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Directed by Andrew Marton
USA
1965

 

This DVD from Paramount/Olive Films marks the Region 1 debut of Crack in the World (1965), made by expatriate American producer Philip Yordan in follow-up to Day of the Triffids (1962). A corking piece of speculative 60s science fiction, the project began with an original script by British writer Jon Manchip White. Recalling the apocalyptic excesses of the sci-fi classic When Worlds Collide (1950), the property was rewritten by Julian Halvey when Yordan secured the services of special effects pioneer (and occasional film director) Eugène Lourié to act as production designer and director of special effects. Briskly directed by Andrew Marton and smartly scripted, Crack in the World focuses on a Camelot-like love triangle that forms among a team of international geophysicists who have burrowed deep into the earth in search of a clean source of energy and “a life of plenty for all mankind.” Heading the team is Nobel Prize-winner Stephen Sorenson (Dana Andrews), whose second-in-command, Ted Rampion (Kieron Moore), believes blasting through the center of the earth will aggravate existing fissures resulting from underground atomic testing. Stuck between these brilliant men is Sorenson’s younger wife, Maggie (Janette Scott). Repressing forbidden emotions that answer the biological call for a child that only Ted man can give her, Maggie stands by Stephen as he detonates a nuclear warhead at the earth’s core… precipitating a series of record-breaking tremors that trigger “earthquakes, tidal waves, mass destruction on an apocalyptic scale” and threaten to tear the world apart, reducing humanity to a free floating cloud of astral dust.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 15th, 1965

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Comparison:

Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:36:15  1:35:49.785
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.46 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 20,246,985,181 bytes

Feature: 20,106,811,392 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 24.97 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0)  LPCM Audio English 768 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Olive Films

Aspect Ratio:
1.78;1
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date: July 27th, 2010

Keep Case
Chapters: 8

Release Information:
Studio: Olive Films

Aspect Ratio:
1.78;1
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 20,246,985,181 bytes

Feature: 20,106,811,392 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 24.97 Mbps

Edition Details:

• none 

Blu-ray Release Date: July 5th, 2011
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 8

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - June 11':  Not that much to rave about here, I'm afraid. It's single-layered - obviously the same source - but the dual-layered DVD was quite strong and while I wouldn't suggest this makes it into the territory to double-dip (if you already own the title) but if you are buying fresh - then the 1080P is the way to go. The HD image is a shade lighter, less noise/artifacts but seems to lose the thickness that the SD exported. Skin tones are cooler. Areas that could have been improved (after a year since Olive's DVD!) - dual-layering for the Blu-ray might have benefited the image textures, it is still 1.78 as opposed to original 1.85 and there are still no subtitles or extras of any kind. I like Crack in the World and it felt a little more like 'film' via the Blu-ray. I'm right into this genre and hope more come to the superior format. On the positive - I doubt it will be looking better... maybe ever. Gauge your purchases accordingly.

***

ON THE DVD: Olive Films is handling another older Paramount release. This appears to be a new trend - see the simultaneously released Noir films - Appointment With Danger, William Dieterle's Dark City and Rudolph Mate's Union Station.

Like the other Olive DVDs released on this date it is both dual-layered, progressive and bare-bones. This is anamorphically transferred in the original 1.85 aspect ratio (actually 4% cropped for widescreen at 1.78). It looks very grainy and there is some dirt showing. The image is quite thick and a shade blotchy but I don't know that it could appear vastly smoother or more detailed. The bitrate is very high. For the most part it is free of damage and certainly watchable. 

The unremarkable audio is flat mono but everything is consistent and dialogue clear. As stated there are no extras - not even a trailer or any subtitles.

This is a film right up my alley - an odd-duck science-fiction saga with 'trying' minimal effects. It reports the 'pre-apocalypse' theory of world closure - which is always desirable. It's done with a neat flair and appears to be playing by it's own rules of hokey logic - I love it! It had some Hammer-like production aesthetic (perhaps I am ogling the sexy Janette Scott too closely - see the UK studio's Paranoiac). Dana Andrews always plays a solid male role model - even in later years - as the grim Doctor Sorenson. I don't *believe* this has seen the light of day on DVD anywhere - but certainly not in region 1 - NTSC. The transfer is not pristine and there are no extras but if you are keen on the film you may find solid value in the presentation. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon with a tall, cool drink.    

Gary W. Tooze

 



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Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT


 


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Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

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Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



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