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(aka 'Der schwarze Panther' or 'Ein Mann stellt eine Falle' or 'G')

Directed by Ken Hughes
U
K / West Germany 1974

 

Hollywood legend and Academy Award winner James Coburn stars as Prof. Robert Elliot, a former secret agent given the job opportunity of a lifetime: adviser to the President of the United States. However, he has some skeletons in his closet that need eliminating, namely the four people aware of his shady past. Elliot hatches a diabolical plot to get rid of his targets in one night, with no ties leading back to him...but will his plan work, or will an unexpected twist spoil everything? Also starring Academy Award-winning actress Lee Grant (SHAMPOO) and written by Jonathan Lynn (CLUE, MY COUSIN VINNY), THE INTERNECINE PROJECT is a nerve-shattering thriller that will grip you in suspense until the unpredictable surprise ending!.

****

An American professor of economics (Coburn) gets offered a top level advisory job in Washington, on condition that he eliminates four people in London who operate his European industrial espionage network. Once under way, The Internecine Project turns into a straightforward, very enjoyable if somewhat implausible murder story. Rather than despatch his victims himself, Coburn sets them to kill each other by orchestrating their motives and their moves. Despite the plot turning around a succession of calls from conveniently empty public phone boxes (all in working order), and the presence of a stereotype female journalist acting as Coburn's conscience, the film gains in weight thanks to its topical implications. All in all, a neat and unpretentious thriller that offers more food for thought than most such unashamedly commercial movies.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 24th, 1974

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DVD Review: Scorpion Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Scorpion Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:28:54
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.37 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.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Scorpion Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Decoding the Project: on camera interview with writer Jonathan Lynn (29:15)
• Reflections with star Lee Grant (2:42)
• Audio review with Lisa Coburn daughter of James Coburn
• Original trailer (1:41)

DVD Release Date: February 23rd, 2010

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

Despite being advertised as "Brand new master in HiDef from the original InterPositive" - this progressive, dual-layered, anamorphic transfer doesn't look especially strong. Noise seems more prevalent than the clunky grain and colors are loose with a chroma effect being exhibited and many speckles are evident. On the positive It is fairly consistent and I'll assume it betters the existing 2005 Fremantkle UK edition (that we don't have to compare). The softness is not particularly distracting but I'll wager it looked quite crisper, and certainly cleaner, theatrically - over 35 years ago.

The 2.0 channel audio supports the track but is otherwise unremarkable. No subtitles are offered.

There are some good extras like the half-hour "Decoding the Project" an on camera interview with writer Jonathan Lynn. There is also a ,less than 3-minutes, with Lee Grant and an audio review with Lisa Coburn daughter of James Coburn. There is an original trailer and previews of other Scorpion Releasing titles.

This is a curious film that seemed ahead of its time. Certainly it is memorable and a decent thriller. Coburn is great as is Lee Grant. It's been relatively hidden (less than 200 votes on IMDb) but deserves a revisit. There is something under the surface that the narrative never fully explores but has some 70's nostalgia going for it. Some may be quite keen to see it just don't expect a lot from the A/V.   

Gary W. Tooze

 



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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Scorpion Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC



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