Weary of 24-hour CNN war coverage? Want to see a more emotionally satisfying version of war? Then look no further than this 1944 Oscar nominee.
Don Ameche is the rigid, no-nonsense commander of a US aircraft carrier shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The crew becomes frustrated as more and more time passes and they still don’t move into combat. Fate, however, has picked them to play a major role in the Battle of Midway and help turn the tide of the war.
The sound is very good. Like the other new releases in this series (Guadalcanal Diary and Halls of Montezuma), the sound is available in stereo. This is not 6.1 mind you, but you can’t expect miracles when the soundtrack is almost 60 years old and originally in mono. It still sounds very clean, however, with the dialogue coming in loud and clear and virtually no hiss. The sound effects, dialogue and music are all involved in the stereo mix, so all of them, for better (sound effects) or worse (the dialogue doesn’t need the extra boost), come from front and rear. The original mono track is also included.
This is another presentation that really makes you appreciate how beautiful black and white photography can be. The picture is pristine (or as pristine as the original print can be – actual combat footage was used, so don’t expect the war photographers to have had the same luxury to compose and film their material as did the makers of the film). There’s a shot of the moon reflecting off canons that is nothing short of breathtaking. The blacks and contrasts are perfectly preserved. A beautiful piece of work, presented in its original 1.33:1 format.
Very basic stuff: a still and silent menu, and trailers for Wing and a Prayer and fellow war movies.
A great cast (Don Ameche, Dana Andrews, Sir Cedric Hardwicke), a great script (this is what got the film its Academy Award nomination) and stunning photography. What more do you want?
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailers