The Breaking Point appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.37:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer gave us a very good reproduction of the film.
Sharpness appeared tight and distinctive most of the time. A smidgen of softness occurred, though I suspect these instances came from the source photography – some stock shots also came with problems. Nonetheless, definition was fine most of the time. No issues with shimmering or jagged edges occurred.
Despite the film’s advanced age, source flaws were non-existent outside of those occasional stock shots. As such, this was a clean presentation. A good layer of grain appeared, so I didn’t suspect significant noise reduction.
Contrast was strong, as the movie consistently maintained a nice silver tone. Blacks were deep and firm, while shadows were smooth and well-defined. Overall, this was a pleasing presentation.
While not in the same league as the picture, the LPCM monaural soundtrack of Point also worked well. Speech seemed reasonably accurate and distinct, with no issues related to intelligibility or edginess. Music came across as fairly bright and lively, though dynamic range seemed limited given the restrictions of the source.
Effects were similarly modest but they showed good clarity and accuracy within the confines of 67-year-old stems. This was a more than adequate auditory presentation for an older movie.
As we shift to supplements, we go to an interview with biographer/historian Alan K. Rode. In this 21-minute, 16-second piece, Rode discusses the career of director Michael Curtiz as well as aspects of the Breaking Point production. Rode offers such a good overview that I wish he’d done a full commentary.
Next comes On John Garfield, a 16-minute, 41-second reel with the actor’s daughter Julie. She covers her father’s life and career in this efficient interview.
A video essay entitled Fluid Style lasts nine minutes, 59 seconds and offers work from filmmakers Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos. The program looks at Curtiz’s cinematic approach and gives us an informative examination of the topic.
From a December 1962 episode of Today, Ernest Hemingway’s House goes for four minutes, 51 seconds. Shot after the author’s death, we get a tour of his artifacts in this interesting look behind the scenes.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we get a booklet. It gives us photos, credits and an essay from critic Stephanie Zacharek. The booklet concludes the set on a positive note.
With The Breaking Point, we find a mediocre adaptation of a Hemingway novel. While the movie remains consistently watchable, it fails to turn into anything especially memorable or meaningful. The Blu-ray presents pretty good picture and audio as well as a decent compilation of bonus materials. Point seems ordinary to me.