I recently got hold of a high definition copy of DEMETRIUS & THE GLADIATORS (1954) starring Victor Mature, Susan Hayward, Jay Robinson and a host of other actors. The copy was impressive in that I could finally see details, like faces in a crowd, that were hard to see in previous releases. The problem with it was the image was truly murky or grubby looking, and the audio was not that good. So I decided to purchase an actual release of the movie. The only official Blu-ray release for North America is Out-OF-Print (OOP). Only 3000 copies were printed. And now that release is being sold for big bucks online. Since I wasn’t about to spend $200 on its Blu-ray edition, I decided to see if there were any other official releases in other languages. Mind you, I always prefer buying the version released for the NA market but since it was OOP, the only option was one from Europe. Well, I got hold of a Spanish Blu-ray from an eBayer in Switzerland, for only 5 euros. I got it today and the murky, grubby image with the poor audio is present as well. This tells me one master copy was made for all markets and they got it from the same source. Mind you, I don’t know if the US Blu-ray is as poor as the HD copy I got or this Spanish Blu-ray but both are identical, so I presume the US copy is the same. The Blu-ray has multiple languages available, including English. At 5 euros, I won’t complain too much though.

Images below can be made bigger if opened in new window.

The image is terrible. Too dark or too much contrast going on here.

The arena scenes are spectacular, even if the image is grubby.

Faces of extras are now visible or clearer, which is a plus if one is looking to spot a familiar face.

Spectacular scenes like this one really shine in HD. Even if the image is grubby and grainy, one can really sense the scope here.

The arrow points to a hair stuck at the bottom of the image. The hair is there for the duration of the scene. This tells me this print is an old print and they simply up-converted it.

5 thoughts on “DEMETRIUS & THE GLADIATORS Blu-ray”

  1. I was very disappointed in the Twilight Time Blu-ray of Demetrius, so much so that I decided to keep my standard def DVD. The Spanish Blu-ray is the same because most of
    the Spanish Blu-rays for these films are bootlegged from the U.S. discs. I can only assume that the existing elements for Demetrius are in poor shape.

  2. Thanks for the info. The Twilight Time Blu-ray goes for $160.00 on eBay. The Spanish Blu-ray is legit though, not a bootleg. It’s so odd since THE ROBE in HD is so beautiful.

    1. If you check the box for the Spanish Blu-ray of Demetrius there is no Fox logo or mention of Fox so it is a bootleg. You can get just about anything on Blu-ray in Spain but a great majority of the titles are not legit releases. Since they are made off the Blu-rays that are legit they usually look just like the source. I have a few of these myself. They are the only alternative when the originals go out-of-print and cost a fortune.

  3. Way back some time ago I managed to download a Twilight time version. It had sync issues, but I attribute that to a bad rip when initially done… but to further clarify things for you, I have included a screencap. This uncompressed and doesn’t appear to be a re-encoded version (original file is roughly 20gb.) I can’t tell based on your screencaps if the image is sharper since your images have been resized smaller and likely compressed from the original. Based on the contrast and colors though. It’s probably the exact same transfer.

  4. James, yes, it’s the same transfer. The quality of the image of the Twilight Time version, which goes for a steep price on eBay and Amazon, is disappointing. It’s weird that Fox would let such an inadequate print be made available. Thanks for the screen cap and the link to the website.

    Gary, yes, there’s no Fox logo on the packaging. I see that it’s a bootleg but I didn’t pay much for it so it’s no big deal. But this bootleg was taken from the Twilight Time copy and it’s as murky as that one. At least I didn’t pay $60 to $160 for it. lol!

    What a sad state of affairs for that title.

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