The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 261, May/June 2022

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Paramount Home Entertainment
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Not Rated
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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John Ford
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Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" tells the engrossing story of a senator (James Stewart), his old friend (John Wayne, and a despicable outlaw called Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, selected scene commentary with introduction by Dan Ford, the featurettes "Filmmaker Focus" (HD 07:37) and the seven-part "The Size Of Legends, the Soul Of Myth" (HD ), original theatrical trailer, a foldout image of the film's original theatrical trailer and a digital code.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC 4K Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed on film in black and white using the Mitchell BNC camera system and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. Film grain is slight pronounced but never objectionable. Production values are primitive by today's standards with most of the imagery shot on sets. Even the lighting is artificial with rooms lit with studio lights but the scenes show kerosene latterns lighting the room. Contrast is artificial due to the lighting aspects of the production design but deep black levels are revealing. Gray scale shadow delineation is good and white levels appear natural and reveal tonal nuances. Resolution is good, especially in closeups of facial features and western clothing. Western objects depicted in interiors and exteriors generally appear soft in medium distances. Still, this is an entertaining filmic visual experience that is historic cinema that surpasses any previous home video version. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack was repurposed from the original monaural elements. For the most part the sound elements are recorded on sound stages. The soundstage retains its original monaural aspects with little in the way of soundstage or surround dimensionality. Sonics are generally compressed with dated fidelity. Foley sound effects are a bit staged, otherwise the sound capture on the soundstages does a good job of presenting effects other than dialogue. Dialogue is generally well integrated spatially and intelligible. Deep bass is virtually absent throughout the proceedings. The thinly sounding orchestral score is virtually the only surround element, Actually, viewing the film in its restored original monaural element in Dolby Digital is the preferred experience and delivers a fuller sonic presentation. (Gary Reber)