The Pride and the Passion (1957)

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Released 18-Aug-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Adventure Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1957
Running Time 126:42
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (66:16) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Stanley Kramer
Studio
Distributor

MGM
Starring Cary Grant
Frank Sinatra
Sophia Loren
Theodore Bikel
John Wengraf
Jay Novello
José Nieto
Carlos Larrañaga
Philip Van Zandt
Paco El Laberinto
Julián Ugarte
Félix de Pomés
Carlos Casaravilla
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music George Antheil


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 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
French
Italian
Spanish
Dutch
Swedish
Finnish
Greek
Romanian
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    As a boy, I read a book called The Gun by C.S. Forester which I recall greatly enjoying but don't really recall anything more about it. Not that I realised this at the time I chose this disc for review, but this film is based upon that novel.

    The Pride and the Passion is set during the Napoleonic Wars around 1810 in Spain. Napoleon's forces have defeated the regular Spanish army and they are retreating across Spain, battered and bruised. Along the way they are forced to abandon a weapon of mass destruction, a very large cannon. This cannon becomes the focus of the story and is found by a guerrilla leader, Miguel (Frank Sinatra) and his followers. An English naval captain arrives, Anthony Trumbell (Cary Grant), seeking to secure the gun for England and he forms an uneasy alliance with Miguel. Their agreement involves Trumbell helping the guerrillas to take the cannon across Spain to Avila, the French Headquarters in Spain. Miguel plans to attack the fortress using the cannon but he and his followers have no experience in firing a cannon - Trumbell does. Miguel agrees that after he has completed his plan, Trumbell may take the Cannon back to England. The biggest problem with this plan is that Avila is over 1000kms away and they must drag it all the way using mule and men. The other major character is Juana (Sophia Loren) one of the guerrillas and Miguel's woman. As they drag the cannon to Avila, she and Trumbell become attracted to one another. While they are on the way, the French try to find and stop them.

    My impressions of this film are that although it has a reasonably interesting premise, it does not generate much drama or excitement and seems mostly to consist of scenes of people dragging a cannon which, considering the running time of over 2 hours, becomes a little tedious. Having said that there are some good action sequences, especially the storming of Avila. Neither Cary Grant nor Frank Sinatra seem quite right for their roles. Grant seems too old for the all-action naval captain (he was 53 at the time) and Sinatra puts on a very bad Spanish accent which mostly seems to consist of saying jou instead of you. He also sports a strange and slightly disturbing hairstyle. Sophia Loren, on the other hand, fits her role well. The film was directed by Stanley Kramer in only his second film as a director. He went on to make much better films such as Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. It was shot on location in Spain.

    If you are a fan of the principals or these types of adventure yarns, this may be worth a look.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good considering the age of the film.

    The feature is presented in a 1.66:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is possibly the original theatrical aspect ratio. The IMDB lists its negative ratio at 1.96:1 (VistaVision) but this is not necessarily how it was shown in the cinema.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. There was some light grain throughout. The shadow detail was surprisingly good for a film of this age and some night scenes seemed to be shot in daylight and then adjusted.

    The colour was pretty good but just a little dull, which is quite common in films of this age.

    Film artefacts were quite plentiful including specks, flecks, lines and marks, however they were not too distracting. Some bigger ones occurred at 46:00 and 74:15. A strange mark appears regularly throughout the film in the centre of the frame. It is black and fairly small. Some examples of its appearance include 46:00 and 90:40. It generally stays for a scene or so and then disappears only to reappear later. I noticed one reel change marker at 109:02 but there were probably more. There was also some minor aliasing such as at 6:40 on a building and 92:26 on the steps. I also noticed some mild edge enhancement here and there.

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

    The layer change occurs at 66:16 and was well placed in a black cut between scenes.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is good with no significant issues.

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

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and audio sync was generally fine except that I noticed that the cardinal during the church scene at 93:15 seemed to be slightly out of sync.

    The score of this film by George Antheil is a product of its time. I found it a little over-the-top dramatically, sometimes more so than the film itself. This was especially true during the church sequence.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu is simple and allows for scene and language selection. It contains a still from the film and no music.

Original Theatrical Trailer (2:59)

    This trailer contains no footage from the film itself, consisting of drawings like those in the credits and a very excited voiceover.

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 a very similar package in Region 1, so I will go for the local product on the basis of PAL/NTSC differences..

Summary

    A reasonable but overlong adventure yarn set during the Napoleonic Wars.

    The video quality is very good for a film of this age, especially in terms of its sharpness.

    The audio quality is good.

    The disc has only a theatrical trailer as an extra.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, October 30, 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)

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