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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Jack Smight
USA 1973

 

Scripted by Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, this is not exactly a faithful rendering of Mary Shelley's novel, although it deserves full marks for using the magnificent Arctic ending so long ignored by the cinema. Difficult to assess properly, since the feature is a boil-down from the 200-minute version shown on American TV (editor's note: the DVD versions feature the complete miniseries), although a misogynistic reading is clearly intended (with the two brides, Frankenstein's and the monster's, emerging as more treacherously villainous than either of their mates). For a while it comes on like bad Hammer, until the arrival of the monster - a handsome lad, but the process is reverting - perks things up considerably. Particularly memorable is a scene where the monster's demurely virginal Bride sings 'I Love Little Pussy, Her Coat Is So Warm', before gleefully attempting to strangle a sleepy Persian and lasciviously licking a drop of mauve blood from her scratched arm; and a glorious moment of delirium when the monster disrupts a society ball to collect his bride, ripping off her pearl choker to reveal the stitched neck, then annexing her head as his property. Whiting is a weak Frankenstein, but more than made up for by Sarrazin (the monster), Seymour (his bride), Richardson (the hermit) and Mason (first cousin to Fu Manchu as Polidori).

Excerpt of review from located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 30 November 1973 (USA)

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DVD Comparison:

Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Gary Tooze and Eric Cotenas for the Screen Caps!

(Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Universal Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Second Sight
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 3:05:06 2:55:42 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.4 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.13 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate:

 

Universal Pictures

 

Bitrate:

 

Second Sight

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles English SDH, none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Sneak Peeks

DVD Release Date: September 26th 2006
Amaray

Chapters 22

Release Information:
Studio: Second Sight

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by James Mason (4:3; 5:30)
• Episodes:
• Part One (4:3; 1:22:48)
• Part Two (4:3; 1:32:54)

 

DVD Release Date: March 10th, 2014
Amaray

Chapters 32

 

Comments

Both discs of this surprisingly grisly - for seventies network TV - two-part miniseries are dual-layered, but the UK release offers individual play and scene selections for each of the two parts as well as a "play all" option. From the screen captures, the US disc appears to be a shade more detailed, sharper, and with slightly more picture information on the sides. The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track is in good condition. The only extra on the UK set is the introduction by James Mason which is incorporated into the film itself on the US version.

***

Gary on the Universal release: The DVD image is rather lackluster - a bit dirty and hazy in spots - I suspect though it is close to how it appeared on TV in its premiere. It is progressive and certainly watchable. Audio was consistent if unremarkable. No extras but the optional subtitles are appreciated.

This television film (shown over two nights) is far from standard fare TV - it has a healthy following - and rightly deserved. I recall watching it and remembering much from over 30 years ago. I was quite young but it was still and impacting adventure with strong performances and a unique twist (to all previous incarnations of Shelly's novel).

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
(Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)
Subtitle sample

 


(Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)
 

 


(Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)
 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Universal

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Draw
Menu: Draw

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Universal Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Second Sight
Region 2 - PAL


 



 

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