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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/mann.htm, Laurence Harvey (uncredited)
UK 1968

 

The final film by the great Anthony Mann (Winchester '73, El Cid) A Dandy in Aspic is a stylish and complex cold-war thriller starring Laurence Harvey (Summer and Smoke, The Manchurian Candidate) as a Russian double-agent working for British Intelligence who is assigned to track down and kill an unusual target.

Falling between the outlandish exploits of James Bond and the dour realism of John le Carré's circus of spies , this paranoid thriller is a dark and refined affair, with a superb supporting cast headed by Mia Farrow (Rosemary s Baby, See No Evil) and Tom Courtenay (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Otley), wonderful cinematography by regular Powell and Pressburger cameraman Christopher Challis, and with a terrific score by Quincy Jones.

***

Director Anthony Mann's final film (Mann died during the filming, and the production was completed by the film's star, Laurence Harvey) is a kitchen-sink espionage drama with Harvey as Eberlin, a Russian spy and double-agent, homesick and pining for the Russian steppes. It is in this risky mood that Eberlin falls in love with the emaciated Caroline (Mia Farrow). Complications arise when he is directed to kill a Russian spy -- but the Russian spy happens to be himself.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 2nd, 1968

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:47:15.804        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,329,802,731 bytes

Feature: 33,716,512,320 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.88 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Isolated Score:

LPCM Audio Undetermined 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Interview:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Indicator

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 43,329,802,731 bytes

Feature: 33,716,512,320 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.88 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio commentary with author and critic Samm Deighan
The BEHP Interview with Christopher Challis (1988, 107 mins): an archival audio recording, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project, featuring the cinematographer in conversation with Kevin Gough-Yates
A Time to Die (2019, 09:31): members of the crew recall aspects of the film’s production
Pulling Strings (2019, 22:09): titles designer Michael Graham Smith and puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew discuss the distinctive opening credit sequence
Inside Mann (2019, 11:37): an appreciation by critic and broadcaster Richard Combs
London to Berlin (2019, 05:14): an exploration of A Dandy in Aspic’s British and German locations
Berlin: The Swinging City (1968, 04:34): original promotional film produced by Columbia Pictures
Isolated music & effects track
Original theatrical trailer
Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
Limited edition exclusive 28-page booklet with a new essay by Jeff Billington, an archival on-set report, Derek Marlowe on A Dandy in Aspic, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits


Blu-ray Release Date:
March 25th, 2019
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

Indicator have the World premiere of "A Dandy in Aspic" on Blu-ray. The 2.35:1 image is housed on a dual-layered disc with a maxed out bitrate. The image quality is weak, with a drab color palette and various instances of edge enhancement and, what appear to be, other digitization anomalies. The image is quite soft most probably due to their source material. Many scenes look rather waxy, lacking any impressive detail or definition. This is advertised as a "new high definition remaster" but I can't help but feel that the source print was compromised. Hardly the height of the format, though it is very nice to have this final work from Mann on Blu-ray.

The film's original mono score is here, in an uncompressed linear 24-bit PCM 1.0 track. Though not outstanding, the film's dialogue is clearly audible and there aren't too many instances of noise. The score is thanks to the prolific Quincy Jones (In The Heat of the Night,
The Getaway, The Slender Thread, The Pawnbroker, The New Centurions, They Call Me Mr. Tibbs), and is a highlight of the film. There are newly translated and optional English (SDH) subtitles on this Region Free Blu-ray.

Indicator have included an in-depth commentary with author and critic Samm Deighan. She discusses many topics, starting with the wild title sequence and eventually the work of director Anthony Mann. This is a great listen. Indicator have also included a 107-minute archival recording, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project, featuring the cinematographer Christopher Challis, in conversation with Kevin Gough-Yates. The 9.5-minute "A Time to Die" features members of the crew recalling aspects of the film's production. "Pulling Strings" is a 22-minute talk with titles designer Michael Graham Smith and puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew discuss the distinctive opening credit sequence. "Inside Mann" is a 12-minute appreciation of Anthony Mann by critic and broadcaster Richard Combs. "London to Berlin" is a 5-minute exploration of A Dandy in Aspic's British and German locations. "Berlin: The Swinging City" is a 5-minute original promotional film produced by Columbia Pictures. Indicator also include the option of watching the film with an isolated music & effects track. The film's original theatrical trailer and an image gallery are also here on the
Blu-ray. Also included is an exclusive 28-page booklet with a new essay by Jeff Billington, an archival on-set report, Derek Marlowe on A Dandy in Aspic, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits.

"A Dandy in Aspic" premieres on
Blu-ray thanks to the folks at Indicator. Though the image quality is sub-par, it is great to have this late work from Anthony Mann on Blu-ray. The extras are fantastic and informative, especially the commentary from Samm Deighan. I would recommend cinephiles to check this out, with the caveat that the HD-transferred image has issues.

Colin Zavitz

 


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