Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves Blu-ray Review
‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ is brought to Blu-ray with a particularly good looking 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer framed in its original 1.37:1 aspect ratio.
The film looks superb here as a great deal of care has been taken with the transfer which results in a very clean looking image with only the very occasional sparkly to catch the critical eye. I was reminded of the look of the Errol Flynn ‘Robin Hood’ in terms of the picture quality, though no doubt someone with adenoidal tendencies will claim that it couldn’t possibly be so good. Skin tones have that rosy ‘Technicolor’ look while the pinks and reds of the costumes and sets are vibrant. In the night shots we are treated to velvety blacks and throughout the contrast is excellent. The image has a sharpness that can’t be faulted (eyes are pin sharp) and there is a striking amount of detail to behold such as in the texture of ornate costumes. There is a very thin veil of grain which only really shows up in shots of the sky, but with three strip you had three negatives to combine resulting in a bit of grain. This is a fair reflection of the source material and nothing to spoil the view. Some shots have such a clarity and depth that you feel you could almost step into a palace or reach out and touch someone on the shoulder. Despite the sharpness, there’s no edge enhancement to offend the eye. This is one very good looking picture.
The audio on ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ comes in a DTS-HD MA 2.0 track, which has the original mono duplicated on the left and right tracks. Obviously, the sound is of its time but there’s no hiss, snap, crackle or pop to offend the ears so a fair amount of cleanup must have taken place to make the 75 year old original sound so good. Dialogue is generally clear throughout and does not have to fight with the music or effects to be heard. It’s a functional track which is good despite its age.
Isolated Music & Effects Track
When a movie is made, the music and effects are sub mixed together on to one track with dialogue being kept separate on another, to facilitate foreign language versions.
The dubbing mixer then uses the M&E track with the relevant language track to produce a final mix for each country.
What we have here is the discrete M&E track which allows us to enjoy the music without interference from the dialogue.
‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ comes to Region free Blu-ray with an excellent 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer framed in its original 1.37:1 aspect ratio.
The three strip Technicolor picture looks superb with rosy skin tones as well as sumptuous reds and pinks used in the costumes and sets. Deep blacks in the night shots add richness and detail is amazing.
The audio comes in a DTS-HD MA 2.0 mix carrying the original mono which has had a fair amount of cleanup applied to remove any age related problems
The only extra is an isolated Music & Effects track which will please some.
However, it’s the movie that we all want and this sand and sandal Arabian adventure is a real romp starring the lovely Maria Montez, Jon Hall and Turhan Bey from a time when audiences wanted colourful adventure to take them away from the grim grey reality of World War II. A must buy for every serious film collector.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £17.99
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