4 Stars

Kino’s new Blu-ray of Anthony Mann’s 1952, 3-strip Technicolor, Bend of the River, takes on a bit of a beauty and the beast affair, when compared to Becky Sharp.

Presumably produced from a master delivered by Universal that may have been made for the DVD market, the film almost appears to have been shot in 3-D.

Universal has been doing such brilliant work the past few years, that it pains me to see an old master making its way to Blu-ray.

Registration errors abound, and the entire film has the appearance of having be recombined by some fly-by-night outfit.

On a large screen, it borders on being unwatchable.

The pity is that this is a good film. Not a great one, mind you, but a good one, deserving of better treatment.

Image – 2

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Fail

Upgrade from DVD – Absolutely not

RAH

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Robert Harris

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SAhmed

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That is so disappointing to read - I was hoping that we might finally be getting a decent release for this classic. Just have to stick with the dvd until further notice

Regards
 
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Robert Crawford

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From RAH's comments, I gather this is exactly the same transfer used in the 2017 German Blu-ray that plays on Region "A" players. I thought that Blu-ray looked mediocre, but watchable on my 65" OLED.
 

Robert Crawford

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That is so disappointing to read - I was hoping that we might finally be getting a decent release for this classic. Just have to stick with the dvd until further notice

Regards
This might be it, but you never know.
 
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OliverK

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I bought the German Blu-ray as I finally wanted another Tony Mann western on Blu and I will say that while detail is improved the added detail makes the registration errors rather more obvious.

I agree with Robert that the German disc is still somehow watchable but mostly because the DVD is even worse (I have that one, too and made a few comparisons after watching the Blu-ray)

Certainly this fine western deserves better but apparently nobody wants to pay for the necessary work.
 

Billy Batson

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It sounds like the same old transfer that been on UK TV quite a bit in the past few years (& the same as the German release), it looked okay(ish) on a smaller screen, but I suppose on a larger screen these faults are exaggerated (& of course after a while, you're looking for them). A great fifties western, it really needs the Universal Deluxe treatment.
 

Pictureman

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I have the German one and it does indeed look like 3d without the glasses. It starts abruptly too, they managed to miss the opening notes of the music. Got it cheap, but still very disappointing.
 
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t1g3r5fan

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I requested this title for review; I now have some idea what to look for, but I'm holding off any and all judgment until I see it for myself.
 

Nick*Z

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Extremely disappointing, but hey - Uni hasn't exactly been leading the pack in quality for some time. The Glenn Miller Story from Shout! is a travesty, as was For Whom The Bell Tolls. No point to releasing mis-aligned Technicolor in 2K to Blu. It isn't watchable. Thanks for the heads up, Robert. Will definitely pass.
 
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Robin9

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I'm disappointed and annoyed, but not especially surprised. Universal is so hit and miss with their HD transfers that you never know what to expect from them.
 
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ahollis

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Well, I just cancelled my pre-order. Too bad the transfer was so disappointing.
 

Robert Crawford

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Keeping the DVD is fine, but it looks much worse than the Blu-ray. I suspect Kino is going to have a sale at some point in which you might be able to pick it up much cheaper at around $10 or so. The following are my comments about the German Blu-ray.

https://www.hometheaterforum.com/community/posts/4651271/
 
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Still buying it as I don't have the German release and Kino does have a commentary. Anthony Mann and blu-ray need to be supported, in my opinion!