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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Bang, Bang, You're Dead aka Our Man in Marrakesh [Blu-ray]

 

(Don Sharp, 1966)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Paramount

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:30:43.438

Disc Size: 19,468,841,009 bytes

Feature Size: 19,341,766,656 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.20 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 8th, 2014

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

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).

 

 

The Film:

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 film.

One of the film’s most unusual assets is the casting of Tony Randall in the lead role of Andrew Jessel. Tony Randall who is primarily known for his comedic roles like Felix Unger in the television series “The Odd Couple” is not exactly the first person who comes to mind when you think of a lead for a spy themed film. Oddly enough Tony Randall’s performance while not without its flaws is very enjoyable. Cast in the role of Andrew Jessel’s love interest and accomplice is Senta Berger (The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, Diabolically Yours). Senta Berger besides serving as some eye candy she perfectly complements Tony Randall’s performance.

Excerpt from 10,000K Bullets located HERE

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.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

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.

 

Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with almost all of their releases.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I wasn't really into Bang, Bang, You're Dead. The characters were pleasant enough - Randall is always a 'good egg' and Senta Berger pretty easy on the eyes. Something about it though - couldn't eclipse my dislike - perhaps it was my mood. The Blu-ray is no great shakes either although I doubt that a blemish-free image could have won me over in any regard. I'd say pass - there isn't enough going for this to validate the price - perhaps one day if it was under $10.

Gary Tooze

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.

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60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Gary W. Tooze

 

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