Surfing Hollow Days (1961)

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Released 10-Sep-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Surfing None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1961
Running Time 84:12
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Bruce Brown

Warner Vision
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $39.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles French
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Surfing Hollow Days is the fourth movie by legendary surf film director Bruce Brown. During this movie, surfers travel to different spots around the world including Australia, California, Florida, Mexico and New Zealand.

    This film was made in 1961 when surfing was starting to become more of a mainstream sport. Hollywood was making surf films and the sport was now more widespread. It was at this time that Bruce Brown decided to head to various locations around the world with a group of surfers. These locations include a visit to Australia which at the time was a significant journey. While in this country, the surfers visit a number of spots along the New South Wales and Queensland coast. After leaving Australia, Bruce visits New Zealand and their infant surfing industry. There is also a short section of footage by Dick Barrymore showing skiers at Mount Cook.

    One of the most memorable scenes included in this film is footage of Phil Edwards becoming the first person to ever ride Pipeline. It was on this day that the group decided upon the name that the surf break is still known by. In addition to numerous shots of Hawaii and California there is also some footage taken at surf spots in Mexico. Bruce also travelled to Florida on an interesting but generally unsuccessful surfing trip.

    This movie is slightly less structured than previous Bruce Brown films with the action jumping around the globe. It is interesting to see how his film-making style had evolved over the years in conjunction with the evolution of surfing. If you have previously enjoyed Bruce Brown films I am sure that you will find Surfing Hollow Days to be an entertaining feature.

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Transfer Quality


    The full frame transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    This movie was shot on 16mm film and consequently the footage appears a little soft at all times. The shadow detail in this transfer is quite poor but as nearly all the footage is comprised of brightly lit outdoors shots this does not pose any problem for the viewer. No low level noise was detected during the transfer.

    As seen in most footage of this age, the colour palette is slightly washed-out and never vibrant. As this is pretty much expected, it never becomes an issue.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected during the transfer. A small instance of aliasing occurs at 34:23 but this is relatively minor.

    Significant film artefacts are visible throughout the transfer. Luckily, these artefacts are easily ignored after a short time and are only slightly distracting. There is obvious film grain visible throughout the feature as you would expect from a movie shot on 16mm stock. This grain is easily ignored and is not distracting to the viewer. Numerous obvious splice marks may also be seen at various points during this transfer. Some examples of the marks may be seen at 3:17, 4:08, 4:25 and 5:47. These marks emphasize the low budget of this film and are only slightly distracting.

    A small amount of dot crawl may be seen during the opening interview segment with Bruce Brown. Some small NTSC to PAL conversion artefacts may also be seen at 18:46, 50:08 and 55:64 but these are unlikely to be detected by most viewers. Towards the start of the transfer, a number of analogue tape artefacts may be seen at 0:04, 0:08, 0:10 and 1:55. Each of these artefacts are quite minor and are not distracting to the viewer.

    Three subtitle tracks; French, German and Spanish, are included. These are displayed in a white font with a black outline and are easy to read at all times. I am unable to comment on the accuracy of these titles.

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


    A single Dolby Digital 192 kbps mono track is provided.

    The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand.

    As the film is narrated with a voice-over, dialogue sync was never a problem during the transfer. No audio dropouts were detected at any stage during the transfer.

    The score is an unusual mix of surf rock and jazz influenced pieces that surprisingly works well with the on-screen action, although at some points it is reminiscent of a Benny Hill episode.

    The subwoofer and surround channels were not utilized during the feature.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    No extras are provided on this disc.


    The non animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1

R4 vs R1

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

    Both versions of this film appear to be identical and I therefore would have no preference for either version.


    Surfing Hollow Days is an interesting look back to a time when surfing was rapidly gaining in popularity and should be enjoyed by anyone interested in surfing.

    The full frame transfer does show its age but this is quickly overlooked by the viewer.

    The original mono audio track is sufficient for the material provided.

    No extras are included on this disc.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Sunday, September 09, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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