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(aka "The Most Dangerous Man in the World" )

 

directed by J. Lee Thompson
UK / USA 1969

 

But the trouble is, heroes have gotten too noble. "The Chairman," for example, stars Gregory Peck, who is only a shade less noble than Henry Fonda. Gregory Peck bleeds with nobility, dignity, taste, restraint and all the things that are deadly to an action movie. I doubt if Gregory Peck could be vulgar if he tried. To give you an idea of the kind of guy he is, when he says "No, I cannot stay. I must go," he is looking over the girl's head. Looking into the distance, as it were. Looking toward the inscrutable fate that awaits him. The good old Gregory Peck Look.

Guys like this just don't have the savvy for action pictures. They need respectable dramas. The thing about action pictures is that we identify with the hero. So when the hero is even more stupid than we are, we get disgusted.

An example. Peck has to escape across the Chinese border into Russia. There is an electric fence. The Chinese Army is closing in on him. He has a gun. What does he do? Shoot through the wire? Not our man. He tries to crawl under the 10,000 volts. Even the Russians (who are supposed to be stupider than Gregory Peck) know better. They finally blow a hole in the fence with a mortar.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 25 June 1969 (New York City, New York)

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DVD Review: 20th Century Fox (Cinema Classics Collection) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Distribution

20th Century Fox

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:37:48
Video

2.31:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.91 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 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish Dub (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French Dub (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.31:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Film Historians Eddie Friedfeld and Lee Pfeiffer
• The Chaiman Mini-Film (17:33)
• 2 Alternative Scenes from International Version (1:10 + 3:07)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:58)
• 6 additional trailer for other films available from Fox Home Entertainment

DVD Release Date: November 7, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 28

 

Comments

1960's gave us a lot of exciting and great spy thrillers. Unfortunately, The Chairman is not one of them. The film with a bland title is not very exciting till the end when Gregory Peck's character needs to cross the Chinese border to escape, but it becomes too little too late. It is also somewhat dated, although thankfully Asian characters are played by some very fine Asian actors, including Keye Luke and Conrad Yama who plays the chairman of the title, i.e. Mao Zedong. This British-American co-production was re-titled in UK with a not much better title, The Most Dangerous Man in the World. There is some visible damages and the Panavision print is grainy in some instances, but overall the transfer is good.

 

Besides original mono soundtrack, Fox provides a stereo re-mix as well as Spanish and French dub tracks. The extras start off with a commentary by film historians Eddie Friedfeld and Lee Pfeiffer. It's an informative track, touching on the political climate of the time, where this film is in Gregory Peck's filmography and many other topics. The extras continue with 2 international alternative scenes with some nudity missing from the film by Zienia Merton. The most unusual extra is an abbreviated version of the film. At just 17 minutes, it includes some alternative takes, but the reason of existence of this version is not explained. The disc finishes off with a trailer for the film and some additional trailers for other 1960's spy movies and films in Cinema Classics Collection. While not perfect, the film is still moderately enjoyable and Fox provides a good transfer and extras for those who enjoy 1960's cinema.

  - Gregory Meshman

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

20th Century Fox

Region 1 - NTSC

 

 




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