S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner
One of the finest historical adventure films ever made,
The War Lord dramatises with uncommon intelligence and integrity the
brutality, difficulties and injustices of the Middle Ages. Charlton Heston (Ben
Hur, Touch of Evil, The Ten Commandments) stars as Chrysagon,
an honoured knight who takes over a castle tower in the swampland of Normandy to
strengthen his duke's authority. But his struggles to maintain power in the face
of Pagan villagers, barbarian attackers and his brother's jealous counsel are
shaken by his growing weariness with bloodshed in a cruel world. Never before
released for home viewing in the UK, this collaboration between OSCAR-winning
director Franklin J. Schaffner and the legendary Charlton Heston, three years
before their iconic reunion on Planet of the Apes, is a gripping saga of
ferocious battles, heartfelt emotion and powerful storytelling. 'One of [Schaffner's]
best films, along with Planet of the Apes and Patton.' - Time Out Film Guide 'A
fascinating, literate and rather disturbing excursion into the past. Four
Stars.' - Radio Times 'Heston delivers a hard-hitting performance.' - Variety
Theatrical Release: November 17th, 1965
DVD Review: Eureka - Region 2 - PAL
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
|Distribution||Eureka Video - Region 2 - PAL|
|Runtime||1:56:04 (4% PAL speedup)|
Average Bitrate: 7.68 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.
|Audio||English (Uncompressed PCM 2.0)|
• Optional music & effects track
• Original theatrical trailer
Firstly, there was a region 1 release of this film from 'Good Times Entertainment' HERE but it has gone out-of-print fetching big bucks via 3rd party sellers and auctions (we've heard it was an ineffectual transfer ported from the old laserdisc). It's easy to see The War Lord's appeal - being one of competent director Schaffner's best films buoyed by Russell Metty's cinematography and a rousing score by Jerome Moross + Hans J. Salter. This seems extensively researched and abiding to the many Druid based themes - an excellent film!
Image quality has some issues early on but it seems to steadily improve as the film rolls. The initial weakness looks like the source rather than the transfer. It starts out hazy, with clumpy noise but evolves to being quite reputable for the majority of the film producing a decent-to-strong presentation. It is anamorphic on a dual-layered disc. The feature (about 7 Gig worth) shares the DVD space with only a trailer and a secondary audio score (separated music and effects track). There are a few scattered speckles but otherwise a clean presentation with a high bitrate for the SD medium. The imperfections in the opening 30 minutes are outweighed by the building film's excellence.
The 2.0 channel audio is in uncompressed PCM and is without significant flaw although it appears to be not always as consistent (akin to the video portion). Again this may be directly linked to the source. There are optional English subtitles (see sample below) and you may isolate the music and effects track offered as a secondary audio option. There is only a 3-minute trailer accompanying the Region 2 - PAL disc.
Eureka appear to have battled some source hurdles to get this available again on DVD. The A/V is imperfect but strong enough to support a solid viewing of this very above-average film. I know many fans will be highly appreciative of their efforts - as am I. This is a wonderful classic - ripe for purchase and worthy of any digital library. Absolutely recommended!