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Europe ’51 Blu-ray

United States
The Greatest Love / The Criterion Collection Criterion | 1952 | 1 Movie, 2 Cuts | 110 min | Not rated | Sep 24, 2013

Europe ’51 (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Audio
English: LPCM Mono
Italian: LPCM Mono

Subtitles
English, English SDH

Discs
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Playback
Region A (locked)

Price
Price not available: Add UPC/EAN

Other editions

Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7.5
5
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 3.8 of 53.8
Audio 3.5 of 53.5
Extras 4.5 of 54.5
Based on 1 user review

Movie appeal

 
Drama100%
Romance33%
8%
popularity
33
collections
4
fans




Europe ’51

 (1952)

Europe ’51 Blu-ray offers solid video and great audio in this exceptional Blu-ray release

Irene is a wealthy, self-absorbed Rome socialite consumed by guilt over the death of her son. As a way of dealing with her grief and finding meaning in her life, she decides to devote her time and money to the city's poor. Her single-minded activism leads to conflicts with her husband and questions regarding her sanity.

For more about Europe ’51 and the Europe ’51 Blu-ray release, see Europe ’51 Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.

Starring: Ingrid Bergman, Alexander Knox, Giulietta Masina
Director: Roberto Rossellini

» See full cast & crew


Europe ’51 Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.5 of 5

Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.37:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Roberto Rossellini's Europe '51 arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion.

The release contains two versions of the film:

1. Europe '51 (English-language version which runs at 01.49.46./1080p).
2. Europa '51 (Italian-language version which runs at 01.58.21./1080p).

Please note that screencaptures #1-19 are from the restored Europe '51, while screencaptures #20-29 are from Europa '51.

Europe '51 has received a new 2K digital restoration which has addressed different source-related issues. There are, however, various inherited limitations - such as fading, damage, and contrast fluctuations - that have been retained. I have to speculate that many of them are virtually impossible to effectively address without possibly further destabilizing the integrity of the image. (A large-scale restoration, with manual repair of select areas, would most likely require very serious and certainly very expensive work, and the final result will likely be only marginally better than what is present on this Blu-ray disc). This is why I also believe that a decision was made to present the film in a raw condition rather than try to fully repair it and in the process damage it even more.
Portions of the film boast very good detail and pleasing clarity. After Irene visits the slums, in particular, there are excellent close-ups (see screencapture #4). Even some of the nighttime footage looks surprisingly healthy (see screencapture #2). Occasionally, sharpness levels fluctuate, but it is easy to see that poor digital work is not responsible for these fluctuations. Grain is also retained as best as possible, but in select areas some of it has been affected by the fading. (These areas typically look softer). There are no traces of problematic sharpening adjustments. I also did not see any traces of contrast boosting. The most prominent damage marks are very early into the film, but they disappear quickly (see screencapture #10). Some flecks also pop up, but many actually appear to be part of the image. Lastly, there are some shaky frame transitions, but overall image stability is still very good. All in all, having previously seen two different DVD releases of this film, one French and one Italian, I am indeed very pleased with its transition to Blu-ray.

Europa '51 has a much more inconsistent look. It is softer and flatter. Overall image stability is also not as good as that of the English-language version, especially during the first half of the film. Damage is also more prominent. Sharpness and contrast levels fluctuate, but here it is again easy to see that these fluctuations are inherited.

(Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).


Europe ’51 Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

There are two standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray release: English LPCM 1.0 for Europe '51 and Italian LPCM 1.0 for Europa '51. For the record, Criterion have provided optional English SDH subtitles for Europe '51 and English subtitles for Europa '51.

Dynamic intensity on Europe '51 is limited, but this should not be surprising. Clarity and depth are good. More importantly, there are no serious stability issues or strong background hiss. I also did not detect any high-frequency distortions.

The lossless Italian track is of similar quality. Dynamic intensity is limited, but clarity and depth are good. It is also easy to tell that various stabilizations have been performed and hiss and crackle removed as best as possible.


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