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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Garden of Evil -- in Blu-ray (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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The early widescreen revolution was an interesting time.

The inauguration of Fox's CinemaScope in 1953, saw the release of five productions.

The next year, the phenomenon had caught on, and while it was joined by Paramount's VistaVision process, there were a total of 35 titles filmed.

The majority, were of course, from Fox. Seven from M-G-M, an equal number from WB, and a handful from Universal, UA and Disney (20,000 Leagues).

Twilight Time's Blu-ray release of Henry Hathaway's Garden of Evil, is an interesting film, just as much for the technical, as with the story itself, which holds its own as an early '50s production.

While it never hits greatness, it's a wonderful way to re-visit the era.

For completists, you get performances by Gary Cooper, Susan Hayward and Richard Widmark, a score by Bernard Hermann, and the widescreen cinematography of Milton Krasner -- reproduced here in its proper 2.55:1 aspect ratio.

Along with it, you get some effects shots that have not exactly stood the test of time, but are of the era.

Color and densities are quite good from early Eastman Color, and while flesh tones can be occasionally iffy, there's never anything really problematic.

All in all, a quality, historically interesting film, that I'm pleased to see arrive on Blu-ray, especially with its stereo tracks intact.

Image - 4

Audio - 5

4k Up-rez - 3.75

Pass / Fail - Pass

Recommended

RAH
 

David_B_K

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I'm on the fence on this one. I consider the movie only nearly great, and I thought the Fox DVD was stellar.
 

Race Bannon

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There were some shots of scenery using some type of matte to make it look like an open precipice, but I thought they worked fairly well. Combined natural scenery with some kind of painted technique.
 

Robert Crawford

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This is a brand new restoration, done several years after the DVD.
I thought it looked and sounded great! I will be watching it again with your supplied audio commentary. Also, after this latest viewing of Garden of Evil, it reminded me about your audio commentary on Cowboy and your comments about Mexican actor Victor Manuel Mendoza, who appeared in Garden of Evil along with Cowboy, four years later.
 

Virgoan

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For me, it's light years better than the Fox DVD. The photography and sound benefit the most from this transfer. Toward the end, there is a shot of Gary Cooper standing against a beautiful sunse that you just know is the highlight of the film, photographically, until the final shot which is staggeringly beautiful. Herrmann's score is stunning...never has it sounded better than it does on this BD. Seeing it in this fine condition -- like a new film, as it seems -- is like walking back into the 1950s and seeing it the way it was meant to be seen.

I loved it so much, I watched it a second time.The performers are outstanding. Cooper is especially fine. His presence in film is sorely missed. No one out there is remotely like him.
 

Robert Harris

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For me, it's light years better than the Fox DVD. The photography and sound benefit the most from this transfer. Toward the end, there is a shot of Gary Cooper standing against a beautiful sunse that you just know is the highlight of the film, photographically, until the final shot which is staggeringly beautiful. Herrmann's score is stunning...never has it sounded better than it does on this BD. Seeing it in this fine condition -- like a new film, as it seems -- is like walking back into the 1950s and seeing it the way it was meant to be seen.

I loved it so much, I watched it a second time.The performers are outstanding. Cooper is especially fine. His presence in film is sorely missed. No one out there is remotely like him.

Thank Fox's Schawn Belston and his team!
 

Billy Batson

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How many positive comments do I need to read, anyway ordered at long last. I've never seen this (or I can't ever remember seeing it), I must have seen every other Fox fifties western, I just can't remember seeing this on the telly (UK). It was released on DVD in the UK, but in mono (& a review I read said it was in the original mono!), I decided that the first time I saw this, that it should look great on Blu-ray with fantastic sound, so, ready for the premier in a few weeks.
 

John Hermes

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How many positive comments do I need to read, anyway ordered at long last. I've never seen this (or I can't ever remember seeing it), I must have seen every other Fox fifties western, I just can't remember seeing this on the telly (UK). It was released on DVD in the UK, but in mono (& a review I read said it was in the original mono!), I decided that the first time I saw this, that it should look great on Blu-ray with fantastic sound, so, ready for the premier in a few weeks.
I had some Paypal balance, so I just ordered it myself. I have the French version but from DVDBeaver's review, TT looks like the one to have.
 

OliverK

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I had some Paypal balance, so I just ordered it myself. I have the French version but from DVDBeaver's review, TT looks like the one to have.

Sorry to hear you got the Sidonis version. Sidonis is very well known for destroying film grain to an appaling degree in many of its releases, It is a shame that this is still being done in this day by a supposedly cinephile label. They have been called out for it on French forums and review sites with one of the latest examples being Comanche Station and never admitted their wrongdoing from what I could gather.

It also does not reflect positively on DVDbeaver that they still do not mention even once in their review how pasty and devoid of detail the Sidonis release looks due to all the filtering.
 

Mark-P

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DVD Beaver just posted screencaps. There is one particular capture (#5) that is very different on the Twilight Time release. The earlier versions have a darker image (apparently day-for-night) but the Twilight Time appears to be full brightness. Is this an error or were the previous versions just bad image quality?
 

Walsh61

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This was a blind buy for me as well. I watched it over the weekend and really enjoyed it. I don't know how this movie escaped my attention for so long, but I'm glad to have finally discovered it.
 

OliverK

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DVDbeaver reviews with comparison screenshots with other blurays.

I was curious:
Although the TT does have much more detail, does everyone here prefer the color timing/contrast,etc. of the TT comparing to the others?
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film5/blu-ray_reviews_66/garden_of_evil_blu-ray.htm

This is the look that is so typcal of 50ies Cinemascope releases from Fox that have been brought to Blu-ray that it deserves no special mention anymore. I think that it comes due to both grading choices and faded original elements. By that I mean that even with faded elements the movies could (and imo should) look different than they do.

Other than that it makes not that much sense imo to comment on it anymore as these are the same issues (or non-issues depending on ones point of view) again and again for certain Fox titles and there will never be a consensus on what is right or wrong nor does it seem that Fox has changed their approach recently.
 
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