MacArthur (1977)

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Released 4-Aug-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category War Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1977
Running Time 124:16
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Joseph Sargent

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Gregory Peck
Ivan Bonar
Ward Costello
Nicolas Coster
Marj Dusay
Ed Flanders
Art Fleming
Russell Johnson
Sandy Kenyon
Robert Mandan
Allan Miller
Dan O'Herlihy
Dick O'Neill
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Jerry Goldsmith

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
English Titling
French Titling
German Titling
Italian Titling
Spanish Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

††††Gregory Peck stars in this movie as General Douglas MacArthur. The movie covers the period from when MacArthur fled the Philippines in 1942 until the point where he was removed from command during the Korean War, although his farewell speeches to Congress and West Point are also shown.

††††The movie tries to cover a lot of ground in 2 hours. Blink and youíll miss Midway. World War II is all over in the first hour. It definitely feels rushed.

††††Gregory Peck puts in a good performance as MacArthur, however he is let down by poor character development in the script. There are abrupt changes in character that arenít explained. At the end of World War II he is shown as being a pacifist, and then in the Korean War he is shown as being a warmonger. After the Americans surrender in the Philippines he is extremely critical of General Wainwright, yet when the Americans recapture the Philippines he no longer shares the same feelings. Even near the end of the movie you donít feel as though you really know the person.

††††The supporting cast is quite good, especially the actors playing the two Presidents. Ed Flanders is Truman, and Dan O'Herlihy is Franklin D. Roosevelt. The relationship between MacArthur and both Presidents is interesting to watch. Unfortunately, there is not that much shown of MacArthurís relationships with his peers, other than one short scene with Nimitz.

††††The inevitable comparison would be against Patton (1970). There is no comparison. You really get a feel for the character in Patton, due to the brilliant acting of George C. Scott and scriptwriting that exposes Pattonís strengths and flaws. In contrast, there is little shown of MacArthurís weaknesses. Anti-communist sentiment is well covered in Patton, whereas it is glossed over with throwaway lines in MacArthur. Patton, however, is helped by the fact that it covers a smaller portion of history, but with an extra hour of screen time.

††††As a fan of Patton, I was disappointed with MacArthur. It had a good cast, a good score and was about an interesting man who lived in interesting times. It should have been better.

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Transfer Quality


††††The picture is reasonably sharp and is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The transfer is 16x9 enhanced.

††† Colours are a little washed out, or oversaturated at times. There is some low level noise and grain.

††††There are lots of noticeable film artefacts, the size and quantity of which varies throughout the movie. Most of the problems with the picture lie with the source material. The transfer uses a very high bitrate, and there are no MPEG artefacts.

††††There is some use of real footage in the film. The transitions are quite noticeable as there is a drop in sharpness and an increase in the number of film artefacts.

††††Subtitles are available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

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


††††The audio tracks are good. The English track is in Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 kbps. There are also French, German, Italian and Spanish tracks that are in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 kbps.

††††The dialogue was clear. There were no problems with dropouts. There is a noticeable click at 17:18.

††††The soundtrack makes reasonably good use of the surrounds.

††††The subwoofer is used sparingly. It gets some action when the Atomic Bomb is dropped, and when U.S. ships perform a shore bombardment. There are numerous war scenes in the movie which have explosions that could have benefited with some help from the subwoofer.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Theatrical Trailer

††††The trailer goes for 2:43. The video is 1.33:1 and the audio Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 kbps.

R4 vs R1

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

††††The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

††††The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

††††With better audio, and possibly better video, it looks like a clear win for the Region 4 version.


††††This is a movie that tries to do too much in too little time, leaving the audience wanting a more in depth look at General MacArthur and the events in history covered in the movie. It certainly isnít a bad movie, though. The picture and the audio are greatly helped by high bitrates, but the picture quality suffers a bit from poor source material.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Brumby (read my bio)
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-1300Y, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE500 Widescreen High Definition Projector onto a 102" screen. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V800
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 Front, Aaron CC-240 Centre, Aaron SS-240 Rear, Yamaha YST-SW320 Sub

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