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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Joseph Losey
UK 1963

 

A stunning new 4K restoration of Joseph Loseys 1963 masterpiece The Servant. Adapted from Robin Maugham's short story, The Servant marked the first of three collaborations between Joseph Losey and celebrated playwright Harold Pinter. Nominated for five BAFTA 's and winning three, including best actor for Dirk Bogarde and Best Cinematography for Douglas Slocombe, The Servant is notable for its ambitious technique and its willingness to engage with issues that were, at the time, never seen in British cinema.

Experienced manservant Barrett (Dirk Bogarde) starts working for foppish aristocrat Tony (James Fox) in his smart new townhouse. Much to the annoyance of Tony's girlfriend (Wendy Craig), Barrett slowly initiates himself into the house and begins to manipulate his master.

***

Wealthy wastrel James Fox hires insouciant cockney Dirk Bogarde as a valet. No sooner has he donned his working clothes than Bogarde begins exercising a subtle but insidious control over his master. Suggesting that the house could use a little fixing up, Bogarde convinces Fox to spend a whopping amount of money on it. But this is just a warm-up session for Bogarde, who by mid-film is calling all the shots in the Fox household, all the while pretending to keep his place. Fox's fiance Wendy Craig sees through Bogarde's game. Bogarde then brings his own lady friend Sarah Miles into the house. At Bogarde's insistence, Miles seduces Fox, thereby loosening Craig's hold on the confused young man. And so it goes. The homosexual subtext of The Servant disturbed some of the more hidebound critics of 1963; Harold Pinter based his cryptic screenplay on a novel by Robin Maugham.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 3rd, 1963 (Venice Film Festival)

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Studio Canal - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Simultaneously released on Blu-ray:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Studio Canal - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 1:55:37.083         
Video

1.66:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 98,097,772,180 bytes

Feature: 47,654,100,480 bytes

Video Bitrate: 48.97 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

1.66:1 / 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,679,867,629 bytes

Feature: 24,051,545,472 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 22.99 Mbps

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Bitrate 4K Ultra HD:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 985 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 985 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs:

DTS-HD Master Audio German 1044 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1044 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1025 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1025 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English, German, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Studio Canal

 

1.66:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 98,097,772,180 bytes

Feature: 47,654,100,480 bytes

Video Bitrate: 48.97 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

Feature in both 1:66 and 1:77 aspect ratios

 

Feature:

Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Feature in both 1:66 and 1:77 aspect ratios

 

Extras:

Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

NEW: Locations featurette with Adam Scovell (15:01)
NEW: Video essay with Film Historian Matthew Sweet and Film Critic Phuong Le (40:43)
Trailer (3:35)
Stills Gallery
Interview with Wendy Craig (5:39)
Interview with Sarah Miles (10:44)
Interview with Stephen Woolley (11:01)
Harry Burton on Harold Pinter (13:34)
John Coldstream on Dirk Bogarde (19:24)
Audio Interview with Douglas Slocombe conducted by Matthew Sweet (19:18)
Joseph Losey & Adolphus Mekas at the New York Film Festival in 1963 (27:59)
Harold Pinter Tempo Interview (31:35)
Joseph Losey Talks About The Servant (5:56)
James Fox Interviewed by Richard Ayoade (47:20)
64 page booklet with essays by Peter Bradshaw and Anna Smith
Artcards


4K Ultra HD Release Date:  September 20th, 2021
Custom Digipak
4K Ultra HD Case (see below)

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Studio Canal 4K UHD (July 2021): Studio Canal's have released Joseph Losey's 1963 film The Servant to 4K UHD. It is in HDR10. It has the feature in both 1:66 and 1:77 aspect ratios with the same high bitrates and 3840 X 2160 resolution. The image improves in the anticipated areas - contrast - black levels are rich and deeper plus there are fine, consistent grain textures present. This 4K restoration is flawless exporting an incredibly true-image of the film that is a demonstrative improvement over the past digital editions - DVD and Blu-ray.

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

NOTE: 66 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages to date: Anatomy of a Murder (software uniformly simulated HDR), Taxi Driver  (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Wolf Man (1941) (software uniformly simulated HDR), Frankenstein (1931) (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Deep Red (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Misery (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Silence of the Lambs (software uniformly simulated HDR), John Carpenter's "The Thing" (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Cat' o'Nine Tails (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (software uniformly simulated HDR), Perdita Durango (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Django (software uniformly simulated HDR) Fanny Lye Deliver'd (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, (NO HDR applied to disc),  Rollerball (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Chernobyl  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Daughters of Darkness (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vigilante (software uniformly simulated HDR), Tremors (software uniformly simulated HDR), Cinema Paradiso (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bourne Legacy (software uniformly simulated HDR), Full Metal Jacket (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Psycho (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Birds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Rear Window (software uniformly simulated HDR), Vertigo (software uniformly simulated HDR) Spartacus (software uniformly simulated HDR), Jaws (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Invisible Man, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucio Fulci's 1979 Zombie  (software uniformly simulated HDR),, 2004's Van Helsining (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Shallows (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bridge on the River Kwai (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Deer Hunter (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Elephant Man (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Quiet Place (software uniformly simulated HDR), Easy Rider (software uniformly simulated HDR), Suspiria (software uniformly simulated HDR), Pan's Labyrinth (software uniformly simulated HDR) The Wizard of Oz, (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Shining, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Batman Returns (software uniformly simulated HDR), Don't Look Now (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Killed Killed and then The Bigfoot  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bram Stoker's Dracula (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucy (software uniformly simulated HDR), They Live (software uniformly simulated HDR), Shutter Island (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Matrix (software uniformly simulated HDR), Alien (software uniformly simulated HDR), Toy Story (software uniformly simulated HDR),  A Few Good Men (software uniformly simulated HDR),  2001: A Space Odyssey (HDR caps udated), Schindler's List (simulated HDR), The Neon Demon (No HDR), Dawn of the Dead (No HDR), Saving Private Ryan (simulated HDR and 'raw' captures), Suspiria (No HDR), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (No HDR), The Big Lebowski, and I Am Legend (simulated and 'raw' HDR captures).

On their 4K UHD, Studio Canal offer a 24-bit DTS-HD Master dual-mono track in the original English language with similar DUB options in French and German.  This is a bump from Studio Canal's own 2013 BD that had a 16-bit audio transfer. The included feature Blu-ray also has 24-bit DTS-HD Master transfers for English, German and French. It is as clean as the video exporting the jazzy score by John Dankworth (The Criminal, Return From the Ashes, The Magus, 10 Rillington Place, Sands of the Kalahari, The Last Grenade, Losey's Accident among his credits) including Cleo Laine singing All Gone. Studio Canal add optional English, French and German subtitle options on the Region FREE 4K UHD disc with similar subtitles and DUBs on their included two Region 'B' Blu-rays produced in 2021.

There are no extras on the 4K UHD disc or the the second disc feature Blu-ray, filling each respective disc with two versions of the film - 1.66:1 and 1.77:1. Studio Canal do add a third Blu-rays with extras.

These supplements repeat the 3-hours of extras - mostly in the form of interviews with principals or experts on Pinter or Losey found on their 2013 Blu-ray (reviewed HERE.) They also add a new 'locations featurette' with Adam Scovell running 1/4 hour showing the past and present film locations in London. Surprising to see so much is the same. I really enjoyed the 40-minute video essay with film historian Matthew Sweet and film critic Phuong Le. It is entitled "Dirkology' and discusses Dirk Bogarde and The Servant. I found it revealing with keen analysis. The packaged also has a 64 page booklet with photos and essays by Peter Bradshaw and Anna Smith and four Artcards (see image above.)

Studio Canal's
4K UHD release of Joseph Losey's masterful The Servant, does raise two questions; the necessity for the 1.77:1 version doesn't seem valid. It takes up unnecessary space that could have been used for both the 4K UHD and Blu-ray 1.66:1 transfers. The following of The Servant are far more likely to be purists opting for the accurate aspect ratio. I can't see a reason for the inclusion of the 1.77:1 version. Also this work screams out for a commentary. I'd love to hear thoughts from the likes of an Adrian Martin etc. who could examine details of the complex narrative and Losey's intentions. That aside, this is still an amazing release and the director's following, nay cinephiles in general, will want this 4K UHD presentation of such a deeply layered and unique piece of 60's cinema. The fact that it remains relevant, and still in the conversation, today is a testament to its resiliency - as is much of Losey's auteurist oeuvre. Many rank The Servant as his best. Studio Canal's 4K UHD is warmly recommended.

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY and 4K UHD CAPTURE TO SEE IN FULL RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample - Studio Canal - Region FREE - 4K UHD

 

 


1) Studio Canal - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Studio Canal - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Studio Canal - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 

 


1) Studio Canal - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Studio Canal - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 

 


1) Studio Canal - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Studio Canal - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Studio Canal - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Studio Canal - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM

 


 

More full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K Ultra HD Captures for Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Simultaneously released on Blu-ray:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Studio Canal - Region FREE - 4K UHD


 


 

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