Home Page  
 
 

Park Row
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • English Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Theatrical Trailer

Park Row

MOD
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Samuel Fuller
Starring: Gene Evans, Mary Welch, Bela Kovacs, Herbert Heyes
1952 | 83 Minutes

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $19.98 | Series: MGM Limited Edition Collection
Fox Home Entertainment

Release Date: May 2, 2011
Review Date: June 17, 2011

Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca

Share:

SYNOPSIS

Director Sam Fuller, who once worked in tabloid journalism, breathes real life into this drama about a man trying to start an opposition paper. His old employer tries endless dirty tactics to put him out of business as a circulation war rages.


PICTURE

Samuel Fuller’s Park Row receives a release through MGM/Fox’s burn-on-demand series, oddly named the “Limited Edition Collection”, and is presented in its original aspect ratio of about 1.33:1 on a single-layer DVD-R.

My first experience with this type of release was MGM’s How I Won the War, the presentation of which was a disaster. I didn’t hold out much hope for Park Row, a much older film, and figured the title would receive an even deadlier digital presentation. But much to my surprise this isn’t the case at all: Park Row looks really good.

The digital transfer is absolutely pleasing, coming off strikingly sharp with a strong amount of detail. Blacks and whites are also pleasant and gray levels are perfectly defined. Grain is visible and while it can look like noise here and there it holds up quite well.

The biggest surprise is still the condition of the materials. While the opening title screen warns that the transfer was made from the best possible materials, giving the idea we’re in for a disaster, the print used is in stellar condition. Sure, there are minor marks, the occasional shotgun blasts of dirt, jumps, and a couple of scratches, but these are still more the exception than the rule. Generally the blemishes are very minor and never call attention to themselves and you’ll go a long while before you ever notice anything and even then it doesn’t impede your viewing.

Yes, this is still only my second time viewing a MOD disc of this sort, but I’m really impressed with what I got in this case. True, my expectations were exceedingly low (especially after How I Won the War) but no matter how I look at it it truly does look good.

7/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

AUDIO

The 2-channel mono track unfortunately doesn’t reach the same level as the video presentation. It shows its age coming off weak and a little distorted at times. A background hiss is faint but it can be noticeable, and the music can screech a bit. But dialogue is still easy to hear and this aspect isn’t a problem.

5/10

SUPPLEMENTS

MGM still throws in a theatrical trailer but that’s it in the way of supplements. I think some interesting material could be rounded up for this film and because of that I still have a faint hope Criterion might pick it up.

Also, similar to How I Won the War there are no real chapter stops, instead the film goes forward or back 10-minutes each time you press the “next” or “previous” buttons on your remote.

1/10

CLOSING

Again, still not fond of these types of discs, but if they allow studios to get their back catalogue out, and in a quality generally close to what we get here, I guess I can’t complain too much.

The film of course still deserves an actual DVD release but what we get here is still quite good, at least in terms of video presentation. For that I recommend it, but it will come down to whether you want to basically shell out $20 for something ripped to a DVD-R.




Share: 



Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca  




Join our Facebook Group (requires Facebook account)

This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection