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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "5ive" )

 

directed by Arch Oboler
USA 1951

 

The science fiction drama Five (1951) was produced independently on a very low budget by Arch Oboler, famous in the 1940s for his radio productions, including the popular series Lights Out. Oboler produced, wrote, and directed Five, shot it largely on his own property, and hired a small, inexpensive crew made up of recent graduates from The University of Southern California film school. His cast was also small (as the title implies), and were made up of unknowns. Consequently, Oboler was able to shoot his feature for a mere $75,000. The finished film was sold outright to Columbia Pictures for a tidy profit. It is remembered today as the first film to portray life after a nuclear holocaust; later this theme was approached by major studios in big-budget films such as The World, the Flesh and the Devil and On the Beach (both 1959).

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 25th, 1951

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Sony Pictures (Martini Movies) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Sony Pictures (Martini Movies) - Region 1 - NTSC Imprint Spine #33 - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:30:51         1:31:00.496 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.57 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 31,551,522,840 bytes

Feature: 25,393,809,408 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.97 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 Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)

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

Subtitles English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (2:02)
• Promotional Featurettes

DVD Release Date: February 3rd, 2009
Keep Case

Chapters 12

 

Release Information:
Studio:
Imprint

 

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 31,551,522,840 bytes

Feature: 25,393,809,408 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.97 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• NEW Audio Commentary by film historians Glenn Erickson & Matthew Rovner (2020)
• NEW Kim Newman Interview on “Five” (2020) 24:37
• Theatrical Trailer (2:02)
• Limited Edition slipcase on the first 1500 copies


Blu-ray Release Date:
March 5th, 2021
Transparent Blu-ray Case inside cardboard sleeve (see below)

Chapters 13

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Imprint Blu-ray (March 2021): Imprint have transferred Arch Oboler's Five to Blu-ray. It is advertised as a "NEW 2K scan from the original negative". This is a significant leap over the 2009 green-heavy DVD. The 1080P transfer has a bitrate almost 6X that of the SD, detail rises and contrast is superior with purer whites and deeper black levels. The DVD was very modest and this is a substantial improvement showing beautifully consistent grain textures - also showing a sliver more information in the 1.33:1 frame.

NOTE: We have added 50 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Imprint use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. It is another advancement in the film's audio and score credited to Henry Russell (Gun for a Coward), William Lava (The Deadly Mantis, Moonrise, S.O.S. Tidal Wave, War Arrow, The Night Riders, Retreat, Hell!) and Charles Maxwell (The Woman in the Window, Grand Hotel, Along Came Jones) sounding a bit deeper with more consistent dialogue. Imprint offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Imprint Blu-ray offers a new commentary. Glenn Erickson announces Five as the first post-apocalyptic feature film and Matthew Rovner has written extensively about writer-director Arch Oboler. It's very good - plenty on Oboler, how this was his project with students shot at his ranch in Malibu, Susan Douglas (Targets), William Phipps (often uncredited parts in such films as Invaders from Mars, 1953's The War of the Worlds, The Blue Gardenia and many westerns etc.), the politics between Oboler and correspondence with architect Frank Lloyd Wright, comparisons to Hitchcock's Lifeboat and much more. The commentary is full of fascinating details. Also included is a 25-minute interview with Kim Newman talking about "Five" as its pioneering genre status and he talks about Arch Oboler - notably on his radio work, as an artist ahead of his times, and how this feature was very 'Anti-Hollywood'. He's at his usual informative, interesting level. There is a theatrical trailer and limited editions slipcase (see below.)  

Arch Oboler's Five was an obvious inspiration for Z for Zachariah and many other post-apocalyptic features that followed - centering on the conflict arising from some of the remaining survivors. Notably apparent are the racism themes also found in The World, The Flesh and the Devil made later that decade. There is an easy case to make for this being part of our 50's and 60's science-fiction listing. It's a film I am very pleased to own on Blu-ray with the massively improved a/v, commentary and Kim Newman piece. A strong recommendation to those who appreciate this genre! 

Gary Tooze

ON THE DVD (2009): A recent release of Warner Archive's made-on-demand disc of The World, the Flesh and the Devil made me think of this underrated end-of-the-world movie from Columbia Pictures. Released on DVD with little fanfare back in February of 2009, in ill-advised 'Martini Movies' line with silly re-titling (5ive instead of Five - I guess, to make it harder to find) and unattractive cover artwork, the film is a must for any serious classic science-fiction fan. And it's not a irrational sci-fi, but very thought-provoking and, at-times, a surprising parable of an impending apocalypse. Writer-director Arch Oboler was nominated for Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Low-Budget Film - Samuel Fuller's The Steel Helmet took the prize.

The single-layered pressed disc from Sony Pictures is in original full-screen ratio. The image is on a greenish side, and there are a few marks and scratches, but the contrast is good. The mono soundtrack is decent. All the drawbacks in image and audio quality can be discounted on low-budget of the production. There are English subtitles available for the film. The only worthy extra is an original theatrical trailer; there are also some promotional featurettes for other titles in Martini Movies line, but they are mostly irrelevant fluff. We can highly recommend this title for any classic movie fan.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


Sony Pictures (Martini Movies) - Region 1 - NTSC

 

Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray


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1) Sony Pictures (Martini Movies) - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Sony Pictures (Martini Movies) - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Sony Pictures (Martini Movies) - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Sony Pictures (Martini Movies) - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Sony Pictures (Martini Movies) - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Sony Pictures (Martini Movies) - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


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

 

 

 
Box Cover

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Sony Pictures (Martini Movies) - Region 1 - NTSC Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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