(aka 'End as a Man')
Legendary actor Ben Gazzara made his feature film debut in The Strange One, recreating his Broadway role in Calder Willingham's gripping "End as a Man." Gazzara stars as Cadet Sgt. Jocko DeParis, a sadomasochistic bully in a Southern military academy who uses his magnetism and the school's own military code to manipulate his fellow cadets and officers. When he engineers the expulsion of a hated rival, his reign of terror begins to unravel. The film features a solid cast drawn from The Actor's Studio in New York, including Pat Hingle, Mark Richman, George Peppard (also in his film debut) and Larry Gates, and is directed by Jack Garfein and scripted by Willingham, based on his novel. Censored in its original theatrical release for its homosexual undertones, The Strange One is presented restored and uncut for the first time on DVD.
Theatrical Release: April 12th, 1957
DVD Review: Sony Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Sony Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 4.29 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
|Subtitles||English, French, None|
Gazzara Remembers The Strange One (10:37)
The Sony single-layered DVD is somewhat disappointing with the image looking quite poor - muddy contrast and softer than one might have anticipated. There are plenty of digital artifacts - probably due to the exceedingly low bitrate. The film is very dark in low-lit scenes and I see no effort to artificially improve the appearance. Overall, it is quite weak visually... but in the end - clean of damage and watchable.
NOTE: IMDb has this as a 1.37 ratio film - but I don't know if this is accurate. This DVD is 16X9 enhanced in 1.85 - which looks correct for composition.
Audio is unremarkable and optional subtitles are included. The only extra has an aged Gazzara reflecting back on the production for just over 10-minutes. Always frank, he is quite interesting to listen to to. There are also some previews of unrelated Sony films.
The film carries some viable historical relevance being the first work directed by and starring members exclusively from New York's Actor’s Studio. The Strange One is a totally unique and memorable expression - very much worth seeing. It's a shame the DVD transfer quality is sub-standard but on the basis of the film, extra feature and price - it is recommended!