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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "13" )

 

directed by J. Lee Thompson
USA 1966

 

A forbidding French chateau and its surrounding vineyards are the setting for Gothic thrills in this haunting excursion into the occult. Deborah Kerr and David Niven, costarring for the first time since Separate Tables, lead an exceptional cast (Sharon Tate, Donald Pleasence, Flora Robson, David Hemmings, Edward Mulhare, Emlyn Williams) in a chiller reminiscent of the later The Wicker Man, in which an innocent outsider to an enclosed world peels back layers of mystery to reveal a shocking truth. Kerr plays the outsider, the wife of a troubled marquis (Niven), who discovers – perhaps too late – that her husband’s ancestral chateau is home to witches, warlocks, a sinister priest, 12 hooded figures…and terror.

****

The unusual plot, which could be considered a precursor to The Wicker Man, another occult thriller that achieved cult status in the seventies, stars David Niven as a wealthy vineyard owner who begins acting strangely after his grape crop fails for the third year in a row. His wife, played by Deborah Kerr, notices that there are plenty of other things amiss on the estate as well. For instance, there's a sinister young man (David Hemmings) who hunts doves and his creepy sister Odile (Sharon Tate) who could be a witch. And of course, it's hard to ignore that weird group of hooded men filing through the woods - which leads Ms. Kerr to the conclusion that her husband is destined for some horrible fate. You know, she's right!

Excerpt of review from TCM located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: July, 1966

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:35:33
Video

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.83 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 Dolby Digital 1.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
1.78:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: October 26th, 2010
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Chapters 22

 

Comments

Wow - what an interestingly shot film. There are plenty of unusual cuts and obtuse angles. Eye of the Devil is very creepy supported by a stellar cast - but also is a somewhat misunderstood film. Absolutely does it evoke memories of The Wicker Man.  I thought I read somewhere that it was a Hammer Studios film - although I can't find evidence to support that - it is marginally reminiscent of their brand of Horror genre. Perhaps because of Deborah Kerr and being black and white I kept thinking of Jack Clayton's The Innocents. This is a puzzling and keenly intriguing effort from J. Lee Thompson (62's Cape Fear and The Guns of Navarone among his credits).

The Warner Archive disc is single-layered but progressive and anamorphic in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio and looks quite acceptable with some visible scratches, speckles and similar light damage notable. This is labeled under the "Re-mastered Edition" marquee and the image is a shade light - almost bleached in some scenes but detail is strong and it gave me a pleasing presentation.

The mono sound is decent but unremarkable and there are no extras, nor subtitles, offered. It's a shame because I think this film is worthy of some discussion and an informed commentary would be very much appreciated.

I think this is Sharon Tate's first credited film role (after TV stints in shows like The Beverly Hillbillies and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.). She's quite eye-catching and Kerr, Niven, Hemmings and Pleasence are super in supporting this mysterious and foreboding atmosphere. I think this is a very good film - certainly unique and suspenseful. I was pleasantly surprised by my viewing. I wish I could watch it again for the first time.  

  - Gary Tooze

 



 

DVD Menu
 

 


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  Visible scratches are present

 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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