A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Misfits -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, May 15, 2011.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist

    Feb 8, 1999
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    Robert Harris
    John Huston's The Misfits is one of the great films. With highly visceral performances that creep up on you, and then pack a resounding wallop, it is, for those of us who grew up during that era and viewed its two leads as icons of cinema, occasionally uncomfortable to view.

    The viewer must acclimate to seeing Mr. Gable, not as the young Rhett in Gone with the Wind, but as the nearly 60 year old Gay Langland, and Ms. Monroe at the very end of her career as the incredibly fragile Roslyn. And then comes the knowledge that Mr. Gable passed away just two weeks after shooting ended at the age of only 59.

    There is so much going on in this film that lies just beneath the surface, that multiple viewings are in order. A filmmaker does not place Mr. Gable and Ms. Monroe in the same film, and then stir in Montgomery Clift, Thelma Ritter and Eli Wallach to bring an Arthur Miller screenplay to life, without ending up with something both extraordinary and spellbinding.

    It should be noted that Mr. Gable elected to do his own stunts. The final minutes of the this film bring the viewer to the edge of a precipice, and the knowledge that at the final shot, we will never see the two leads again...

    As a Blu-ray the new release from M-G-M is a mixed affair. It appears that the image (the work of the great Russell Metty), may be from a dupe, but it has been nicely cleaned. I'm seeing no digital problems. The track, in DTS-MA, is far too weak for a 2011 offering, and must be raised above one's normal amplification levels.

    That aside, and I generally don't give a pass to tech problems, it is the data on the disc that must be brought to the fore.

    The Misfits is one of those magical films that must be experienced for the performances, and in terms of Mr. Gable and Ms. Monroe, possibly the finest performances of their careers.

    Extremely Highly Recommended, with tech exceptions noted. One other (more than) niggling problem is the inartful replacement of the original UA logo with a COLOR M-G-M logo. Very unfortunate.

  2. Guest

    I watched The Misfits last night. I agree about the sound volume. I had to turn it up higher than any movie...ever. Haven't these people ever heard of a VU meter when mastering things? They always seems to get the logos plenty loud.
    Some of the MM shots seem to have heavy diffusion, and look kind of awkward when cut back and forth with the other person's sharp image. There is one visually noisy night scene out in front of Wallach's character's house. Overall, though, the image is pretty nice with good contrast.

    I think, like you said, multiple viewing help with this film.

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