Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|From Here to Eternity|
Actors: Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Genres: Classics, Drama, Military & War
AN AWARD-WINNING DRAMA ABOUT A CLOSE-KNIT ARMY CAMP IN HAWAII BEFORE THE ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR.SUPERB CAST AND PERFORMANCESBY ALL, NETTING 8 OSCARS INCLUDING BEST PICTURE.
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Original Theatrical Release Format is 1.33:1
George | Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA | 10/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Now pay attention, widescreen DVD fans (I am among them)...! Do not go looking for widescreen format before 1954, because with a couple of exceptions (see "sir-critic" below), they don't exist. One must be a student of history to some extent as a classic movie fan: when collecting a video library, know your format history; the key year is 1954. (Interestingly, it is the same key year for stereo music recordings, at least in the Classical world.) Also remember that a post-1954 movie is not necessarily a widescreen film, either, especially in the first few years. (See my review of "Moonstruck" for more aspect ratio commentary that you'll find very interesting, if this one is interesting to you. I ranted about its full-frame release and found out that I didn't know what I was talking about, more or less.) "From Here to Eternity" is a great classic film that was shot and originally released in 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Like many, many other pre-1954 movies, this film was probably re-released several times in theaters with a "widescreen" format, but they just lopped off the top and bottom of the picture for the release. This was a grotesque practice, butchering many fine films and ruining the painstaking framing of shots by the cinematographer. You don't want a widescreen version of "From Here to Eternity", because it's butchered, I mean, ALTERED. The important thing for DVD collectors / film buffs is ORIGINAL Theatrical Release Format, i.e., what the director and cinematographer intended you to see. The video release companies should be heavily encouraged by us to provide this information on the DVD and VHS boxes, so that we know a film's true original aspect ratio, and whether the particular edition is or is not altered, I mean, BUTCHERED. Why is the television screen a 1.33:1 aspect ratio? Because movies' ratios were 1.33:1. TV programs and movies were filmed with the same cameras and film. By the early '50s, TV was becoming so important that film studios needed a new hook to keep people coming to the theaters, so Cinemascope and others were born to amaze audiences. Try to imagine seeing a 2.55:1 Cinemascope picture in the theater when all you've ever seen up to then was 1.33:1 films and TV. WOW!! THAT would keep you coming back to the cinema! Later cinematic hooks would be in sound, still more or less unachievable at home -- remember Surround Sound's forerunner, "Sensurround" (used for "Midway" and "Earthquake")? Remember film fans, you might have to do a little research on a given movie before assuming that a video release is not the true format."
6 great stars in a 5 star movie
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 09/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This wonderful movie was based on a novel by James Jones,which was so controversial for it's time that it had to be toned down.
It was a harsh look at military life in the days shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The story revolves around 5 main characters, who live in and around the base at Pearl Harbor. Robert E. Lee Prewitt ("Prew") played by Montgomery Clift is a boxing champion, transfered to the base on the whim of the Captain. But "Prew" refuses to fight anymore because of an unfortunate incident and he pays the price for his refusal. His buddy "Maggio" played by Frank Sinatra is scrappy and ill fated. "Lorena"(Alma) played by Donna Reed is the girl "Prew" falls for. She's a "working girl" but forms a deep attachment to him. Sargent Warden who is played powerfully by Burt Lancaster, is always looking out for his men, but has an affair with his Captains wife, Karen Holmes played by Deborah Kerr. Karen by the way is no stranger to stepping out on her husband. It is in this film that we see the famous love scene on the beach with them.
"Prew" and "Maggio" are both treated indecently by the military but to Prew the army is his home and he sticks by his loyalties.
There's another character that needs to be mentioned here and that is "Fatso". Played brillantly by Ernest Borgnine. He is the guard in stockade and is brutal in his treatmentof the G.I.s.
The story draws you into to the lives of these characters and culminates with the attack on the Pearl Harbor base. It was directed by Fred Zinnemann, shot in Black and White, in Hawaii. It won 8 Academy Awards including Best Picture(1953) Best B&W cinematography, and both Frank Sinatra and Donna Reed won Best Supporting that year.
The DVD is a GOOD transfer. There are though some spots where it's a little grainy but this does not take away from the enjoyment of this film. It only ocassionally reminds us that this IS a film that was made 50 years ago but is still one of the finest ever. The sound is great, the full screen, is the original theatrical presentation.
If your looking for extras there are several goodies with this DVD. My favorite was the interviews with Fred Zinnemann, we get to see a little of his personal home movies made during the shooting of this film (and in COLOR!). I also enjoyed seeing the theatrical trailers for this and The Guns Of Navarrone, and The Bridge on The River Kwai which are included.
This is one of those movies where you just don't want it to end!
so kick back and enjoy.....Laurie"
Montgomery Clift At His Best
James L. | 08/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From Here To Eternity is probably best remembered for the famous beach love scene of Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr, but there's a lot more to this legendary film. It tells the story of the lives and relationships of several characters in the time leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. The film is well cast. Lancaster gives a strong performance as the tough sergeant in love with his superior's wife, and Kerr is equally fine as the frustrated wife who has become famous for her dalliances. Frank Sinatra gives a charismatic performance as Maggio, the soldier with a love of drinking who gets himself into trouble. Donna Reed convincingly plays a "toned-down" prostitute who doesn't want to fall in love with a soldier, but does. The best performance is given by Montgomery Clift as the soldier Reed loves, a bugler and former boxer who critically injured a man in a fight and doesn't want to step back in the ring. Clift was an actor capable of digging deep into his characters, and unfortunately, he seems not to be as well known today as others from his time. The dialogue is sharp and mature, the attack scenes are excellent, and there are a number of dramatic, memorable moments in this film. Watch it for the beach scene, for Clift's superlative performance, and for all the qualities one would expect in a top notch film from Hollywood's Golden Era."
This DVD is Okay
Icepick | Castroville, CA USA | 10/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The first widescreen film was "The Robe," released in
September 1953. Every film prior to that, including
"From Here to Eternity," was shot in Academy Ratio, i.e.
fullscreen. So quit yer complainin'!"