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Battle of the Bulge [Blu-ray]
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For the first time, possibly ever, the complete film is presented on DVD in wide-screen. Scenes that have been missing for decades have been restored to the film. Now you can see Lt. Col. Hessler marching between the parked rows of tanks, Hessler's introduction to the English-speaking commandos, the Belgian sniper scene, Charles Bronson's confrontation with Robert Shaw in Ambleve, and the lieutenant (James MacArthur) and his sergeant watching the German advance from a snowy hilltop.
This version is truly wide-screen. In fact, when I premiered this new DVD release, with myself as the sole audience (as my family immediately fled the room), I was amazed at the width of the picture. During my first screening of this edition, I tended to pay more attention to what was going on to the right and to the left of the main characters. This additional perspective, in many ways, makes this almost a new movie.
The DVD is equipped with special features. The movie trailer has been restored and includes alternate takes and dialogue that were not included in the original film. Additionally included are two black and white featurettes on the making of the film.Read more ›
I am updating this review (Dec. 9, 2008) to address the Blu-Ray edition of this movie which I feel is worthy of praise. In addition to a very impressive 1080p high definition picture which has nice contrast, vibrant colors and a fantastic level of detail (just witness the Christmas tree and flags in the first scene between Henry Fonda and Robert Ryan), the Blu-Ray also boasts a scene specific audio commentary featuring Director Ken Annakin and actor James MacArthur.
The two are obviously very good friends and the commentary strikes a nice balance between technical details, preproduction and filming background and friendly chatter. I found it enjoyable.
The Blu-Ray also transfers over the two vintage featurettes and theatrical trailer found on the DVD, but the addition of the audio commentary and the superior high definition picture makes this an easy recommendation for an upgrade from the subpar DVD format.
I read the concerns over "fogging"n some of the previous reviews and did not notice it on my Blu-Ray, except in instances when it was obviously a deliberate decision. For the most part this is an impressive presentation. For those wanting the check out the HD picture, the high definition premium commercial-free TV channel HDNet Movies has been showing "Battle of the Bulge" in HD recently.
In the 1960s it seemed to be all the fashion for a host of big name actors to appear in World War II movies. From THE LONGEST DAY to THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, THE DIRTY DOZEN, THE GREAT ESCAPE and BATTLE OF BRITAIN every big name actor made his appearance in big epic war pictures commemorating a war that, at that time, was still fresh in the memories of many.Read more ›
The movie depicts this historic battle through several fictional characters that eventually meet in a climatic battle that seals the Germans' fate. Henry Fonda is Lieutenant Colonel Dan Kiley, an American intelligence officer whose warnings of the coming attack fall on deaf ears. Robert Shaw is Colonel Hessler, the charismatic German Panzer (tank) commander who leads the armor spearhead towards Belgium. Charles Bronson is Major Wolinski, a tough American commander fighting the German onslaught under severe odds. Telly Savalas is Sergeant Guffy, a jaded American tanker who is in the thick of the battle facing superior German tanks. James MacArther is Lieutenant Weaver, a slack infantry leader who survives a massacre of Allied prisoners by German soldiers. Sperling and Annakin appear to have chosen this simpler screenplay to create a few heroes who fight to overcome a seemingly invincible villain, forgoing a complex storyline as used in 20th Century Fox's 1962 Longest Day. It works OK, certainly not on the level of Band of Brothers, and lends a somewhat campy appeal for this 1960's action flick.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Simply horrific. The combat scenes are an embarrassment to those who fought and died. A waste of time.Published 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
I first saw this film when I was kid. it looked get to me then. My Dad was at Bastogne with 101st Airborne. As the years went by I became unhappy with the film. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Thomas A. Vallejos
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