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A few words about...™ Bad Day at Black Rock -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

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    If you've ever Amtrak'd across America, you'll recognize the tiny almost non-town of Black Rock, as one of those places that almost isn't.

    A handful of buildings, just off the tracks, that could be a ghost town, or something still functioning, that's at the very edge of society.

    From a credit perspective, you'll find that Bad Day at Black Rock is yet another Dore Schary production -- he also produced Battleground.

    You'll undoubted note that director John Sturges makes wonderful use of early CinemaScope frame, as he did for The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape. More in exteriors than interiors, the cast fills the wide frame in a natural way, that some other filmmakers were yet to figure out.

    It's a simple story of an unknown man, played by the great Spencer Tracy, arriving in town, on a train the never stops there. Why he's there, the secret held by the locals, and what they have in mind is the basis of this wonderful film.

    It's a small film, with just a handful of wonderful players, directed in typical Sturges fashion.

    Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Dean Jagger, Walter Brennan, Ernest Borgnine and Lee Marvin round out the cast.

    While I saw this film theatrically, I have no memory of how it looked or sounded.

    The new Blu-ray is typically for Warner Archive, superb.

    Produced from a recent interpositive derived from the original negative, colors, density, grain and stability, make this an extraordinary experience for anyone seeing this for the first time.

    Audio is 2-track (left/right) stereo, as the original 4-track mag did not survive.


    Image - 5

    Audio - 5

    4k Up-rez - 5

    Pass / Fail - Pass

    Highly Recommended

    RAH
     
    DavidJ, Joe Fisher, avroman and 12 others like this.
  2. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    High time I pre-ordered!
     
  3. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    Wow, I can't wait to see this! Love this film.
     
  4. lark144

    lark144 Supporting Actor

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    I first saw this film at MOMA, I think in the 90's, when they were screening some of Martin Scorsese's 4 track mag prints. I don't really remember how the film looked (color-wise) but I remember how it sounded. Amazing. I think it's one of Andre Previn's very best scores, and possibly one of the best original film scores of the 1950's, that I think is equal to Leonard Bernstein's ON THE WATERFRONT. I'm disappointed that they weren't able to reproduce the original 4 track mag, but I'll take what I can get.
     
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  5. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Producer

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    A nice early review. It's a 1955 cinemascope film, so I'm not expecting miracles, but it sounds like it's a great looking Blu-ray. This had been in nearly every wants list I've ever made (this & The Sea Hawk, fingers crossed!). A great start to next year.
     
  6. battlebeast

    battlebeast Cinematographer

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    I thought this was a Criterion film, but I guess I'm wrong. I should pick this up.
     
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  7. atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

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    Criterion did release this on laserdisc years ago with a commentary by the director. Great film and excellent performance by Spencer.
     
  8. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    So, I'm guessing this blu does not have the Sturges commentary...is that the case?
     
  9. ljgranberry

    ljgranberry Second Unit

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    First day purchase - WB is fast becoming my favorite boutique blu-ray distributor.
     
  10. AshJW

    AshJW Supporting Actor

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    One of my favorites. I'm glad it got such a good review by Mr. Harris.
     
  11. TheSteig

    TheSteig Screenwriter

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    SPECIAL FEATURES:
    Commentary Track by film historian Dana Polan
    Original Theatrical Trailer (HD)
     
  12. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    The biggest Hollywood studio of them all is now a boutique label?
    Not sure I agree with that classification but I look forward to get my Blu-ray of Bad Day at Black Rock!
     
  13. Allansfirebird

    Allansfirebird Supporting Actor

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    I think Warner Archive would classify as a boutique label. The main WHV label is a major distributor, however. Unless I'm incorrect in thinking they're separate entities.
     
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  14. Race Bannon

    Race Bannon Supporting Actor

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    I think I will blind buy this. I'm getting Battleground so this will make a nice one to immerse with.
     
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  15. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    The original post just mentioned Warner as a favorite boutique label. But even if we take Warner Archive it just looks like a different distribution approach to me whereby Warner maximizes returns on titles that they think will sell below a certain number of copies on Blu-ray. To my knowledge Warner Archive is also still very much a part of Warner.

    To be clear I do not have a problem with that and in fact I am all for it if it brings us more high quality releases, it just does not qualify as a boutique label to me.
     
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  16. Message #16 of 62 Dec 18, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
    PMF

    PMF Producer

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    A boutique by any other name...yet, nonetheless, I am crazily WACked for their product.
    :dance::dance::dance::dance::dance::dance::dance::dance:
     
  17. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    They are a part of Warner but they are also a separate entity from WHV.
     
  18. David Weicker

    David Weicker Producer

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    In the past, I used to consider WAC to be a 'boutique' label, with WHV being one of the 'majors'. WAC handled the extra-deep catalog titles. WHV handled the mainstream catalog titles.

    But in the past year, it seems like WHV has closed up shop - at least in regards to catalog titles. In my mind, that elevates WAC out of the boutique status
     
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  19. Reggie W

    Reggie W Producer

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    I would have liked to have the Sturges commentary but I am just thrilled this is getting a blu-ray release...and one that Mr. Harris had very nice things to say about.
     
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  20. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    I really like this movie, but I've only ever watched it on LD, Once, despite having it on DVD since the controversial classics set came out, I think I really ought to watch my current copy before upgrading!
     

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