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directed by Roger Corman

1961, USA

 

 

American-International's standing "haunted castle" set is exhibited to peak advantage in Roger Corman's Pit and the Pendulum. Save for the climax, Richard Matheson's script bears but little resemblance to the Edgar Allen Poe original, though there are pronounced echoes throughout of Poe's The Premature Burial. Vincent Price stars as Nicholas Medina, the son of a notorious Spanish Inquisition torturer. Nicholas' wife Elizabeth (Barbara Steele) has died under mysterious circumstances, prompting Elizabeth's brother Francis (John Kerr) to arrive at the Medina castle to investigate. The tormented Medina believes that Elizabeth was buried alive, and is convinced that he can hear his wife's voice calling out to him. In truth, Elizabeth has faked her death, part of a plan concocted with her lover Dr. Leon (Anthony Carbone) to drive Medina mad. She succeeds in this goal (albeit to her own grief, as the film's very last shot reveals), pushing Medina over the brink. Convinced that he's his own father, Medina dons Inquisition robes, straps Francis to a table, and arranges for a huge steel-bladed pendulum to slowly, slooooowwly descend on his helpless victim. You'd never know that Pit and The Pendulum was shot on the budget and schedule of a B western; the film is consistently good to look at, with eerily evocative color camerawork (Floyd Crosby) and sumptuous art direction. Stock footage of the climactic torture sequence would later find its way into the 1966 spy spoof Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, which also starred Vincent Price.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Theatrical Release: August 12th, 1961

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Comparison: 

Shout! Factory (The Vincent Price Collection) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Arrow (Steelbook) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

1) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray LEFT

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

Also available in a regular Blu-ray Edition with the exact same transfer:

Distribution

Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Subtitles

English, None

English (SDH), None

Features

Release Information:
Studio: Shout! Factory

THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM

• Vintage and rare Introduction and final words from Vincent Price (5:06)
• Audio Commentary with Roger Corman
• Theatrical Trailer (2:28)
• Still Gallery

Blu-ray Release Date: October 22nd, 2013

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow

THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM

• Optional Isolated Music and Effects Track
• 
Audio commentary with director and producer Roger Corman
• 
Audio commentary by critic Tim Lucas
• 
Behind the Swinging Blade – A new documentary on the making of The Pit and the Pendulum featuring Roger Corman, star Barbara Steele, Vincent Price’s daughter Victoria Price and more! (43:07)
• 
Added TV Sequence – Shot in 1968 to pad out the film for the longer TV time slot, this scene features star Luana Anders (5:04)
• 
An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe with Vincent Price [52 mins] – Price reads a selection of Poe’s classic stories before a live audience, including The Tell-Tale Heart, The Sphinx, The Cask of Amontillado and The Pit and the Pendulum (with optional English SDH) (53:07)
• 
Original Trailer (2:30)
• 
Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Gothic Horror author Jonathan Rigby, illustrated with original archive stills and posters

Blu-ray Release Date: May 19th, 2014

 

Comments:

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

Firstly, in the 4 Blu-ray discs, 6-film, Vincent Price Collection (reviewed HERE) The Pit and the Pendulum shares the first Blu-ray with The Masque of the Red Death. Arrow have released a new Blu-ray package - in both a regular transparent case version and a Steelbook (both UK transfers are the same).

The Pit and the Pendulum gets a more robust transfer via Arrow with a much higher bitrate than the US edition. The images look very similar in the static captures comparisons below (color, detail) but, in-motion, the Arrow is smoother and superior. Textures are supported - there is a bit of frame-specific damage but otherwise contrast supports an excellent 1080P image.

Audio: Arrow use a linear PCM mono track, faithfully replicating the original production audio. It sounds predictably flat with a shade of noticeable depth. Like the Shout! Factory the Arrow offers optional English subtitles but is a region 'B'-locked Blu-ray.

Arrow offer a ton of extras. We get the same commentary with Roger Corman as found on the Shout! Factory as well as a second, very professional commentary from critic Tim Lucas. He is, easily, the best for this genre and imparts some valuable information that fans will be keen to indulge in. There is also a third, optional track with the isolated music and effects. Behind the Swinging Blade is a 2013, 43-minute documentary on the making of The Pit and the Pendulum featuring Roger Corman, star Barbara Steele, Vincent Price’s daughter Victoria Price and others discussing the production. We get a 5-minute added TV Sequence – shot in 1968 to pad out the film for the longer TV time slot. This particular scene features star Luana Anders. An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe with Vincent Price is a 53-minute, TV-quality, show from 1970. In it, Price reads a selection of Poe’s classic stories before a live audience, including The Tell-Tale Heart, The Sphinx, The Cask of Amontillado and The Pit and the Pendulum. It offers English subtitles - the a/v is not very strong although it is transferred in 1080P. Included is an original trailer and the package contains a collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Gothic Horror author Jonathan Rigby, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.

Once again, Arrow produce the definitive Blu-ray package for a pseudo-classic. It's an incredible package - max'ed out a/v - and some real effort going into the extras. Plus a Steelbook case (which is marvelous, btw) if you desire. This is a perfect film, for a late Friday night double-feature (suggest The Fall of the House of Usher!) Heartily endorsed!

Gary W. Tooze

1) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Bitrate

Shout!

Factory:

Bitrate

Arrow:

  Shout! Factory Arrow Video

Runtime:

1:20:33.995

1:20:32.577

Disc Size:

45,371,255,959 bytes

41,393,854,526 bytes

Feature Size:

18,189,023,232 bytes

25,293,739,584 bytes

Video Bitrate:

24.00 Mbps

34.86 Mbps

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2060 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2060 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2140 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2140 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio Commentary:

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

English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
LPCM Audio Undetermined 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

 


Sample Menus

1) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray LEFT

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT


 
 

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Arrow Blu-ray Captures

 

Box Covers

 

 

Also available in a regular Blu-ray Edition with the exact same transfer:

Distribution

Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 



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