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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Carol Reed
UK 1963

 

Over a decade after redefining the thriller with The Third Man, director Carol Reed returned to the genre with The Running Man. Reuniting with that film’s cinematographer Robert Krasker (BAFTA-nominated for his work here), Reed goes in the opposite direction visually, framing the twisty plot in sun-kissed widescreen colour.

Rex Black (Laurence Harvey, Walk On The Wild Side) has successfully faked his death in a plane crash and escaped to sunny Málaga under a new identity, waiting for his wife Stella (Lee Remick, Anatomy Of A Murder) to arrive with £50,000 of life insurance money. It’s the start of a blissful, trouble-free new life for the couple – until Stephen (Alan Bates, Gosford Park), the insurance agent in charge of investigating Rex’s death, suddenly arrives in town. Is he just holidaying in Spain, as he claims, or is he on assignment to foil Rex’s scheme?

Adapted by John Mortimer (later the creator of Rumpole of the Bailey) from the novel The Ballad of the Running Man by Shelley Smith, this underappreciated entry in Reed’s celebrated oeuvre makes its official worldwide home video premiere, complete with insightful new bonus features.

***

Based upon a novel by Shelley Smith, The Running Man opens at the memorial service for Rex Black (Laurence Harvey), the owner of a small air transport company who is believed to have drowned in a recent glider accident. It soon turns out, however, that Black is very much alive; he faked his death as a means of getting back at the insurance company who denied an earlier claim because he was one day late in making his payment. He has enlisted the cooperation of his wife Stella (Lee Remick) in this scheme.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 1963

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:44:14.706        
Video

2.39:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,522,737,970 bytes

Feature: 35,044,361,280 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.41 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
NFT interview:

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Isolated Score:

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

2.39:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 42,522,737,970 bytes

Feature: 35,044,361,280 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.41 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio commentary by Peter William Evans, author of British Film-Makers: Carol Reed
On The Trail Of The Running Man, all-new featurette with crew members such as script supervisor Angela Allen and assistant director Kits Browning (24:41)
Lee Remick at the National Film Theatre, an audio-only recording of the actor's appearance at the NFT in 1970
Isolated music and effects track
Image gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring original artwork
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Barry Forshaw


Blu-ray Release Date:
June 17th, 2019
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 13

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Arrow Blu-ray (June 2019): Arrow have transferred Carol Reed's The Running Man to Blu-ray. It's on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. The image looks fine but has frequent speckles and some frame-specific damage (see capture samples at bottom.) The 1080P shows texture, depth, realistic colors and looks splendid in-motion.

NOTE: We have added 24 more large resolution Indicator Blu-ray captures for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE.

On their Blu-ray, Arrow use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) in the original English language with some Spanish. Dialogue is audible and consistent and there is a subtle original score (also included as an isolated option) by William Alwyn (So Evil My Love, Burn, Witch Burn, Odd Man Out, On Approval, A Night to Remember and The Fallen Idol) that runs beside the film heightening suspense. It was the composer's last film. Arrow offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

Arrow add an audio commentary by Peter William Evans, author of British Film-Makers: Carol Reed. It is informative, a bit dry but revealing in regards to the director and extraneous cast of The Running Man. On The Trail Of The Running Man is an all-new 25-minute featurette recent interviews with crew including Kits Browning, Maurice Landsberger and Tony Rimmington recalling the production, locations (Gibraltar, and Andalucía in Spain), Remick's 'bedroom eyes', cast conflicts etc. Also accessible if Lee Remick at the National Film Theatre, an audio recording of Lee Remick being interviewed about her career part of the John Player Lecture Series at the National Film Theatre, London, October 25th 1970. It has weak-ish sound quality is as per the original archive materials. It is courtesy of the British Film Institute. Arrow have included the score as an isolated option and the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original artwork. For the first-pressings there is an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Barry Forshaw.

Carol Reed's The Running Man often reminded me of Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley with switched identities, the European Riviera-like locations, fraud etc.. It's a brilliantly developed thriller by Reed and the Blu-ray shows some beautiful sequences filmed by Robert Krasker (The Third Man, Brief Encounter, El Cid, Trapeze, Odd Man Out etc.) There is a ton of value here and we can strongly recommend!

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


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Distribution Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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