S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Directed by Ronald Neame
In a strife-torn Arab state, fanatical loyalists of a nationalist leader (Yul Brynner) attack a police van transporting him to prison and aid his escape into the deadly Arabian Desert. Escaping with him are fellow death row prisoners Huston (Jack Warden), a swashbuckling American who had embezzled a fortune from the Zahrain Oil Company and Tahar (Anthony Caruso), a sadistic maniac. Sal Mineo (Rebel Without a Cause) plays a student who helps the fugitives flee the pursuant police in a stolen ambulance. This vintage adventure yarn features a special cameo appearance by James Mason (North by Northwest). Directed and Produced by Ronald Neame (The Poseidon Adventure).
Turgid desert-trek drama, featuring Brynner and various bottle-tanned cohorts as escapee political prisoners in an Arab oil state. A predictable combination of the woeful exotic urges of both director Neame (Mister Moses) and screenwriter Robin Estridge (the dire Frankie Avalon vehicle Drums of Africa).
Theatrical Release: May 23rd, 1962
DVD Review: Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC
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|Distribution||Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 6.75 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.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
Olive Films is handling more Paramount releases of old adding Escape From Zahrain to their list which includes My Favorite Spy , Where Love Has Gone, Knock on Wood, Harlow. the threegreat Noir films - Appointment With Danger, William Dieterle's Dark City and Rudolph Mate's Union Station as well as the enjoyable Hammer-esque sci-fi Crack in the World from the mid 60`s. Even Hannie Caulder had some minor merit. I think that Escape From Zahrain is better than I was led to believe from some critics. Neame has definitely made better films than this but this wasn't a wasted viewing, IMO - solid cast too.
Like previous Olive Film DVDs this is dual-layered, anamorphic, progressive and bare-bones. It looks quite good in the impressive 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio. The sandy terrain of the Mojave Desert - representing Saudi Arabia - shows some nice landscapes which is picked up well by the camera. There is no damage - in fact, it is very clean but colors seem a shade dullish. However, I don't have any strong complaints.
The unremarkable 2.0 channel audio is, predictably, flat but - as usual - everything is consistent and dialogue clear. As stated there are no extras - not even a trailer - nor subtitles offered.
I've always liked Jack Warden and Brenner is stuck in another 'exotic' role befitting his appearance and physicality. Hey, I recall Madlyn Rhue from both Star Trek and The Fugitive TV series'. She's moderately 'hot' here although not always... likeable. While I don't think Escape From Zahrain is deserved of its low IMDb score - it may not be worth a whole lot more. While it has a great setting, acting and adept direction - its the writing that doesn't come together (Robin Estridge adapting Michael Barrett's story). So, I might not give a strong recommendation - it is still worthy of a spin for fans of the cast and the director. Just keep your expectations moderate.