Kings Go Forth (1958)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 18-Aug-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1958
Running Time 105:50
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:44) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Delmer Daves

Starring Frank Sinatra
Tony Curtis
Natalie Wood
Leora Dana
Karl Swenson
Ann Codee
Eddie Ryder
Jacques Berthe
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Elmer Bernstein

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Kings Go Forth is a relationship drama set in the context of World War II, rather than a straight war movie. Action scenes of the war certainly form part of this film, however they take a back seat to the drama between the three main characters. The first main character we meet (who is also the film's narrator) is Lt Sam Loggins (Frank Sinatra), a hardened soldier who has been leading men into battle for some time. After helping to liberate Italy, he and his men have moved on to the French Riviera and are working on pushing the Germans back. After losing his radio operator, he asks a group of new arrivals whether any of them can operate a radio. The second main character answers his call and we are introduced to Cpl Brit Harris (Tony Curtis), a man from a privileged background who has somehow managed to avoid the war for some time, and has a reputation for being a bit of a ladies' man. Initially there is some tension between the men, as Loggins is from a more working class background and finds Harris annoying. Over time, they develop respect for each other and finally a friendship, especially once Harris proves himself to be a brave and heroic soldier.

    During a period of leave on the Riviera, Loggins meets a beautiful young girl, Monique Blair (Natalie Wood) who explains to him that she is American but has always lived in France. Despite some resistance from her, Loggins develops a relationship with her and her mother (Leora Dana). Monique seems to like him, however, she keeps him at arm's length, obviously hiding something about her situation. When Loggins and Monique are out on the town, they meet up with Harris who proceeds to impress Monique with his looks, personality and obvious talents. Once Monique's secret is revealed the men must examine their characters and decide how they will react. The story uses a well executed action sequence to provide a venue for the showdown between the two men.

    I found this an interesting and different war film in that it focuses on relationships rather than action, using action sequences as a way to explain or enhance the relationships between the characters. It is based on a novel of the same name by Joe David Brown. The acting is very good from all the main players, with Frank Sinatra standing out as the sensitive and honest Sam Loggins.

    If you enjoy a good character based drama or a war film with less action and more character development, this one is well worth a look.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The video quality is very good for a film of this age.

    The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio which is close to the original academy ratio of 1.37:1.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise, which is testament to the dual layer, high bitrate transfer accorded this film. There was some very light grain in some scenes. The shadow detail was good for a film of this age, but did not approach the detail available in more modern films.

    The film is in black and white and the contrast was very high between blacks, whites and the various shades of grey.

    The only place the transfer is let down at all is in the amount of artefacts present. There are constant and sometimes disruptive film artefacts including hairs, splodges, specks and lines. A couple of large ones occur at 13:08 and 40:45 and there are a couple of sections with significant numbers of white specks such as at 13:58 and 30:00. It is obvious that no real effort has been made to clean up the print. Additionally, there is some minor aliasing on shutters, helmets, baskets, roofs and photo frames. This is not particularly disruptive.

    There are subtitles in 10 languages, including English and German for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear, close to the spoken word and easy to read.

    The layer change occurs at approximately 57:44 somewhere in Chapter 9 but I certainly did not notice it during my viewing of the film.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is good despite being mono.

    This DVD contains five audio options, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s and the same in German, Spanish, Italian & French.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync, although once or twice I noticed some lips moving while there was no dialogue, although this seemed to be a continuity issue with the ADR/editing work rather than a DVD mastering issue.

    The score of this film is by the great and recently deceased Elmer Bernstein, however, it does not strike me as one of his greatest scores. It does the job but no more.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer are not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu is very simple and allows for language and chapter selection.

Theatrical Trailer (2:56)

    A rather dated trailer featuring Frank Sinatra talking to camera about the books his recent films have been based on. It also contains a significant spoiler and ends rather abruptly.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This film has been released in Region 1 & 2 in a very similar format except for NTSC/PAL differences. I would go for the local keenly priced and PAL formatted release.


    A interesting, thought provoking and entertaining relationship drama set during World War II on the French Riviera.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good.

    The disc has only a theatrical trailer as an extra.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE