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Second Chorus Blu-ray

United States
Swing Romance Film Chest | 1940 | 80 min | Not rated | May 14, 2013

Second Chorus (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.34:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono


25GB Blu-ray Disc
Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD)

Region A, B (C untested)

List price: $19.98, Price history

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Best Buy: $14.99 (Save 25%)  

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

Blu-ray rating
Video 3.5 of 53.5
Audio 2.0 of 52.0
Extras 1.5 of 51.5
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Movie appeal


Second Chorus


Second Chorus Blu-ray offers solid video and poor audio in this mediocre Blu-ray release

No synopsis for Second Chorus.

For more about Second Chorus and the Second Chorus Blu-ray release, see Second Chorus Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.

Starring: Fred Astaire, Paulette Goddard, Burgess Meredith, Charles Butterworth, Don Brodie, Joan Barclay
Director: H.C. Potter

» See full cast & crew

Second Chorus Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.5 of 5

Second Chorus is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Film Chest with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.34:1. Film Chest continues to use some odd, potentially ambiguous, phrasing with regard to its Blu-ray releases. Emblazoned across the cover of Second Chorus is the statement "transferred from an original fine grain 35mm print". Do they mean a master positive? Then on the back we're offered another clue: "scanned and restored from 35mm fine grain into 2K (transfer sourced from nitrate)", which would seem to point to a relatively lowly print and not any intermediate element (despite the emphasis on "fine grain"), as should probably be expected of a public domain title. Film Chest has come in for some considerable vitriol from fans for allegedly DNRing its previous releases to death. I personally am less sensitive to DNR than a lot of viewers, and never have felt the evident outrage that some consumers have, but Film Chest has apparently gotten the message as I received an email from them averring that they were completely eschewing DNR on their releases. That may be a bit of an overstatement, as it's evident from the restoration demonstration provided on this Blu-ray that a lot of clean up work was done on this release and with that some very judiciously applied noise reduction looks to have been applied. That said, this is by far the most artful thing we've seen from Film Chest. Make no mistake about it, there is definitely grain on this release, though it may not quite be at the levels some would expect and/or like. Contrast is immeasurably improved (though I found it to be just a tad on the dark side), and the image boasts some very nicely solid blacks and well modulated gray scale. There's some appealing sharpness and clarity in close-ups and even a few midrange shots, though midrange still has some iffy moments, with several shots drifting more toward the fuzzy side of things. The clean-up work done here is quite remarkable, with only a few transitory scratches and a couple of hairs in the gate (some on stock establishing footage) remaining. This is a nice (maybe even a big) step in the right direction for Film Chest. It can't be easy to source these PD titles very well, and often these niche labels are in a "lose-lose" situation. If they do nothing, the transfer ends up looking too shoddy for high definition consumers. If they do too much, they're accused of wiping the slate clean, so to speak. This is overall a nicely balanced presentation.

Second Chorus Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  2.0 of 5

Yikes! Two steps forward, one pretty big step backward. What have they done to Fred's song, ma? Second Chorus's original mono track is presented via DTS-HD Master Audio Mono (2.0), and while it's commendable that Film Chest has gone the lossless route with this release (they haven't always done that), some aspiring audio engineer has processed this track to within an inch of its life. This is of course ironic, considering the criticism this label has come in for with regard to its processing of the visuals. I make some of my living as a professional musician, and so I'm perhaps more attuned (no pun intended) to things like overly compressed or processed audio than some people, but my hunch is even those with a tin ear are going to hear the really badly phased midrange on this track, a situation which makes noisy crowd moments sound like something out of a psychedelic bad trip. (I'm wondering if some of this is due to an attempt to create a fake stereo mix, with phasing between the channels, though I personally detected absolutely no stereo separation here.) This same problem makes a lot of the dialogue sound overly boxy and over- reverbed. The high end fares best here, which is at least good news for some of Artie Shaw's stratospheric clarinet work, but this is a real shame, especially since Second Chorus contains such fabulous music.

Second Chorus Blu-ray, News and Updates

Second Chorus Blu-ray - April 17, 2013

Film Chest has announced and detailed the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack release of director H. C. Potter's Second Chorus, starring Fred Astaire, Paulette Goddard, big band leader Artie Shaw, Charles Butterworth and Burges Meredith. The restored 1940 musical comedy arrives ...

Second Chorus Blu-ray, Forum Discussions

Topic Replies Last post
A Chorus Line (1985) -1/14/2014 34 Jan 20, 2014
A chorus line (1/14/2014) 0 Nov 01, 2013

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