Inglorious Bastards (1978)

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Released 5-Aug-2009

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category War Interviews-Crew-Quentin Tarantino and Director Enzo G. Castellari
Audio Commentary-Director Enzo G. Castellari
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Madman Propaganda
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1978
Running Time 99:29
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Enzo G. Castellari
Studio
Distributor
Capitol Films
Madman Entertainment
Starring Bo Svenson
Peter Hooten
Fred Williamson
Michael Pergolani
Jackie Basehart
Michel Constantin
Debra Berger
Raimund Harmstorf
Ian Bannen
Flavio Andreini
Peter Boom
Vito Fornari
Manfred Freyberger
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music Francesco De Masi


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 1.0 (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 Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    France 1944. When a truck transporting convicted US Army prisoners is attacked by the Germans, 5 soldiers escape and decide to head for neutral Switzerland. In the group are grounded pilot Lieutenant Robert Yeager (Bo Svenson), African American Private Fred Canfield (Fred Williamson), red neck racist and con man Tony (Peter Hooten), scrounger and forger Nick (Michael Pergolani) and coward Berle (Jackie Basehart). As they travel through a “warscape” littered at every turn with destroyed buildings and wrecked and burnt out vehicles, they pick up a German deserter (Raimund Harmstorf) and encounter diverse German troops including patrols, SS soldiers and naked female Germans bathing in a river!

     Their plans for Switzerland are forced to change, however, when they accidentally kill a squad of Americans dressed as Germans and are captured by the French resistance lead by Veronique (Michael Constantin). They learn that the American squad was on a special mission to capture a German train carrying V2 rocket plans and parts, including the gyroscope. In a deal with Colonel Charles Buckner (Ian Bannen) the group take over the mission assisted by the French resistance. Further complications ensue, not least the presence of the beautiful French resistance fighter Nicole (Debra Berger), until the mission reaches its explosive conclusion.

     Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds has nothing in common with Inglorious B******s. The situation, plot and characters are all very different; the only thing that Tarantino lifted was the title! That said, Inglorious B******s is a lot of fun. It is true that the dialogue is trite and the acting basic; there are no nuances here in the performances or anything subtle. It was also a very low budget effort. Some of the model work, such as the explosion at the station, is fairly obvious, matte paintings are frequent and explosions and action shots are used and reused. The resistance attack on the train, for example, repeats one shot four times! However, the film never takes itself seriously and moves along at a frenetic pace with frequent shot outs and explosions until the final train assault. But while there is loads of action and the body count is high, blood is seldom seen.

     So is Inglorious B******s the “original war-sploitation classic” the promotion claims or a film best left forgotten? While not a classic, Inglorious B******s never pretends to be other than an old fashioned entertaining Saturday afternoon B action picture. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Inglorious B******s is presented in a ratio of 1.85:1, which is the original ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced. For a B film made on a limited budget over 40 years ago it looks pretty good for its age. Except of the psychedelic opening and closing credits, where colour bleed is apparent, the colours are drab and sharpness lacking. Blacks are however good and shadow detail reasonable. There is also grain, minor blemishes and some aliasing but there is nothing that detracts from one’s enjoyment of the film. One has only to look at the trailer to see how bad the film might have looked.

     There are subtitles for the non-English dialogue. However, when selecting “set up” be sure to turn on the English subtitles. If they are off, the non-English dialogue is not subtitled. In the subtitles I noticed no obvious spelling or grammatical errors.

     Lip Synchronisation is occasionally off. On my equipment there was a slight pause for the layer change at 80:34.

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

Audio

    Audio is an English mono track at 192 Kbps and an English audio commentary track, also at 192 Kbps. The movie audio sounds as one would expect but it gets the job done in a satisfactory way. The explosions and gun shots are fine, if tame by modern standards, and the dialogue is clear. There is no surround or sub woofer use.

     The music by Francesco De Masi is martial and cheesy and supports well the tone of the film.

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

Extras

Conversation Between Quentin Tarantino and Director Enzo G. Castellari (38:24 minutes).

Tarantino and Castellari sit together and chat, with the addition of film clips from Inglorious B******s and black and white set photographs. The conversation starts with Tarantino talking at Castellari, rather than a conversation, but once it gets going Castellari has some interesting things to say about how he got involved, the cast, some tricks used to overcome problems (such as when they were not allowed to have even dummy firearms on set – a major problem for a war film) and the use of slow motion.

Audio Commentary – Director Enzo G. Castellari.

Castellari speaks with David Gregory who asks him questions about the production and prompts his memory. It is a wide ranging commentary covering locations, actors, the use of matte paintings, miniatures and camera tricks to save money and the early use of a steadicam. There is also another unidentified Italian voice. Worth a listen.

Theatrical Trailer (1:26 minutes).

Poor video with washed out colours and frequent scratches and dirt marks. Shows just how good the film itself looks!

Madman Propaganda.

Trailers for other films from Madman Entertainment. Included is: After (0:56 min), Dead End Drive In (1:46 min), Stunt Rock (2:43 min) and Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (2:52 min).

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 Three Disc Explosive Edition seems to have similar audio and video options and includes the Tarantino conversation and Director’s commentary on the first disc. The second disc has two featurettes. The first, “Train Kept-A-Rolling” (75:21), is a documentary that contains new interviews with just about everyone involved in the film and covers the production in detail. The second, “Back in the War Zone” (13:01), has Castellari revisiting some of the filming locations. The third disc has 18 minutes of soundtrack.

     In Region 2 there is also a 3 disc edition, containing the film, the soundtrack and, on the second disc, interviews with the Director (20:16) and composer Francesco De Masi (51:30).

     On the basis of the above, the Region 1 SD seems the best choice.

     There is also a Region A Blu-ray that includes all the extras on the Region 1 SD, plus two other featurettes: “Enzo’s 70th Birthday Celebration” (7:15) – a reunion with a couple of the film’s stars – and “Inglorious Reunion at the New Beverly” (11:24) – footage shot at a special screening of the film in Los Angeles.

Summary

    This film has nothing in common with Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. The situation, plot and characters are all very different and the only thing that Tarantino lifted was the title! That said, Inglorious B******s is a lot of fun. It has acceptable video and audio and if the extras are not as good as the Region 1, they are still not too bad. Inglorious B******s is an entertaining old fashioned Saturday afternoon B action picture. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
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