- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Video Codec: VC-1
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English TrueHD 1.0, French, German, and Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0
- Subtitles: English SDH, Danish, Finnish, French, German SDH, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: G
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Warner Home Video
- Release Date: January 5, 2010
- List Price: $28.99[amazon-product align=”right”]B002OQZEL8[/amazon-product]
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Score one for the hawks in John Wayne’s 1968 film The Green Berets about Vietnam. One of the earliest films to even tackle the subject, The Duke squarely fell on the right-wing side of the war agenda and wanted to counteract the anti-war, and what he saw as “anti-American,” protests against the U.S. being in Vietnam. Sit down to watch The Green Berets and one will not be treated to a rock and roll acid trip of drugs a psychedelia that has become so common from the likes of Oliver Stone and others in relation to the war, but, rather, one will be treated to disciplined veteran soldiers on the front line and a host of reasons why the war in Southeast Asia was a righteous one, whether you agree or not.
Wayne’s film has often been called into question for its accuracy because of these reasons, but it is no more or no less accurate than some of the films that fall to the other side of the debate. For its time, and for the period it depicts, The Green Berets was actually quite accurate in its depiction of the highly skilled and disciplined Green Berets, who were not likely to be drug using lay bouts in 1968.
The story is a theme that would become familiar to Vietnam films throughout the years, as a group of soldiers travel into the untamed wilderness on a dangerous mission with a skeptical reporter in their midst whose eyes are open to the tragedies and atrocities on both sides of the war. Wayne puts on a typically performance and is well supported by David Janssen and Jim Hutton.
The Green Berets has been cleaned up nicely for this Blu-ray release yet still retains some film grain for a film-like quality in this 2.35:1 VC-1 1080p/24 transfer from Warner. Color reproduction is solid, black levels are deep with strong shadow detail and flesh tones are accurate. The overall presentation is rather consistent for such an older catalogue release.
Purists will rejoice that The Green Berets has been provided with its original English monaural soundtrack in a true 1.0 configuration and it appears here encoded to a Dolby TrueHD lossless soundtrack. Despite some early signs of clipping, it is perfectly adequate at conveying the film’s dialogue cleanly and fully and it even sounds beefy enough when the explosions start during some of the battle scenes. If your center channel is up to it, you won’t be disappointed.
Supplements for The Green Berets are thin and the release comes only with a brief archival promotional making of feature on John Wayne’s production of the film entitled The Moviemakers: The Making of The Green Berets (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:07.11) and the original theatrical trailer (1.78:1; 480i/60).
The Definitive Word
This classic war film may not be to everyone’s liking, but such is the nature of war. More politics than violence take center stage in The Green Berets, but John Wayne fans are sure to enjoy the solid effort put forth by Warner to bring this one to high definition.