WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

55 Days At Peking

Reviewed In Issue 06 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, David Niven.

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 3.5
Sound Rating: 2.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Image Entertainment
(Catalog Number): ID2131PF
(MPAA Rating): Not Rated
(Retail Price): $59.99
(Running Time In Minutes): 159
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): No
(Theatrical Release): 1963
(LD Release Date): 04/01/93
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Nicholas Ray
(Screenplay/Written By): Philip Yordan & Bernard Gordon
(Story): NA
(Music): Dimitri Tiomkin
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Venero Colasanti & John Moore
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Robert Lawrence
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Samuel Bronston

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography):
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.35:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 2.35:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Mag Stereo & 70mm 6 Track Mag Stereo
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital): No
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround): No
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Originally released by United Artists in 1963, 55 Days At Peking is the sweeping epic of unparalleled fury, loyalty and love in the midst of an ungovernable time in history—the Boxer uprising of the early 1900s. Charlton Heston is the brawny courageous U.S. Marine major stationed at Peking during those dangerous times. Ava Gardner is the stranded Russian Countess, and Chinese law-abiding British Ambassador (David Niven) is destined to cross both their paths. A visually stimulating production, 55 Days At Peking features a cast of over 7,000 extras amongst authentic looking sets in scenes of fires, bombings and hand-to-hand fighting.

LaserDisc Picture:
The image is cropped at 2.10:1 from its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The transfer is from an excellent 35mm print..

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack has been heavily altered from its original six-track assignments, particulary in the case that all the original directional dialogue, which was placed across the screen has been centralized. The first half of the movie is flawed by mono sound, the rest has superb stereo surround effects.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): No
(Aggressive System Surround): No
(Intense 25Hz Bass): No
(Deep Bass Challenging): No
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): No
(Aggressive Split Surround): No
(Center Back Surround Imaging): No
(Directionalized Dialogue): No
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: