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Home Of The Brave (Blu-ray Review)

Home Of The Brave THUMBOlive Films will release Home Of The Brave on Blu-ray May 13 in celebration of Memorial Day.  No, this isn’t that terrible movie with 50 Cent, Jessica Biel and Samuel L Jackson from 2006.  Woof, was that bad.  No, this is the Home Of The Brave from 1949.  As it stands, there are actually four feature films with the title Home Of The Brave.  This one deals with some racial issues during that of World War II.  The one bit of interesting that it had from me going in (I’d never seen the film before) was getting to see that of a young Lloyd Bridges.  He’s an actor I’m sure our younger readers see the name and go “who”?

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Film 

Home Of The Brave primarily tasks itself with being told through the flashbacks/memory of one Peter Moss, a black soldier in the war who comes back from a special mission with an unexplained paralysis.  He talks with his psychiatrist through the events, trying to discover what made him lose his ability to use his legs.  The story tells one of some discrimination and trying escaped a botched reconnaissance mission.  He is wrought with guilt over the death of his friend Finch during the mission.  Finch is captured by the Japanese, but when they are able to rescue him its too late.

 I was a little confused watching Home Of The Brave as to what the ultimate message of the film was.  I thought it was a film tackling some discrimination in the military.  President Truman had signed an order to have the United States military full integrated in 1949 and I thought this film was presenting some of the issues that may have been thought to come along with that integration.  While the film does seem to be opening up and focusing on that ideal and hitting it pretty good, I feel like film’s final result however ends up being something along the lines on “too bad, you big baby, its gonna happen, suck it up and deal with it”.  Which if it is that, is pretty crummy and disappointing as it feels disjointed with what the film set up.  I don’t know if that’s what the film is trying to convey, but its at least what I kind of took from it.

One of the most interesting aspects of this film is its storytelling convention.  It mainly revolves around events that had already happened and us learning how they got there through flashback.  What’s amused me in this regard is that it predates Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon by a full year.  Rashomon is the film that ultimately gets the credit for capitalizing on this storytelling device and influencing all of cinema with it.  I can’t help but see those same threads being woven here.  Just some food for thought.

While it may be a bit dated and on the nose with its message, I still found Home Of The Brave to be a very good drama steeped in a bit of military drama.  The film hits upon three of the biggest film genres of its era with the war film, psychological drama and films displaying the hardships of black people.  For its time, its a unique piece of cinema for its time and a good twist on the popular war film of the 1940s.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1:33.1

Clarity/Detail: This is very old film, and for its age, it looks terrific.  Texture is visible.  Also skin details as well as surfaces look very clean and distinct.

Depth: The depth in the picture on this one is rather average.  Its not exactly flat.  I’m sure this is the best its ever appeared.

Black Levels: Blacks are rich and help to create a more defined image.

Color Reproduction: N/A

Flesh Tones: N/A

Noise/Artifacts:  There’s plenty of grain, film scratches and specs at times in the print.

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Audio 

Audio Format(s):  English Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: N/A

Dynamics:  This a light mono track that just sort of does the trick.  All the sounds, score and dialogue is distinct and clean.

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is clean a crisp.  A little bit of analog hissing from the source is audible but not distracting at all.

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Extras 

Hey, its comes in a case and has cover art though, no?

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Summary 

Olive Films once again stiffs a release with no bonus features.  Home Of The Brave is a solid wartime psychological drama that may be a bit on the nose with its racial dealings, but likely worked like gangbusters during its own modern times.  Its given a solid presentation, leaving the print basically to breathe as is.  This is something for fans of the film or collectors.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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