Welcome back fellow geeks, Blu-ray collectors and movie buffs! In this edition of the Better than Streaming series, we take a look at the upcoming 4K Blu-ray release of the 1942 classic film Casablanca (starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid) which is set for November 8, 2022. Take note that this year marks the 80th anniversary of Casablanca which itself is an iconic American film, won the Academy Award for Best Picture, became memorable for movie quotes, its theme song and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
As I am writing this, Casablanca 4K Blu-ray still has not been listed for pre-order at Amazon.com but you can bet that its November 8 release date is definitive. According to the Blu-ray.com announcement, Casablanca 4K Blu-ray comes with the expected 4K restoration described as having achieved “the richest, most dynamic image possible, rendering the most romantic movie of all time the most beautiful it’s ever been.” For the 4K Blu-ray purists reading this, this upcoming 4K Blu-ray release has native 4K visuals confirmed already!
For the details of Casablanca 4K Blu-ray, posted below are technical stuff sourced from its Blu-ray.com page.
Codec: HEVC / H.265
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: Dolby Digital Mono
Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono
Italian: Dolby Digital Mono
Portuguese: Dolby Digital Mono
Japanese: Dolby Digital Mono
Subtitles – English SDH, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish.
4K Ultra HD
Two-disc set (1 BD-66, 1 BD-50)
Digital – Digital 4K, Movies Anywhere
Packaging – Slipcover in original pressing
Playback – 4K Blu-ray: Region free, 2K Blu-ray: Region A
In the most recent update of Blu-ray.com, more details about Casablanca 4K Blu-ray were posted. Posted below is an excerpt. Some parts in boldface…
The new Casablanca 4K Blu-ray image was restored and remastered from a 2022 4K 16bit film scan of the best-surviving nitrate film elements. The 4K-scanned digital images went through an extensive digital restoration process to clean and repair the picture for an unprecedented and pristine ultra-high-resolution presentation. The restored images were then graded in High Dynamic Range for today’s premium 4K display experience, providing the highest fidelity in image contrast and detail retention. This work was meticulously handled by Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging. The original theatrical mono audio has also been newly restored as well, providing a richer and broader frequency response than previously possible.
Special Features and Technical Specs:
- BRAND NEW 4K 16-BIT RESTORATION OF THE FILM (2022)
- NEWLY RESTORED ORIGINAL MONO TRACK (2022)
- HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
- Commentary by Roger Ebert
- Commentary by Rudy Behlmer
- Introduction by Lauren Bacall
- Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart (1988 PBS special)
- Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You’ve Never Heard Of
- Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic
- You Must Remember This: A Tribute to Casablanca (1992 TEC documentary)
- As Time Goes By: The Children Remember
- Deleted Scenes
- Who Holds Tomorrow? (1955 “Casablanca” TV episode)
- Carrotblanca (1955 WB Cartoon)
- Scoring Stage Sessions (audio only)
- Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater Radio Broadcast – 4/26/43 (audio only)
- Vox Pop Radio Broadcast – 11/19/47 (audio only)
- Warner Night at the Movies
- Now, Voyager trailer
- Vaudeville Days (1942 WB short)
- The Bird Came C.O.D. (1942 WB cartoon)
- The Squawkin’ Hawk (1942 WB cartoon)
- The Dover Boys at Pimento University (1942 WB cartoon)
I personally am interested in this upcoming 4K Blu-ray release which is heavily loads with lots of features that will appeal to both Casablanca fans and other movie buffs. It has been a very long time since I last saw Casablanca during my college days. Sometimes, I accidentally saw parts of it played when I switched channels on cable TV. Casablanca 4K Blu-ray should deliver the promised improved visuals, sounds and immersion that streaming simply cannot achieve.
For the newcomers reading this, if you want the best home entertainment with Casablanca and if you are determined to discover its story, performances and memorable moments for the first time ever in your lives, I urge you all to avoid watching Casablanca reaction videos as well as spoileriffic video reviews of the movie on YouTube until you get Casablanca 4K Blu-ray. No offense to the YouTubers who make reaction videos and the spoileriffic video reviews but I say that Casablanca needs to be preserved for the movie-loving people who are about to see it for the first time ever.
Watch out for Casablanca 4K Blu-ray on November 8, 2022.
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