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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Mercenaries" )

 

directed by Jack Cardiff
UK / USA 1968

 

Take elite commandos, send them on a do-or-die assignment – and sit back and watch the action explode. The men-on-a-mission formula that worked in 1967’s The Dirty Dozen and in Where Eagles Dare (released in the U.S. in 1969) provides another salvo of volatile screen adventure with this strike-force saga released in 1968. Rod Taylor and Jim Brown are among a mercenary unit rolling on a steam train across the Congo, headed for the dual tasks of rescuing civilians imperiled by rebels and recovering a cache of diamonds. The film’s violence is fierce, unforgiving, ahead of its time. Quentin Tarantino would offer a tribute of sorts to this red-blooded wallop of a cult fave by using part of its compelling score in Inglourious Basterds.

Poster

Theatrical Release: April 25th, 1968

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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 1:40:24
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.51 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:
Original - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (2:42)

DVD Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 26

 

Comments

Dark of the Sun has gritty atmosphere and is a very above-average adventure flick. Along with the African milieu surrounded by the politics of revolt and diamonds this decently paced yarn offers strong performances and master cinematographers Cardiff at the directorial helm.

It's standard single-layered but progressive and anamorphic in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and looks rich and thick. This is labeled under the Warner's new "Re-mastered Edition" marquee and the image is a shade inconsistent but has surprising moments of detail. Black levels are strong and colors tight. The disc supports the film with a fine transfer.

The mono sound is decent but unremarkable and there are no subtitles offered. The only supplement is the film's trailer - looking unrestored.

It's the soldiers-of-fortune vs. the native rebels genre. Rod Taylor, Jim Brown, Yvette Mimieux, Kenneth More and others help establish some decent characterizations to advance the plot. There is good action adeptly realized. Dark of the Sun has a lot going for it - certainly worthy of a spin for fans. I was more entertained than I was expecting.  

  - Gary Tooze

 



 

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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

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