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Directed by Eugène Lourié
USA 1958

 

After the accidental death of a brilliant scientist… his lunatic father and brother transplant the dead man’s brain into the body of a giant robot. The operation is successful, but the Colossus Robot mourns for his wife and child and doesn’t want to be the guinea pig in his father’s psychotic project and starts displaying homicidal behaviors. Sci-Fi specialist Eugène Lourié (Gorgo) directs this Frankenstein-flavored feature.

***

To summarize The Colossus (scripted by Thelma Schnee from a story by Willis Goldbeck) may reveal more of its implausibilities than its achievements. Briefly, prodigiously gifted scientist Jeremy Spensser (Ross Martin) is awarded the “International Peace Prize” for his work to end hunger. At the airport upon his return, he attempts to retrieve his son Billy’s (Charles Herbert) toy airplane from a gust of wind, and is hit by a truck and killed. Jeremy’s father, a great brain surgeon (Otto Kruger), orders the body brought to his laboratory; after several hours, he emerges, apparently defeated. Jeremy is buried, and a heated exchange ensues between Dr. Spensser and Jeremy’s friend Dr. Carrington (Robert Hutton). Carrington claims that the mind must be connected to the body via the soul if it is not to become monstrous; Dr. Spensser dismisses him, announcing that in the brain alone is all human greatness. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Spensser reveals to his weaker son Henry (John Baragrey) that he has preserved Jeremy’s brain, and compels Henry’s aid in building a giant robot to house it. Horrified by his new life, “Jeremy” at first demands death, but agrees to live when his father reminds him that his unfinished work can benefit mankind.

~ Erik Ulman at Senses of Cinema located HERE

Poster + Lobbycards

Television Premiere: June 1958

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Comparison:

Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

Box Cover

Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:10:09  1:09:49.226
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.1 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 13,910,926,642 bytes

Feature: 13,684,568,064 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 24.00 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  DTS-HD Master Audio English 837 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 837 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Olive Films

Aspect Ratio:
DVD Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• None

DVD Release Date: August 16th, 2011

Keep Case
Chapters: 8

Release Information:
Studio: Olive Films

Aspect Ratio:
DVD Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• None

Blu-ray Release Date: June 19th, 2012
Standard Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 8

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - June 12':  Even though this 1080P transfer is not very robust and it's single-layered - obviously the same source - but it does look better than I would have expected over the SD. While I wouldn't suggest this makes it into the territory to double-dip (if you already own the title) but if you are buying fresh - then the Blu-ray is the way to go. It is still 1.78 as opposed to original 1.85 and there are still no subtitles or extras of any kind. The lossless audio didn't sound dynamically superior. I like The Colossus of New York and it felt more like 'film' via the Blu-ray. I'm right into this genre and hope more come to the superior format. On the positive - I doubt it will be looking better... maybe ever. Gauge your purchases accordingly.

***

ON THE DVD: Now we're talking. Ohh yeah. Olive Films is expanding their DVD production of older Paramount releases. Unlike 'dramas' or 'comedies' like Hurry Sundown, Such Good Friends  or Escape From Zahrain to comedies My Favorite Spy , Where Love Has Gone, Knock on Wood, as well as Noirs Appointment With Danger, William Dieterle's Dark City and Rudolph Mate's Union Station - the closest we get to this is the science fiction Crack in the World which is also available in Blu-ray now.

The Colossus of New York is reminiscent of the iconic Donovan's Brain and/or The Brain that Wouldn't Die (dark labs with living brains in jars) but adds the Klaatu-like robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still. It's weaknesses are its charisma. I am right in my element with film of this genre and period.    

Like all Olive Film DVDs to date this is dual-layered and progressive. It is anamorphic in the slightly bastardized 1.78:1 ratio aspect ratio. The image quality is par excellent. Detail and contrast are at the impressive end for the medium. There is no damage and the transfer gave me a very consistent and flaw-free presentation. Bravo!

The unremarkable audio is mostly dialogue with a few effects coming mostly in the conclusion aside from our Colossus' booming walk and odd piano score. It's flat but supports The Colossus of New York well enough. There are no subtitles on the region 1 - NTSC DVD.

Personally, I can't get enough of decent 50's science fiction films. I always hold This Island Earth up as the quintessential poster-child for that keen sense of theatrical innocence that invaded by adolescent brain - never fully letting go. Colossus fits the mold with perfect precision - looking and sounding great on DVD - I'm thrilled. Absolutely recommended!   

Gary W. Tooze


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Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


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Box Cover

Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



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