twilight Time - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Twilight Time - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Twilight Time - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Twilight Time - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Indicator Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

or buy directly from Indicator:

Bonus Captures:

 

and 4K UHD by Criterion:

 

Distribution Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Criterion Spine #1135 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray / Region FREE - 4K UHD


 


 

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