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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Jack Smight
UK 1973

 

Experience all the horror and suspense of the timeless Frankenstein story, now available on Blu-ray for the first time. Featuring an incredible cast, including Jane Seymour, Agnes Moorehead, Michael Sarrazin, James Mason and Leonard Whiting, this film faithfully retells Mary Shelley's unforgettable story. Victor Frankenstein's medical experiments result in the shocking discovery that he can revive the dead. But when the creature he brings forth becomes a killer, is anyone safe? Find out in this gruesome, heart-pounding thriller created by legendary talents such as screenwriter Christopher Isherwood and makeup artist Roy Ashton. Experience the tragedy and terror of Frankenstein like never before!

***

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: November 28th, 1973

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Universal Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL  vs. Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Second Sight DVD Screen Caps!

Box Cover

 

 

 

 

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Second Sight
Region 2 - PAL
Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 3:05:06     2:55:42 (4% PAL speedup) 3:06:27.426 
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

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,235,964,548 bytes

Feature: 41,090,555,904 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate: Universal Pictures

Bitrate:

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital mono) English (Dolby Digital mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1622 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1622 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

Subtitles English SDH, none English, None English (SDH), 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 PAL Speedup)
• Episodes:
• Part One (4:3; 1:22:48)
• Part Two (4:3; 1:32:54)

 

DVD Release Date: March 10th, 2014
Amaray

Chapters 32

Release Information:
Studio:
Shout! Factory

 

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,235,964,548 bytes

Feature: 41,090,555,904 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• NEW Audio Commentary With Filmmaker/Film Historian Sam Irvin

• The Introduction By Actor James Mason (5:46)
• NEW Off With Her Head – An Interview With Actress Jane Seymour (24:16)
• NEW Victor’s Story – An Interview With Actor Leonard Whiting (18:25)
• NEW Frankenstein’s Diary – A Conversation With Writer Don Bachardy (41:05)


Blu-ray Release Date:
March 24th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case inside cardboard sleeve

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Shout! Factory Blu-ray (March 2020): Shout! Factory have transferred the 1973, 2-part, TV Movie Frankenstein: The True Story to 1080P Blu-ray. It is advertised as a "NEW 2K Scan Of The Original Film Elements To The 2-Part 3 Hour And 6 Minute Version Including The Introduction By Actor James Mason". You also have the option of seeing it without the 5 3/4 minute introduction. We've compared it to 2, vastly inferior, DVD versions. The higher resolution dominates over the SD - especially the soft Second Sight accentuating the 1080P which exports tighter colors, a warmer palette, depth, detail, contrast, the image is brighter - and in, pretty much, every visuals facet.

NOTE: We have added 50 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Shout! Factory use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (24-bit) in the original English language. There are the expected laboratory and experiment effects plus a great score by Gil Melle (The Andromeda Strain, The Deliberate Stranger, 7 episodes of Kolchak the Night Stalker and The Organization) , sounding occasionally ominous and atmospheric. Shout! Factory offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Shout! Factory Blu-ray has a new audio commentary with filmmaker/film historian Sam Irvin (author of Little Shoppe of Horrors: The Journal of Classic British Horror Films) and he is well-prepared talking about a variety of topics including director Jack Smight (The Illustrated Man, Harper, Damnation Alley), he identifies similarities and differences between this film and the novel by Mary Shelley. Sam can talk - he fills the 3-hour film with plentiful data and I thought it was very valuable to fans of this 70's TV horror classic. Shout! add three new interviews; Off With Her Head spends 25-minutes with lovely Jane Seymour, Victor’s Story is an interview with Leonard Whiting for shy of 20-minutes and Frankenstein’s Diary is a 41-minute conversation with writer Don Bachardy who has also has credit work from The Stepford Wives (1975) to A Single Man (2009.) I found this interview quite... interesting.

Frankenstein: The True Story was one of my favorites TV experiences as a child. I guess I was 10 and waited with great anticipation to see part 2 - two nights later. I loved the Arctic ending. Yes, for its time it was surprisingly graphic and the, perceived, authenticity of the Frankenstein story gave it immense appeal.  I'm so glad that Shout! Factory brought it to Blu-ray looking and sounding significantly improved and with the inclusion of a commentary and 3 new interviews. Great stuff! An easy recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

ON THE DVDs: 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

 


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

 

Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Universal - Region 1 - NTSC  TOP

2) Second Sight - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

 

 

 

 

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Second Sight
Region 2 - PAL
Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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Gary Tooze

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