Red Badge of Courage

Red Badge of Courage

4.5 4
Director: John Huston

Cast: Audie Murphy, Bill Mauldin, John Dierkes

     
 

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The first impression of the DVD for John Huston's 1951 production of The Red Badge of Courage is how good the transfer looks. It is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.37:1 and the black-and-white photography looks fabulous. Brief moments where the black level appears slightly off do not hamper this fine presentation, mainly because the majority of theSee more details below

Overview

The first impression of the DVD for John Huston's 1951 production of The Red Badge of Courage is how good the transfer looks. It is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.37:1 and the black-and-white photography looks fabulous. Brief moments where the black level appears slightly off do not hamper this fine presentation, mainly because the majority of the film is so clean. Grain is almost non-existent and detail is perfectly realized. Nothing has apparently been done to enhance the soundtrack, however. The original Dolby Digital mono track certainly doesn't create any atmosphere, but the dialogue and sound effects are clear and distinguishable. The supplements won't impress anyone. While it's nice to have the vintage theatrical trailer (and a page for the cast and crew listings) included, it must be assumed that Warner Bros. didn't see this as a big enough title to offer more. A documentary or historical commentary about this troubled production, from studio intervention to poor test screenings, would have been a significant accompaniment to the film, but just isn't available here, although, with the film only 69-minutes long, the disc space was unquestionably available.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
The Red Badge of Courage is a powerful retelling of the classic Stephen Crane Civil War novel. A potent combination of epic battle scenes and intimate personal story, the movie's awesome and bloody combat sequences highlight the hero's (WWII veteran Audie Murphy) internal struggle with issues of courage, loyalty, cowardice, and betrayal. John Huston's film was troubled by conflicts with the studio, which used negative preview notices as an excuse to re-edit the film, slashing its length down to a meager 70 minutes before its 1951 release. Huston bemoaned that the film "could have been" his greatest, if not for the studio's interference. Crane's novel and the film's cinematography (Harold Rosson) were both inspired by the famous Civil War photography of Mathew Brady and imbue the film with a realism that borders on the documentary. Huston's direction -- with its sparse narrative, unusual camera angles and shadowy black and white imagery -- shows the influence of film noir, a genre he helped create. He augments this with a mobile camera -- lots of panning, tracking, and dolly shots -- to mirror the pace of the war scenes. The fall and redemption of the protagonist, while clearly predictable, is still intelligently and effectively executed.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/04/2003
UPC:
0012569573024
Original Release:
1951
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Time:
1:09:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Interactive menus; Theatrical trailer; Scene access; English and French soundtracks; English, French and Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Audie Murphy Henry Fleming the Youth
Bill Mauldin Tom Wilson the Loud Soldier
John Dierkes Jim Conlin the Tall Soldier
Royal Dano The Tattered Soldier
Arthur Hunnicutt Bill Porter
Douglas Dick The Lieutenant
Tim Durant The General
Robert Cherry Soldier Who Sings
Dick Curtis Actor
Robert Easton Thompson
Jim Hayward Union Soldier
I. Stanford Jolley Actor
Fred Kohler Actor
Emmett Lynn Actor
Joel Marston Actor
Robert Nichols Actor
Lou Nova Actor
Ted Offenbecker Actor
House Peters Actor
William "Bill" Phillips Actor
Buddy Roosevelt Actor
Frank Sully Actor
Guy Wilkerson Actor
Lynn Farr Confederate Soldier
Smith Ballew The Captain
Whit Bissell Wounded Officer
Andy Devine The Fat Soldier
Ed Hinton Corporal
Glenn Strange Colonel
Dan White Sergeant
James Whitmore Narrator

Technical Credits
John Huston Director,Screenwriter
Albert Band Screenwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Bronislau Kaper Score Composer
Ben Lewis Editor
Hans Peters Art Director
Gottfried Reinhardt Producer
Harold Hal Rosson Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Credits and Foreword. [1:56]
2. Fighting Orders? [4:56]
3. No Red Badge Tonight. [1:29]
4. March Upriver [3:27]
5. I'll Do My Share. [2:37]
6. Impatient. [4:20]
7. The Battlefield. [3:20]
8. First Enemy Attack. [3:12]
9. Henry Flees. [4:03]
10. Envying the Wounded. [3:48]
11. The Last of Jim. [4:15]
12. Cheery Solider. [3:20]
13. Back in the Regiment. [5:07]
14. Blood and Destruction. [3:34]
15. A Wildcat. [2:08]
16. General's Supper Plans. [3:57]
17. Flag of Attack. [4:39]
18. What the Colonel Said. [2:56]
19. Confessions. [1:20]
20. Rid of the Nightmare. [3:43]
21. Cast List. [:41]

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