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A few words about...™ The Enforcer -- in Blu-ray

A Few Words About

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#1 of 16 Robert Harris

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Posted July 04 2013 - 06:16 AM

The final Blu-ray to be viewed in my latest pile of Olive fare is another wonderful film -- Bretaigne Windust's 1951 The Enforcer.

 

Some of you are probably mouthing the words...

 

"Bretaigne Windust."

 

While not terribly well known in the cinema, he had a very successful career on Broadway in the 1940s, and was responsible for directing State of the Union and Finian's Rainbow.  He then moved to Hollywood, with a contract with WB.

 

The Enforcer is a gritty police procedural / thriller / noir-ish production.  Mr. Bogart is superb, and the youngish pre- HUAC Zero Mostel gives a great performance.

 

Photographed in black & white by the great Robert Burks (think Hitchcock), I'd have once again hoped for more here.  Since the original elements survive, and work was performed at UCLA, as funded by The Film Foundation, this Blu-ray should look far better than it does.

 

As it stands, it looks like a decent transfer taken from dupe elements.

 

Just more ho-hum...

 

Image - 3.5

 

Audio - 4

 

RAH


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#2 of 16 Robert Crawford

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Posted July 04 2013 - 06:51 AM

I thought The Enforcer looked pretty damn good on my display.  Anyhow, I'll just repeat what I said in another of your threads.

 

I understand where you're coming from, but if it wasn't for Olive there would be several titles not only unavailable on Blu-ray, but many of them weren't even released on DVD.  So yeah, their video presentations should be better and the same for their audio presentations, but I am thankful still the same that Olive is releasing titles at a rate that no other studio/company is doing right now.  At the same time, I'm discovering some fine films that I've never seen before seeing them on Olive discs.


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#3 of 16 Keith Cobby

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Posted July 04 2013 - 06:54 AM

This is a great film, one of my favourite Bogart films, and Ted de Corsia is typically good as well. My copy arrived this week and I am so keen to have it even though I can't play it until my region-free player arrives.

 

Olive are putting out so many great titles that we probably wouldn't see otherwise it's just a pity they are now region A coded.



#4 of 16 RichSeeger

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Posted July 04 2013 - 06:59 AM

Am I in the wrong to think that Olive should, perhaps, slow their output and do a little more work in the digital realm in terms of clean-up?  Why will they not go there?  Surely we desire something more than standard fare for our nice hobby.


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#5 of 16 Robert Crawford

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Posted July 04 2013 - 07:10 AM

Am I in the wrong to think that Olive should, perhaps, slow their output and do a little more work in the digital realm in terms of clean-up?  Why will they not go there?  Surely we desire something more than standard fare for our nice hobby.

You can ask any question as I can't answer for them.  As to why they might go there, don't know, maybe they have release period with Paramount.  As to your last point, I desire a lot, but father time isn't on my side to wait forever.


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#6 of 16 EddieLarkin

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Posted July 04 2013 - 08:22 AM

Since the original elements survive, and work was performed at UCLA, as funded by The Film Foundation, this Blu-ray should look far better than it does.

 

As it stands, it looks like a decent transfer taken from dupe elements.

 

The Film Foundation logo can be found on the back of the case. What, if anything, does that indicate? 



#7 of 16 Robert Harris

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Posted July 04 2013 - 08:43 AM

The Film Foundation logo can be found on the back of the case. What, if anything, does that indicate? 

 

It indicates that the organization, as part of their edict to protect and preserve the cinema, has placed funds toward saving the film.

 

RAH


"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#8 of 16 Professor Echo

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Posted July 04 2013 - 12:42 PM

Cagney, Bogart and Robinson have been my three favorite actors since I was 13, so I will buy any of their films on Blu and while I might agree with RAH in principle and hope for the best transfers possible, I have to acknowledge the rarity and limited commercial appeal of some of these titles. With that qualification, my expectations are considerably lowered, mostly to the point where I'll be happy if it surpasses the previous DVD release, if any. For those who want to avoid any releases that are less than perfect, even if by a small margin, I support your cause and endorse it, but I just don't see the day coming when these films will merit the comprehensive attention and affection they deserve. It doesn't mean we should stop fighting, but for me I have to consider the battle and the arena.


Edited by Professor Echo, July 04 2013 - 12:43 PM.


#9 of 16 Eastmancolor

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Posted July 04 2013 - 02:06 PM

Gee, I thought this was one of Olive's best discs. 



#10 of 16 Robin9

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Posted July 04 2013 - 03:17 PM

Gee, I thought this was one of Olive's best discs. 

 

I thought it was good too. Hell, I still think it's pretty good.

 

I think we all know by now that Olive do not improve what they are given. They either accept or reject the masters supplied. I'm surprised that so many people still have not grasped that any complaints should be directed at the supplier - most frequently Paramount - and not Olive. 



#11 of 16 Mark-P

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Posted July 04 2013 - 04:11 PM

In defense of Olive, you really can't expect them to foot the bill for a complete restoration for something they are merely licensing for a limited amount of time. Only the copyright holder (Paramount) should invest in that kind of restoration. Why would any licensee pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a complete restoration only to have someone else benefit from their investment once the license expires?
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#12 of 16 Robert Crawford

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Posted July 04 2013 - 04:20 PM

In defense of Olive, you really can't expect them to foot the bill for a complete restoration for something they are merely licensing for a limited amount of time. Only the copyright holder (Paramount) should invest in that kind of restoration. Why would any licensee pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a complete restoration only to have someone else benefit from their investment once the license expires?

I don't want to speak for RAH, but I think what bothers him the most about Olive is that Olive can do a little cleanup work on these releases which wouldn't be very expensive.  He mentions the lack of such work in just about every one of his Olive threads.

 

Usually, the following comment or something similar would be present in most of his review comments about Olive titles.

 

 

No complaints, other than the typical need for just a bit of digital clean-up.

 


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#13 of 16 Keith Cobby

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Posted July 05 2013 - 12:25 AM

Olive are running a business, we don't know how many titles they are selling, or pricing. Perhaps if they knew in advance they would be able to spend more money. Perhaps they will in future if sales prove worthwhile. In the meantime I echo what others are saying about having titles we might not have otherwise, or at least in my lifetime!



#14 of 16 ROclockCK

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Posted July 05 2013 - 03:43 PM

I don't want to speak for RAH, but I think what bothers him the most about Olive is that Olive can do a little cleanup work on these releases which wouldn't be very expensive.  He mentions the lack of such work in just about every one of his Olive threads.

 

I've certainly had my share of reservations about the picture quality of recent Olive titles, but this wasn't one of them. I thought The Enforcer looked just dandy overall...any issues with its source elements relatively minor, and easily ignored. A very good previously-unseen movie too...had a blast with it!

 

Sidebar: For awhile I was nagged by the can't-quite-place-it face of Lawrence Tolan. Then it clicked...he's the guy who played Grave in the classic Outer Limits episode "The Zanti Misfits" (under the name Michael Tolan). According to the IMDb, Tolan did a lot of 60s and 70s TV...I guess I just never noticed him in anything else. 



#15 of 16 kingofthejungle

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Posted July 06 2013 - 04:43 AM

I think it's worth noting here that despite carrying Bretaigne Windust's signature, all but a couple of scenes of this film were actually directed by Raoul Walsh, who took over early in the shoot when Windust fell ill. If you're familiar enough with Walsh's style, it's easy to spot the remaining Windust scenes. Despite refusing credit on the film, when the film was re-released in France in the 60's, the advertising was changed to 'directed by Raoul Walsh' - it seems the flowering of auteurism made Walsh a more marketable commodity than he'd originally been.

#16 of 16 ROclockCK

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Posted July 06 2013 - 06:42 PM

Well, that explains a lot. I was particularly impressed by the direction of this picture, and wondered why I'd never seen more from Bretaigne Windust...other than some 50s/60s TV-fare.







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