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directed by Robert Aldrich
USA 1971

 

The Grissom Gang is a remake of the notorious 1949 British melodrama No Orchids for Miss Blandish. Kim Darby plays a 1920s-era debutante who is kidnapped and held for ransom. Her captors are the Grissoms, a family comprised of sadists and morons, and headed by Ma Barker clone Irene Dailey. One of the Grissoms, played by Scott Wilson, takes a liking to his prisoner, which results in a bloody breakdown of the family unit. Both The Grissom Gang and the original No Orchids for Miss Blandish were inspired by the best-seller by James Hadley Chase, though neither film retains Chase's original ending.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

***

Three punks steal a diamond necklace from young heiress Barbara Blandish (Kim Darby) but foolishly kidnap her after shooting her boyfriend dead. A band of rural bandits run by the tyrannical Gladys 'Ma' Grissom (Irene Dailey) kill the punks and ransom Barbara as their own prize. Slick hood Eddie Hagan (Tony Musante) isn't perturbed by Ma's decision to kill Barbara after the ransom is paid, but her dim-witted son Slim (Scott Wilson) becomes pathologically attached to his prisoner, cleaning himself up to be worthy of her. Meanwhile, Barbara's father John Blandish (Wesley Addy) hires detective Dave Fenner (Robert Lansing), who gets a lead on the Grissoms through nightclub singer Anna Borg (Connie Stevens). The only problem is that after he finds out that Barbara has been sleeping with a degenerate hoodlum, Dad might not want his daughter back.

Robert Aldrich's Bonnie & Clyde-style rural gangster epic tells the story of the Ma Barker gang from a different angle and comes up as one of his less exciting movies. The performances are all good but the film lacks a sense of humor or other hook to keep us interested for its unusually long running time. Kim Darby and Scott Wilson's star-crossed 'romance' is doomed from the outset, so there's little fun to be had on the way. And Aldrich's hard-slugging style often overpowers the material.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 28 May 1971 (New York City, NY and Hollywood, CA)

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Comparison:

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the DVD Review!

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Cover

 

  

 

  

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:07:44 2:08:24.113
Video

1.75:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.5 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 39,483,701,723 bytes

Feature Size: 34,784,403,456 bytes

Average Bitrate: 32.45 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1555 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1555 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.75:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: November 2nd, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Kino

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Disc Size: 39,483,701,723 bytes

Feature Size: 34,784,403,456 bytes

Average Bitrate: 32.45 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary with Film Historians Howard S. Berger, Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson
• Interview with Scott Wilson (14:31)
• Trailer (2:16) and trailers for 4 other films

Blu-ray Release Date: November 27th, 2018
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters:
8

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION - Kino Blu-ray - November 2018: Kino's new 1080P transfer is quite an upgrade with much warmer skin tones and more vibrant colors. There is more information in the frame - notable on the side edges but also, more minimally, on the bottom of the frame. You can see better grain support and the image quality would have to be considered an extensive upgrade.

We are given a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (16-bit).  There are aggressive effects and a score
by Gerald Fried (The Baby, I Bury the Living, The Vampire, A Killer in the Family and Kubrick's films Fear and Desire, Killer's Kiss, The Killing and Paths of Glory as well as venturing later into work in TV with Star Trek). I heard no issue with the audio. There are optional English subtitles on this Region 'A'-locked Blu-ray.

There is a marvelous commentary included on the
Blu-ray by Howard S. Berger, Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson discussing the production, stars, director and more. Kino also include a 1/4 hour interview with the recently deceased Scott Wilson recalling The Grissom Gang. There is a trailer for the film and trailers for 4 other films.

The Grissom Gang is a superior effort - a solid crime-drama with excellent performances. This Kino
Blu-ray, with valued commentary, is strongly recommended!

 Gary Tooze

ON THE DVD: Adapted from the same source as British-made No Orchids for Miss Blandish, but staying closer to the once controversial book by James Hadley Chase, The Grissom Gang was directed in 1971 by a classic noir and neo-noir director Robert Aldrich (Kiss Me Deadly, Hustle). Currently owned by ABC Pictures, the film got first very disappointing release on DVD in 2000 by Anchor Bay in both non-anamorphic widescreen and pan-and-scan editions on one disc, but 4 years MGM licensed ABC Pictures library and released this disc in enhanced widescreen edition.

The framing seems right on this disc - there are slight black bars on the left and right sides. There is very little damage on the print and overall quality is very good. The colors are bight and you can see every drop of sweat on people's faces (and there is a lot of sweat!) I noticed one sequence when the image flickers, but it seemed to be issue with a print and not the transfer. Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono soundtrack is very good and betters previous Anchor Bay release as well. The choice of subtitles is English, French and Spanish and there are no other extras available. The disc is currently available new for only $3.98 at Amazon and comes highly recommended.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


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Subtitle sample

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Cover

 

  

 

  

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 




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