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Legend Blu-ray

United States
Ultimate Edition Universal Studios | 1985 | 1 Movie, 2 Cuts | 113 min | Rated PG | May 31, 2011

Legend (Blu-ray)

Codec: VC-1 (23.56 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

English SDH, French, Spanish

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

Region free

List price: $26.98, Price history

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

Blu-ray rating
Video 4.2 of 54.2
Audio 4.1 of 54.1
Extras 3.8 of 53.8
Based on 13 user reviews

Movie appeal




Legend Blu-ray delivers great video and audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

Tom Cruise stars in this visually-stunning fantasy adventure in which pure good and evil battle to the death amidst spectacular surroundings. Set in a timeless mythical forest inhabited by fairies, goblins, unicorns and mortals, this fantastic story has Tom Cruise, a mystical forest dweller, chosen by fate to undertake a heroic quest. He must save a beautiful princess, Mia Sara, and defeat the demonic Lord of Darkness, Tim Curry, or the world will be plunged into a never-ending ice age. Co-starring Billy Barty and Alice Playten and directed by Ridley Scott, famed for his remarkable settings and unparalleled imagery, the incredibly realized fable is the stuff movie legends are made of.

For more about Legend and the Legend Blu-ray release, see Legend Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice Playten, Billy Barty
Director: Ridley Scott

» See full cast & crew

Legend Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.0 of 5

If only every Blu-ray presentation opened with a brief message from the filmmakers or technicians involved in approving or creating its transfer. Imagine the confusion that would be alleviated, the light that would be shed on problematic aspects of a transfer, the educated discussions and debates that would spring up in forums. Oh, what a world that would be. I know, I know... wishful thinking. Thankfully, director Ridley Scott has penned not one but two messages that greet filmfans immediately after choosing which version of Legend they'd like to watch.

Legend: Original Theatrical Cut

Of the film's 1080p/VC-1 encoded theatrical cut presentation, Scott writes: "The final theatrical version of Legend was transferred by Universal in 2006 directly from the film's inter-negative. Although I was not involved in this transfer, it displays a much more detailed and refined image than the Director's Cut. Considering the significantly different source elements and transfer processes involved, it is safe to say that each version of Legend has its own strengths and I leave it to you to decide which one you think is best."

"Each version has its own strengths." Of course, the implication is that Scott is mostly -- but not entirely -- pleased with the theatrical cut's Blu-ray presentation. As to what weaknesses he may be subtly referring to? Minor print specks and nicks appear on occasion (most noticeably when Oona tries to lift the last mirror into place during the film's final confrontation), vertical lines slice down through the image here and there, color and contrast inconsistencies aren't exactly uncommon, and some instability and wobble affects a number of shots. Seeing as Scott is intimately familiar with what can be done to correct these issues (ahem, Blade Runner), I would imagine it's these sorts of things that kept him from offering more glowing praise of the theatrical cut transfer.

That said, Legend has never looked as good as it does here, and it's easy to identify the many, many strengths Scott is alluding to in his comments. Cinematographer Alex Thomson's dark fantasy palette is awash with lush, vibrant color and rich, primal power. Black levels aren't exactly consistent but, for the most part, they're inky and ominous; skintones are lifelike and altogether pleasant, even though faces are a tad flushed here and there. And detail? Scott wasn't exaggerating. Edges are crisp and clean, fine textures are intact and true to Thomson's photography, grain has been preserved (even if it grows unruly at times) and overall clarity is excellent (barring several soft shots, all of which trace back to the source). Suffice it to say, the Blu-ray presentation puts the standard DVD to shame. It helps that artifacting, banding and aliasing never claw their way into the image, and ringing and crush, though present to some degree, aren't distracting. All things considered, Universal's faithful presentation will entrance filmfans and delight videophiles alike.

Legend: Director's Cut

Of the film's 1080p/VC-1 encoded Director's Cut, Scott writes: "For years before its release on DVD, the Legend Director's Cut was thought to have been lost forever. However, in 2000, it was miraculously located in the form of a pristine answer print, which was later transferred for DVD. Answer prints by their nature offer limited latitude in the transfer process, commonly resulting in less-then-optimal picture quality. Such is the case with Legend Director's Cut. Newly re-transferred in 2011 for this Blu-ray release, the limitations of the answer print are now even more apparent in high definition. However, given its one-and-only source element, the Director's Cut looks as good as it possibly can and I am pleased to include it on this Blu-ray release as both an archival curiosity for fans and a digital preservation of my original vision for the film."

Inherent flaws notwithstanding, I can't imagine the Director's Cut impressing any more than it does here. The theatrical version certainly boasts greater detail, but the Director's Cut is no slouch. Some may even prefer its less intrusive grain and somewhat softer image. Scott's color timing is different -- sometimes drastically so -- but the hues that adorn the Director's Cut are generally strong and vivid (minus a variety of problematic shots). Blacks are comparable as well, even if the quality of the answer print occasionally produces muted shadows and less-than-revealing delineation. And even though detail is less refined, it's still more than suitable for the task at hand. Universal's encode is also sound; no digital anomalies, no compression issues, no eyesores to report. (Well, other than those native to the answer print.) Ultimately, appropriate expectations are the key to enjoying the Director's Cut transfer, even as an archival curiosity, and crucial to understanding the source of its weaknesses. A comparison of the two versions, while far from indicative of the full experience offered by either transfer, can be found here and here.

Legend Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

Both the theatrical version and Director's Cut of Legend features a solid DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track, and the results are quite satisfying. LFE output lends notable ferocity to the raging infernos of the Lord of Darkness' lair, thunderous resonance to Tim Curry's voice, and tremendous weight to the film's already formidable atmosphere. The rear speakers are engaging, despite the fact that they're typically relegated to supporting Legend's music. There are some problems though, even if the majority are tied to the film's original audio elements. Dialogue, while clear and intelligible on the whole, is muddled at times, growing thick and pulpy. Effects, while decisive and uncompromising, are also heavy, coarse and, in the case of the theatrical cut, somewhat overwhelmed by the score. When Tangerine Dream's synthesized melodies surge, they tend to drown out the rest of the soundscape. Moreover, as howling wind, roaring fire, hissing steam, pouring rain, chilling screams and swelling music try to cram into the same space, they seem to overwhelm one another. That said, it actually makes the resulting soundfield -- full and enveloping as it is -- that much more haunting and unsettling. Taken on its own terms, Legend's lossless audio tracks aren't flawless, but they do complement the film's video transfers nicely.

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Legend Blu-ray, News and Updates

Buy Two Select Universal Blu-rays at Amazon, Get $8 Off (Expired) - May 9, 2011

Amazon is currently offering customers who purchase two select Universal Blu-ray releases $8 off their total purchase price at checkout. The deal is notable in that five of the fourteen eligible titles are upcoming releases: American Graffiti, Legend, Billy Madison, ...

Legend Blu-ray Announced - March 28, 2011

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has announced Legend for Blu-ray release on May 31. This Ridley Scott fantasy film starring Tom Cruise as a forest dweller who must defeat the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry) will be presented in an Ultimate Edition BD, featuring ...

Legend Blu-ray, Forum Discussions

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Legend (1985) May 31, 2011 (

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613 5 days ago
I Am Legend 1165 Nov 14, 2014
I am Legend pre-order? 180 Mar 23, 2008

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