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Bang, Bang, You're Dead aka Our Man in Marrakesh [Blu-ray]
(Don Sharp, 1966)
Review by Gary Tooze
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 19,468,841,009 bytes
Feature Size: 19,341,766,656 bytes
Video Bitrate: 26.20 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: April 8th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 833 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 833 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Description: One of the six travelers arriving at the Marrakesh Airport is a diplomatic courier carrying $2,000,000 in bonds. He is paying off a spy, Mr. Casimir (Herbert Lom, A Shot in the Dark), for secret documents that could shift a crucial United Nations vote in favor of the People's Republic of China. Tony Randall (TV's The Odd Couple) plays Andrew Jessel, an American architect posing as an oil representative. On the bus to his hotel, Andrew meets fellow passenger Kyra Stanovy (Senta Berger, The Ambushers), a beautiful CIA agent posing as a journalist. The smitten Andrew reluctantly agrees to help Kyra dispose of a dead body planted in her room by Casimir's henchmen. Andrew becomes even more enmeshed in the intrigue when he inadvertently takes the secret documents during a trip to Casimir to protest the attempted frame-up. Marked for death, Kyra and Andrew flee through the streets and bazaars of Marrakesh into the hills, followed by Casimir's right-hand man Jonquil (Klaus Kinski, Fitzcarraldo) and groups of his henchmen. One of the many highlights of this action-packed comedy is the exotic Moroccan locale beautifully shot by the great cinematographer Michael Reed (On Her Majesty's Secret Service). The wonderful cast also includes Wilfrid Hyde-White (On the Double), Terry-Thomas (I'm All Right Jack), Margaret Lee (Secret Agent Super Dragon), Burt Kwouk (Return of the Pink Panther) and was directed by Don Sharp (The Kiss of the Vampire, Bear Island).
Don Sharp’s direction for Our Man in Marrakesh is rock solid. The
most iconic moment in the film is a camera shot between Margaret Lee’s
legs as Tony Randall’s character Andrew Jessel arrives at Mr. Casimir’s
home. Our Man in Marrakesh has just the right amounts of
surprises and there are evenly spread out. Some of the films visual
style should be credited to its cinematographer Michael Reed who
impressive list of previous credits include The Gorgon,
Dracula: Prince of Darkness, Rasputin: The Mad Monk and
On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Composer Malcolm Lockyer provides an adequate score that suits that
Films like Bang, Bang, You're Dead helped kill the movie career of Tony Randall in the mid-1960s. Randall plays an innocent oil company representative who gets tied up with a gang of crooks in Morocco. The head criminals, played by Herbert Lom and Klaus Kinski, plunge Randall into the middle of a complex espionage scheme involving the Red Chinese. There is one good scene in a massage parlor, but otherwise the film isn't wacky enough to be funny or intriguing enough to be taken seriously. Produced by the indefatigable Harry Alan Towers, who exercises his usual prerogative of hiring so many "guest stars" that hopefully the audience won't notice the plot deficiencies, Bang, Bang, You're Dead was sneaked out to theatres under several titles: Bang, Bang, Bang! Marrakesh, Our Man in Marrakesh, and I Spy You Spy.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Bang, Bang You're Dead has a, predictably, modest Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. Unfortunately the film is peppered with visible scratches and marks. While usually frame specific they are heavy enough to be frequently noticeable. This is only single-layered but has a reasonable bitrate - but the weaknesses are directly related to the source. Aside from that black-mark - the overall image is lifeless - flat and dull. The contrast is also less-remarkable. I suspect that time has not been favorable to this film. The Blu-ray was fairly video-like and not much better than SD. I didn't find the 1080P, 1.78:1 very impressive.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD mono track at 833 kbps isn't particularly dynamic. There is no depth or range to speak of but it seems a faithful transfer without flaws. A few effects are surprisingly crisp at times. The score is by Malcolm Lockyer (Ten Little Indians) but is not very memorable but sounds decent quality-wise. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with almost all of their releases.
March 24th, 2014
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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