A Few Words About A few words about...™ Swamp Water -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,181
    Likes Received:
    4,991
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    Once you really give it some thought, the concept doesn't seem as odd as it might first appear.


    French director extraordinaire, and son of famous artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, having made the move to the U.S., and under contract to Fox, making a film about a swamp deep within the backwoods of Georgia during a nondescript time period.


    Once you consider the interactions between the players in his previous film, Rules of the Game, or a "gentlemanly" war in The Grand Illusion, or even the earlier Toni, you begin to understand what might have caught his attention.


    Not a great film, by any means, but a very good film, with a stellar cast, Swamp Water generally looks very nice in this new Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time. While dupes can be a bit iffy, production photography looks far better. With an image that appears to be harvested from a well-used fine grain (occasional scratches can be seen), it's not bad considering the way that Fox treated their nitrate library.


    The overall look of the film as far as grain is okay, and dupe dependent.


    The track is problematic, as all that seems to survive is a moderately serviceable affair with a rather strident character in the high end.


    Overall, Swamp Water is an important addition to the Blu-ray format. As far as quality is concerned, it's quite okay.


    Stars (out of a potential 5)


    Image - 3

    Audio - 2


    An interesting film, especially when one looks at the huge cast of Fox contract players placed in the project, much of which was shot on location in the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. The cast must have been thrilled.


    That cast includes: Walter Brennan, Walter Huston, Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews, Virginia Gilmore, John Carradine, Mary Howard, Eugene Pallette (whose voice in problematic tracks actually screeches -- The Ghost Goes West comes to mind), Ward Bond, Guinn Williams, Joseph Sawyer. It was shot by Peverell Marley, and I'd bet that Mr. Furmanek would have a few comments about his work.


    RAH
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,221
    Likes Received:
    4,605
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    Interesting grade, but I would have given it more of a 3 on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest. Of course, my eyesight and hearing standards aren't as critical as RAH's.








    Crawdaddy
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,181
    Likes Received:
    4,991
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris


    My grade is based upon what it should look and sound like from original elements.
     
  4. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    5,148
    Likes Received:
    1,133
    Location:
    Nor'east
    Real Name:
    Charles Smith
    I'd never seen this. Watched it the other night, and very much enjoyed the film, the roughness notwithstanding. That audio is really something, though, primitive sounding in its scratchiness and distortion. And yes, on some voices more than others. Eugene Pallette might have been the one with ssssssibilance that would have done Gollum proud.


    I want to learn how to readily recognize this simulated grain. But I'll be returning to this one soon, and that's where I'll begin.


    One thing I've learned around here, though, is dupes! I used to see them without having the slightest idea what was going on. Now I can smell 'em coming a mile away. Watched Swamp Water one night, Roots of Heaven the next, and that one's dupes could give you a case of, um, vertigo.
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    29,221
    Likes Received:
    4,605
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert

    Which is quite different than what most of us will judge this BRD presentation on. It being a relatively less seen film over the last several years also contributes to that.
     
  6. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,181
    Likes Received:
    4,991
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris


    This is a quality film, and I'm in no way suggesting that it not be purchased. I'm simply not recommending on the basis of elements. One of those catch 22 situations. Very seldom seen, iffy quality elements, great guts on behalf of Twilight Time to put it out, for which they should be commended.


    RAH
     
  7. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    1,468
    Location:
    New Orleans
    Real Name:
    Allen
    I watched the film last weekend and saw the limitations, but it was a great film and very entertaining. When you got a good story, directing, actors and cinematography, you seem to miss the physical limitations. I have already recommended this to a few friends and look forward to playing for friends myself.
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    9,181
    Likes Received:
    4,991
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    My comments and ratings have been updated, as I rechecked and discovered a hardware problem.


    RAH
     

Share This Page