Flamingo Road appears in an aspect ratio of 1.37:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. For the most part, the image worked well.
Sharpness usually seemed positive. The movie occasionally went with “soft focus” and other techniques in a failed attempt to hide Crawford’s age. Despite these exceptions, most of the movie delivered accurate visuals.
No issues with jagged edges or shimmering marred the presentation. Edge haloes failed to appear, and the film came with a nice layer of grain.
Source flaws were totally absent. This became a clean image, and with natural grain, I saw no signs of egregious noise reduction.
Contrast succeeded, blacks were dark and firm, and shadows seemed fairly good. Despite the sporadic softness, I felt pleased with this appealing image.
We got a perfectly adequate DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack for Road. Like most films of the era, speech sounded somewhat thin, but the lines always remained easily intelligible, and they lacked edginess.
Effects were also a bit trebly and without much range, but they seemed fairly concise and didn’t suffer from significant distortion. The score fit in with the rest of the audio, as the music felt reasonably lively. This turned into a more than acceptable mix for a 74-year-old movie.
When we move to extras, an animated short from 1949 called Curtain Razor runs seven minutes, 17 seconds. Porky Pig acts as a talent scout in this amusing short.
Crawford at Warner spans 12 minutes, nine seconds and offers notes from film historians Richard Barrios, Molly Haskell, and Jeanine Basinger, author Bob Thomas, and daughter Christina Crawford.
As implied by the title, the featurette looks at actor Joan Crawford’s time at Warner Bros. in the 1940s. It gives us a good overview.
A Radio Adaptation of Flamingo Road lasts 23 minutes, 38 seconds. It brings back Joan Crawford and David Brian from the film’s cast.
Given its brevity, obviously this version of the story chops off a lot of the material from the movie. This doesn’t necessarily seem like a bad thing, though, so this turns into an interesting rendition of the tale.
In addition to the movie’s trailer, we end with Breakdown of 1949. This blooper reel occupies 10 minutes, 25 seconds.
It mixes outtakes from a few different WB films. I don’t normally like compilations such as this, but the sight of legends like Gary Cooper and Bette Davis as they goof around makes the piece enjoyable.
A mix of romance, melodrama and thriller, Flamingo Road sporadically kicks to life, mainly when it features the ever-compelling Sydney Greenstreet. However, the end result sputters too often and feels less coherent than it needs to be. The Blu-ray comes with generally positive picture and audio as well as a mix of bonus materials. Expect a spotty tale here.