55 Days at Peking (1963)

55 Days at Peking has recently been re-released on [dvd/blu-ray], it was originally released in 1963 by Director Nicholas Ray. The feature was restored and remastered in 2013 at Pinewood Post Production by the restoration department using the Archive, Preservation and Restoration Facility.

The restoration team were working from the original 8 perf Super-Technirama 70® camera negative. The original English audio gets the lossless treatment with two options a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 2112 kbps and a 5.1 surround via a DTS-HD Master Audio English 3905 kbps.

The team scanned the footage on a pin registered Northlight scanner prior to the main digital restoration, spending approximately 300 manual restoration hours working on the restoration.

In a review by Gary Tooze, he commented:

“Originally we had a 6-Track (Westrex Recording System) so the Surround would be closest and it sounds fabulous with plenty of depth in the many aggressive scenes in the film. Separations are plentiful. The powerful score is by the iconic Dimitri Tiomkin and it sounds highly remarkable in the uncompressed rendering. There is a Dolby French DUB and optional French subtitles. All of the extras are in French (and there are many!) except we get about 20-minutes worth of interviews with Charlton Heston, Mrs. Heston, David Niven, and John Moore. Magnificent release - as good as it gets! This Blu-Ray has our highest recommendation!”

55 Days at Peking starred Charlton Heston, ‘Major Matt Lewis’, a tough-as-nails U.S. Marine in 1900 China. China is fragmented into feudal territories, controlled by warlords and concessions owned and operated by "foreign devils", the Chinese term for the great powers, such as Britain, France, Germany, Japan, and America, who are exploiting China for their gain.