3D Blu-ray Review “Dragonfly Squadron”

dragonflyStarring: John Hodiak, Barbara Britton, Chuck Connors, Bruce Bennett, Fess Parker
Director: Lesley Selander
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Olive Films
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Run Time: 83 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
3D: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1/2 out of 5 stars

When it comes to 50’s 3D films, I am always curious to see them. “Dragonfly Squadron” was actually never released in 3D ever in theaters. The film was completed in late ’53 and released early ’54 after the decline of the format, so it ended up only being released in 2D.  So this Blu-ray makes the first time that this film is ever available in stereoscopic 3-D, as originally intended, due to the wonderful work done by the 3-D Film Archive team. You have to give props to Olive Films for taking on this huge task. If you are a fan of this film, this is a must own.

Official Premise: In 1950, as the Korean peninsula is drawn closer to war, a stern Air Force Major (John Hodiak), is assigned to train a squadron of South Korean pilots, making them combat-ready in half the usual time. At the air base at Kongju, Brady comes face to face with a former flame (Barbara Britton), the wife of an army medical officer (Bruce Bennett). When enemy forces invade, most of the American personnel are evacuated, but Brady remains behind with the barely-trained South Korean troops, and bravely diverts the Russian-backed North Korean army.

The Blu-ray contains both the 3D and 2D versions on a single disc. The 1080p transfers, presented in 1.66:1, certainly look their age and not presented fullish polished and crystal clear, especially during the stock footage scenes. There is grain throughout but overall, it doesn’t overpower the viewing experience. The DTS-HD Master Audio Mono also isn’t perfect but it also sounds quite impressive with sound effects like the soaring plane and bombs exploding. The only special feature here included is a theatrical trailer. I would have loved to see featurettes on the film’s restoration. This is a real missed opportunity.

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