Divorced and disillusioned, Roslyn Tabor befriends a group of "misfits," including an aging cowboy, a heartbroken mechanic and a worn out rodeo rider. Through their live-for-life-for-the-moment lifestyle, Roslyn experiences her first taste of freedom, exhilaration and passion. But when her innocent idealism clashes with her hard edged practicality, Roslyn must risk losing their friendship...and the only true love she's ever known.
MGM and Fox presents John Huston’s The Misfits in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1 on this dual-layer disc in a new, incredible 1080p/24hz hi-def transfer.
Simply put this is one of the best black and white transfers I’ve yet seen on Blu-ray, more than likely aided by the fact that the film takes up most of the space on the disc (41GB) and has an average bitrate of about 37 mbps, allowing for more information. Other than a few moments where it looks like a soft focus was used this is one of the sharpest, most highly detailed images I’ve come across recently. Blacks are incredibly deep without losing any details, whites are well balanced, and gray levels are smooth and distinguishable. Film grain is present and, other than maybe quickly during a couple of darker sequences, looks completely natural, never like compression noise. The print is also in excellent condition, only a few minor marks scattered about.
MGM/Fox have done an exceptional job with this one and even if there were a wide selection of supplements on this (and I’ll note now there is next to nothing in the way of features on this disc) the transfer would still be the disc’s selling point.
The disc comes with a 2-channel DTS-HD MA mono track that’s a little above average. Volume levels are excellent and there is some noticeable fidelity. Dialogue is sharp and clear but music doesn’t sound particularly good, coming off harsh and showing its age, specifically during the opening credits. Not at all showy but adequate enough and better than I would have guessed.
Despite this being the “50th Anniversary” edition there are no supplements other than the film’s original theatrical trailer. Considering this was the last film for both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe (the last finished film of Monroe’s anyways) I’m a little surprised MGM/Fox didn’t bother adding anything else.
This was one I was hoping Criterion might get their hands on with their new MGM deal but alas that isn’t the case. I’d still be interested in one simply for the possible supplementary material but for this disc’s presentation alone I give it a very high recommendation. One of the best looking black and white transfers I’ve yet come across.