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DVD-R Review

DVD-R review by Barrie Maxwell of The Digital Bits

The Journey (DVD-R)

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The Journey
1959 (2012) - MGM (Warner Archive)
Released on MOD DVD-R on June 5th, 2012

Dolby Digital

Film Rating: A-
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B+/B/C-

The Journey is a 1959 MGM production directed and produced by director Anatole Litvak. Its story is set during the time of the Soviet occupation of Budapest in the 1956 Hungarian uprising and concerns a group of international refugees attempting to flee the country. In their way is the smooth-talking Soviet Major Surov (Yul Brynner) who finds himself drawn to one of the refugees, Lady Diana Ashmore (Deborah Kerr). Diana's lover Paul Kedes (Jason Robards Jr.) is one complication, forced to hide his true identity lest he jeopardize the safety of the rest of the refugees.

The film is given a reasonable sense of authenticity by exterior location filming between Budapest and the Austro-Hungarian border. Some interiors were done at the Wien Film Studios in Vienna. The result is a generally absorbing and fairly glossily mounted adventure whose plot conflicts between Major Surov and Diana were made all the more interesting by seeing the two stars reunited for the first time since their film work in 1956's The King and I. Also among the generally fine cast are Robert Morley, E.G. Marshal, Anouk Aimee, and a young Ronny Howard. The film really connects on the somewhat claustrophic European atmosphere of the Cold War era of the late 1950s in which it was made and set.

Director Anatole Litvak, on the basis of this work, is worthy of further attention to a career of some variety and promise fulfilled.

The Warner Archive MOD release of The Journey provides a 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer that is fairy sharp and reasonably clean looking, given the lack of any substantial remastering. The mono sound is clear and free of distortion. The only supplement is the theatrical trailer. Recommended.

Barrie Maxwell

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