Patton: Special Edition (1970)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 12-Nov-2001

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category War Audio-Only Track-Audio Essay on the Historical 'Patton'
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-The Longest Day; Tora Tora Tora
Featurette-Making Of
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1970
Running Time 164:26
RSDL / Flipper RSDL
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Franklin J. Schaffner
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring George C. Scott
Karl Malden
Case ?
RPI $44.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Alternate Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (96Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Czech
Danish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Finnish
Hebrew
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Swedish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

Patton is one of the greatest war films ever made. It is about one of the greatest generals of the modern era and contains one of the great movie performances (George C. Scott in the title role) of the modern era. Justifiably, the film won eight Academy Awards including Best Picture. For those unfamiliar with the film, Patton is about the World War Two American general George Patton. The film starts off with the now-famous stirring and blunt opening speech given by Patton in front of a huge American flag. The action starts in Northern Africa as the general takes command of the American forces arrayed against the Germans under Rommel. After numerous successes, he pushes the Germans back through Italy with his 7th Army and finally the 3rd Army inflict major defeats across Europe including the famous victory over the Germans in the 'Battle of the Bulge'. In raw statistics, Patton's forces conquered more territory and captured or killed more enemy soldiers than anyone in history.

    The man himself was just as interesting. He had a volatile temperament, an immense knowledge of battle, military tactics and history, a belief in reincarnation and a sense of drive and commitment that few could match. He was also a showman, an expert swordsman and had always loved playing to a big crowd. His relationship with his dour deputy commander Omar Bradley, played by Karl Malden shows the great contrast in their personal styles and is an interesting thread throughout the film.

    The film was a big budget effort and contains four main battle scenes complete with large numbers of original aircraft and tanks and large numbers of troops. Much of the battle scenes were shot in Spain and used real Spanish infantry. It is a thoroughly enjoyable and 'big' production. It was well shot and is a great film to watch. Filmed in the very wide flat non-anamorphic process called Dimension 150 (only the second film ever made in this process), the film's great original wide aspect is seen for the first time in Australia. It is a film no one will forget in a hurry.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

Patton was shot in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is seen in that aspect on DVD. The transfer is 16x9 enhanced. For a 30 year old film, the picture quality is magnificent.

The picture was quite sharp with great detail on offer. Dark scenes were not common but those that existed showed shadow detail and good solid blacks with little or no noise.

    Colours were well saturated for an older picture.

MPEG artefacts were never a problem. Of course, there is a bit of film grain but I think it was remarkably little for such an old picture. Film artefacts were not a big problem at all which impressed me greatly, again in a picture that is older than I am. All in all, this is a wonderful transfer. Obviously, some careful restoration work has been performed to get the film looking this good. The results are wonderful to behold.

This was an RSDL disc withthe layer change placed somewhere during the intermission in Chapter 22 which starts at the 96 minute mark.



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

Audio

The audio in this film has also been restored and is pleasantly natural if slightly dated in fidelity. The sound redesign is effective and supports the action on-screen well.

Dialogue sounded natural and the quality was fine. This is excellent sound for 1970.

Audio sync was not a problem.

Jerry Goldsmith's music was used to add tension and atmosphere to good effect in this film and all speakers contribute. Although I don't think this is one of his best scores, the music is used fairly sparingly which seems appropriate.

The surrounds were used generously in the battle scenes but sparingly elsewhere, which is appropriate for the nature of this film. Plane flyovers such as at the start of Chapter 26 sounded very convincing. The battle scenes are also recorded more loudly and sound appropriately dramatic.

There is some work for the sub during the battle scenes with explosions and cannon fire having a nice fullness to them. Bass was never over-the-top as in more modern soundtracks but helped convey the power of war effectively.

    In general, this was a good remastering effort of an old soundtrack. While not over-the-top, much enjoyment was added to the film from its quality soundtrack.



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

Extras

There is good selection of extras with this two disc set.

Menu

    The menus are not scored or animated but are 16x9 enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer

    In mono and not 16x9 enhanced.

Trailers

    Trailers for Tora Tora Tora and The Longest Day in mono and not 16x9 enhanced

Audio-Only Track

    This is an audio essay from Charles M. Provence, founder of the George S. Patton Society. This audio essay is a real treat. Running for one hour and 17 minutes, the essay covers almost everything you could ever want to know about Patton from a man who obviously knows his stuff. This is a fascinating commentary that is well worth listening to. Your admiration for Patton will only grow as Mr Provence highlights Patton's many amazing achievements.

Featurette-Making Of (Disc 2)

    This is an original documentary about the making of the film with additional new interviews and footage. It runs for 50 minutes and is far better than the average 'making of' doco. Well worth watching.

    You can also watch the pictures of the documentary as you hear the music from Jerry Goldsmith's score. The score (in stereo) runs for all but eight minutes of the length of the documentary.

R4 vs R1

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

The Region 1version of this DVD has exactly the same extras as the local one, right down to the 16x9 enhanced menus. The transfers also look the same in almost every respect.

Summary

This is a great transfer of a great film about a great man. Wholeheartedly recommended.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Gavin Womersley (read my bio)
Wednesday, November 07, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using Component output
DisplayToshiba 117cm widescreen rear projection TV. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-985 THX Ultra certified surround pre-amp.
AmplificationParasound HCA-2003 3x300w THX certified power amp, NAD 208THX 2x300w power amp.
SpeakersVelodyne HGS-18 1250w 18 servo-driven subwoofer, Celestion A3 front speakers, A2 rear speaker (full range) and A4c center channel speaker.

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Tony L
The DVD Bits - Daniel P (If you're really bored, you can read my bio...)

Comments (Add) NONE