DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Kim

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Herb Kane, Aug 19, 2003.

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  1. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    [​IMG]



    Kim





    Studio: Warner Brothers
    Year: 1950
    Rated: G
    Film Length: 113 Mins.
    Aspect Ratio: Fullscreen (OAR)
    Audio: DD Mono
    Subtitles: English, French & Spanish




    The Feature:
    Over the years, there have been a ton threads on the forum, requesting releases for many of the same great actors. That certainly has been the case for Errol Flynn. Since the inception of the format, we have seen very little of this great actor. That is, until now. Recently, we were treated to the releases of The Master Of Ballantrae and Objective Burma. Both, The Prince & The Pauper and The Adventures Of Robin Hood are soon to be released (look for reviews on these in the near future). We still have a way to go with the release of many other Flynn classics, but we now have a few to get us started.

    Originally an MGM picture, the Rudyard Kipling novel, Kim (starring a young Dean Stockwell in the title role), is a young orphaned boy trying to survive and live day by day in an impoverished India. He does so, trying to conceal his identity of an Anglo ancestry so that he is not forced to attend school.

    Mahbub Ali (The Red Beard – played by Errol Flynn) is engaged in “The Great Game” as an operative aiding the war effort while working in India. His job is to take Kim under his wing and protect him… and to perhaps even recruit him when he becomes of age.

    With this rendering of Kipling (who is also responsible for such classics as The Jungle Book, Gunga Din and The Man Who Would Be King), Kim is another family classic which is a wholesome and highly entertaining movie. This is an adventure film that will entertain the entire family.



    Video:
    Filmed in glorious Technicolor, I was extremely impressed with this offering. Colors were absolutely gorgeous and skin tone looked very natural. The level of detail was outstanding. Grain was minimal (presumably intentional). The picture had an almost 3D look to it and definitely looked like film. Dirt was virtually non existent. Black level was satisfactory.

    There were several mountain scenes toward the end of the picture and they looked spectacular.

    My only complaint (and I’m picking nits here…) there was occasional light flicker. During the opening scene or two, was clearly more noticeable then the remainder of the movie. There were a couple of other instances of sporadic flicker, but as I said, very minor in nature.

    I think fans of the old Technicolor films, will be quite impressed with this presentation. It really doesn’t get much better than this.



    Audio:
    The audio soundtrack is DD Mono and is a very average presentation. Much of the movie is dialogue driven. Clarity and dialogue was very good. No hiss or any other background noise to report.

    The only scene that really stood out was a rock slide toward the end of the film. It came off rather pleasing and sounded full and robust.

    There really isn’t much to report in the audio department.



    Special Features:
    I’m afraid the Special Features on this disc are somewhat sparse, as well. First off, we have;

    Fitzpatrick’s Traveltalks – Land of the Taj Mahal. This is a short documentary which takes us on a tour of several of the cities in India. It enlightens us with a brief history of the country, its culture and of the Taj Mahal. This was obviously filmed many years ago and the quality is, well… poor. Duration: 9 minutes.

    Fitzpatrick’s Traveltalks – Ancient India. Again, another dated history lesson featuring several cities in India with a brief commentary as to their history. Again the footage is quite old and of poor quality. Duration: 9 minutes.

    After watching both of these Traveltalk shorts, I thought to myself... “what were they thinking”...?

    Rudyard Kipling – On The Screen. This is a 5 page text listing of some of Kipling’s work on film. In chronological order, it mentions (among others) Spencer Tracy’s Oscar winning performance in the 1937 version of Captains Courageous, the 1939 version of Gunga Din, starring Cary Grant, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., directed by George Stevens.

    Theatrical Trailer – The trailer supplied for Kim, is in remarkable shape. I don’t know what, if any, work was done to it, but it looks exceptional.

    And finally…

    Cast & Crew – Merely a one page text listing of all the main characters and their roles.



    Final Thoughts:
    Admittedly, I found the movie a little slow going at times. It is, however, wholesome family entertainment. The performances of Flynn and a young Stockwell were outstanding.

    Fans of Flynn and of classics in general might want to give this disc a spin especially considering the video presentation.




    Release Date: August 26th, 2003
     
  2. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the review, Herb. [​IMG] This sounds like another winning Three Strip transfer from the studio that Warner built -- after the exceptional delights of Scaramouche and The Crimson Pirate (I haven't picked up The Master of Ballantrae yet), to say nothing of their SE of Singin' in the Rain, the glories of Technicolor are truly and finally living once again in homes across the land.

    I continue to hope they'll one day remaster On the Town and Cukor's Show Boat, but pound for pound WB is proving to be the very best home video friend of this unique and truly beautiful film process. What might this trend of excellence bode for Gone With the Wind in its 65th anniversary next year ...? [​IMG] Kim arrives as a harbinger of wondrous days ahead, and a cause for celebration itself. Thanks again, Herb.
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Kim has a bit of a strange look to it, and albeit derived from three-strip elements, I'm wondering if this is off dupes and not originals.
     
  4. steve blake

    steve blake Stunt Coordinator

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    cant wait for this ,should have it next week as well as prince and the pauper.by the way does anyone know of any reviews of prince and the pauper?
     
  5. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    Steve... I am anticipating a copy of The Prince And The Pauper. I heard back from WB Canada last week that they were not in yet.... So I don't know if or when it'll be sent for a review.


    Herb.
     
  6. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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  7. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    The Prince an The Pauper arrived today, and while I'll only had chance for a brief look, it seems like another triumph for Warners - the print looks to be in excellent shape, and the transfer appears to have been handled well; certainly it's the best I've ever seen it.

    Superb! [​IMG]

    ---
    So many films, so little time...
     
  8. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    Hi John... glad to hear TP&TP looks good. You'll have to report back on Kim when it arrives. You're in better shape than I am... I'm still waiting for TP&TP screener copy to arrive (as well as the ER set...???)...

    Herb.
     
  9. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Kim hasn't arrived as yet, but I've had a chance for a look at The Prince and The Pauper and I've posted some brief thoughts here .

    Very impressed! Has your's turned up Herb; what do you think?

    ---
    So many films, so little time...
     
  10. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    Hi John...

    No. The Prince & The Pauper never did show up. I was looking forward to it. In fact I only received the ER set on Friday... Don't know what the hold up on it is...?

    I'm trying to get into your site as we speak.

    Herb.
     
  11. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    And I don't know what the hold up with Kim is either! Ah, well...

     
  12. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    -- Posting Error --

    BZZZZZZZ!

    :b
     

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