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directed by Ralph Thomas
UK 1971


After a demonstration of the Random Generator goes wrong, physicist Colin Trafford (Tom Bell, THE KRAYS) finds himself in an alternate timeline where he is a successful playwright unhappily married to Otillie (Joan Collins, FEAR IN THE NIGHT), who he finds himself falling for. With the help of physicist Professor Larnstein (Lawrence Naismith, JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS), he convinces Otillie that he is not the man she married and they fall in love again. Colin learns from Tom (Denholm Elliot, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK) - his friend in his own timeline and his enemy here - that Otillie is dying of a heart condition. Colin learns that the medical treatment that could save her life was never developed in this timeline. Before Otillie dies, she makes him promise her to find her other self in his own timeline. Trafford is returned to his timeline and falls into a bout of depression before realizing that he must find the other Otillie, who was born with the same condition and may be living on borrowed time. Based on the short story "Random Quest" by John Wyndham (better known to readers as the author of DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS and THE MIDWICH CUCKOOS, which was the basis for the film VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED), "Random Quest" has also been adapted for British television twice (once in 1969, and then again in 2006). The big screen adaptation by Ralph Tomas (director of the Simon Sparrow "Doctor" series with Dirk Bogarde) is a frustrating watch, neither satisfying as science fiction or romance. The revelations in the alternate timeline that World War II never happened and JFK was never assassinated serve only to make clear to Colin that he is in a different reality. Colin's search for the other Otillie comprises the last twenty minutes of the film, so there is little time to develop their relationship. Bell is good but constantly upstaged by Eric Rogers' lush orchestral score (which sounds like it would be more appropriate in a period romance) and Collins balances bitchiness and sympathy (as she did in Sidney Hayers' REVENGE, her other film for producer Eric Rogers). Elliot is underused while Naismith gives the liveliest performance.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 9 September 1971 (UK)

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DVD Review: Scorpion Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Scorpion Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:31:00

1.73:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.22 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 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Scorpion Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.73:1

Edition Details:
• Trailers for HOMO FABER (16:9; 1:36), SEXTETTE (16:9; 1:09), WHERE TTHE BOYS ARE (4:3; 2:14), CHANGES (16:9; 2:33), SAY HELLO TO YESTERDAY (16:9; 2:40), THE GIRL IN BLUE (16:9; 1:06), SWEET WILLIAM
• (4:3; 3:01), and NOTHING BUT THE NIGHT (16:9; 2:48)

DVD Release Date: February 22nd, 2011

Chapters 12





The title sequence seems to come from an inferior source element (including the Rank logo), but the rest of the transfer improves after the credits. Whites are a little noisy and the soft focus look does not always translate well (the master may have been subjected to some sharpening). The mono audio clearly renders the dialogue and the lush score.

There is no scene menu but the film is divided into twelve chapters. A handful of upcoming comedy, romance, and horror trailers from Scorpion round out the package.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Region 1 - NTSC


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