Lolita (1962) (1961)
Main Menu Audio
|Year Of Production||1961|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (84:34)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Stanley Kubrick|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.66:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.66:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The acting in Lolita is uniformly impressive. Shelley Winters has a difficult role as an insecure widow, and she carries it off well. James Mason is superb as the obsessed Humbert Humbert. Peter Sellers is remarkable as Clare Quilty, the sinister screen-writer with his silent companion. And Sue Lyon is amazing in the title role - she can be innocent, seductive, ingenuous, wilful, all in one - hard to believe that this was her first role. I recognised the actresses in one of the bit parts - Lois Maxwell, better known for playing Miss Moneypenny in a long sequence of James Bond films.
The very discretion of Lolita makes it easier to concentrate on its study of obsession. I rather suspect that Lolita will be regarded as a classic film for far longer than Eyes Wide Shut. Maybe this suggests that subtlety and suggestion are more powerful tools?
This is a black-and-white film, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 (not uncommon in Europe). It is not 16x9 enhanced. The 1.66:1 aspect ratio falls between the aspect ratio of a standard 4x3 TV, and a widescreen 16x9 display. A 1.66:1 image may be presented in a 4x3 frame with black bars above and below, or in a 16x9 frame, with black bars to the left and right. The former displays better on a 4x3 display, while the latter looks better on a 16x9 display.
The picture is quite sharp, with fair shadow detail; shadow detail always seems somewhat reduced in black and white film - I'm not sure why. If the picture were much sharper I fear it would suffer badly from aliasing. There's no low-level noise - blacks are deep rich black.
There's no colour to see. There are a few moments showing slightly oversaturated whites, but these are scenes in bright light, so they look acceptable. The range of tones from black to white is nice and even, unlike the R1 version, which displays uneven tonality, and excessive contrast.
This picture is surprisingly clean, displaying very few artefacts. There are traces of aliasing, but I've seen modern films showing considerably more. The film used for the transfer is spotless, showing no film artefacts whatsoever. No MPEG artefacts. All up, I am delighted with the quality.
There are subtitles in several languages, including two tracks in English, both standard and hearing impaired. The subtitles are presented in a a simple sans-serif font, white with a black border. They are quite accurate, with occasional abbreviation.
The disc is single sided and dual layered. The layer change is concealed in a black screen between scenes at 84:34 - expert work.
There are three soundtracks, in English, French, and Italian, all mono. I only listened to the English soundtrack.
Dialogue is clear and very easily understood. That's critical to this movie. I saw no audio sync problems.
The score, by Nelson Riddle, is limited - a lot of the scenes have no musical accompaniment. It backs the most emotional scenes.
This is a mono soundtrack. No surround sound, and no subwoofer, not even a stereo image. But it is clear, offers good fidelity, and has adequate dynamic range. I don't think this film needs any more than this.
|Surround Channel Use|
The extras are basic.
The menu is static, with music..
This is a single page mentioning the film's nomination for an Oscar, and Sue Lyon's winning of a Golden Globe.
This is a short trailer (0:59) presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.
The Region 1 version of this disc has exactly the same features, but fewer languages in sound and subtitles, and it comes in a snapper case. Direct comparison of the two shows that the R1 has a poorer video transfer, with excessive contrast making the image look quite harsh. No doubt in my mind - we have the better disc.
Lolita is an interesting movie, presented well on DVD.
The video quality is quite good for a black and white picture.
The audio quality is rather good for a mono soundtrack.
The extras are basic.
|DVD||Arcam DV88, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5|