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The Longest Day cover

Blu-ray Reviews: The Longest Day

Not previously published
Last updated 2 July 2009

The Longest Day
1962 - Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment South Pacific Pty Ltd
Director: Ken Annakin/Andrew Marton/Bernhard Wicki/Darryl F. Zanuck
Starring: Eddie Albert, Paul Anka, Richard Beymer, Richard Burton, Red Buttons, Sean Connery, Mel Ferrer, Henry Fonda, Jeffrey Hunter, Curd Jürgens, Roddy McDowall, Sal Mineo, Robert Mitchum, Kenneth More, Edmond O'Brien, Robert Ryan, George Segal, Rod Steiger, Richard Todd, Robert Wagner and John Wayne

Movie: TBA Picture: TBA Sound: TBA Extras: 3.5

No review as yet. Blu-ray to be released in Australia on 5 August 2009.

Running time: 121 minutes
Picture: 2.20:1, 1080p24, MPEG4 AVC @ 25.49Mbps
Sound: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 24/48 3/2.1 @ 3090kbps (Core: DTS 24/48 3/2.1 @ 1536kbps); German, French: DTS 24/48 3/2.1 @ 768kbps; 2 x Commentary: Dolby Digital 2/0.0 @ 224kbps
Subtitles: English, German, German Text, French,. French Tex, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, English (Commentary 1), German (Commentary 1), French (Commentary 1), Dutch (Commentary 1), English (Commentary 2), German (Commentary 2), French (Commentary 2), Dutch (Commentary 2)
Extras: 3 Featurettes (480i60, MPEG2, DD2.0 @ 192kbps - 121 mins); Featurette: 'A Day to Remember' (480i60, MPEG2, DD2.0 @ 192kbps - 22 mins); Original Theatrical Trailer (4:3, 480i60, MPEG2, DD2.0 @ 192kbps - 3 mins)
Restrictions: Rated PG (Australian rating); Region Free

The following video bitrate graph was generated by BDInfo 0.5.2:

The Longest Day video bitrate graph

Comparison: Blu-ray vs PAL DVD

Here are some comparisons between the Australian PAL DVD and the Blu-ray versions of this movie. Both the DVD and the Blu-ray versions were from test samples provided to me by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment South Pacific Pty Ltd.

In the following examples, at the top of each is the full frame (suitably shrunk down) used in the comparison, with a 250 pixel wide detail from the frame underneath. The left side is from the PAL DVD. The image was captured digitally from the disc, scaled up from its native 720 by 576 resolution to 1,024 by 576 (to present in the 16:9 aspect ratio), and then, in order to be comparable to the Blu-ray version, from that to 1,920 by 1,080. The detail is from that last scaled version, and has not been rescaled again. The right side is from the Australian Blu-ray. This has not been scaled at all.

The detail is from that last scaled version, and has not been rescaled again. The right side is from the Australian Blu-ray. This has not been scaled at all.

Different applications were used to capture the two frames, so I am not normally comfortable comparing the brightness between the two. For those visitors from NTSC lands, generally the PAL DVD is just a touch sharper than the NTSC DVD.

One thing soon became clear: these versions were not from the same telecine of the film because the frame cropping was quite different. In general, the DVD showed a little more in the frame than the Blu-ray, although not always and the amounts varied from place to place.

Another thing that became clear is that that DVD is well below standard, while the Blu-ray is in superb condition:

Comparison 1

Comparison 2

Notice all the MPEG noise on the DVD, making the flag look mottled:

Comparison 3

The downside of the increased Blu-ray clarity is that it's far easier to notice the special effects, such as the placement of these actors, pre-digitally, over a background shot elsewhere at another time:

Comparison 4

The clarity even benefits the action scenes:

Comparison 5

Comparison 6

© 2002-2009, Stephen Dawson