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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Robert Wise
USA 1977

Audrey Rose is a "thinking man's" horror film, which in a way is unfortunate, since it tended to be ignored amidst the many spell-it-all-out scarefests of the late '70s. Marsha Mason and John Beck play Janice and Bill Templeton, a happily married couple, the parents of well-adjusted preteen Ivy (Susan Swift). Their family security is disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious stranger, Elliot Hoover (Anthony Hopkins). At first mistaken for a potential child molester, Hoover explains that his obsessive interest in young Ivy is actually paternal. It is Hoover's contention that their daughter is the reincarnation of his own child, who died in a horrible accident. This information is dismissed out of hand-and then strange things begin happening. Directed by Robert Wise (who had previously helmed the psychological thriller The Haunting), Audrey Rose was adapted by co-producer Frank de Felitta from his own novel.

***

Audrey Rose (1977), the incomparable Robert Wise's eerie adaptation of Frank De Felitta's novel, gives us an affluent New York couple (Marsha Mason and John Beck) at a loss to explain the transformation of their heretofore happy little girl (Susan Swift) into a nightmare-ridden visionary, haunted by intimations of violent death. Until, that is, a stranger (Anthony Hopkins) appears, insisting that little Ivy is, in fact, the reincarnated-and tortured-soul of his own daughter, Audrey Rose, who died in a tragic accident just as Ivy was being born. Shot by the great Victor Kemper (Dog Day Afternoon).

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Theatrical Premiere:  April 6th, 1977

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Comparison:

MGM -  Region 1 - NTSC vs. Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

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Distribution MGM - Region 1- NTSC Twilight Time
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:52:56  1:53:21.419
Video 1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.75 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 
1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray
Disc Size: 31,160,045,724 bytes
Feature: 30,181,472,256 bytes
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Total Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) DTS-HD Master Audio English 1695 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1695 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score: DTS-HD Master Audio English 1739 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1739 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles Spanish, French, None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Letterboxed - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (:29)

DVD Release Date: A
pril 27th, 2001
Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio: Twilight Time

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray
Disc Size: 31,160,045,724 bytes
Feature: 30,181,472,256 bytes
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
Total Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• Trailer (1:38)
• Isolated track

Liner Notes by Julie Kirgo

• Limited edition 3,000 units

Blu-ray Release Date:
October 14th, 201
4
Custom Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Twilight Time Blu-ray - October 14': The new 1080P Blu-ray doesn't look particularly striking. Audrey Rose is a very thick, grainy film - so the texture supersedes any crispness. Obviously the letterboxed 2001 DVD is no match. The HD image is brighter - shows similar framing 1.85:1 (more on the top for the BD, less on the bottom). Colors seem far more true and realistic. This 1080P, by no means, looks glossy or pristine, but - I imagine, is the best the film will look.

The score by Michael Small (Child's Play, Night Moves, The Driver) is dark, creepy and, like the film, subtle. It sounds impressive via the lossless transfer and is available as an isolated score. There are optional English subtitles. The Twilight Time Blu-ray disc is region FREE and limited to 3,000 copies.

Extras consist of the, aforementioned, isolated score, a trailer and some liner notes by Julie Kirgo.

Something about this film intrigues me - hence, why I kept the DVD after all these years. It's no where near at the level of Wise's The Haunting, but it still has strong appeal for the concept and manner of storytelling. Yes, Audrey Rose is a 'thinking man's' horror. Recommended!  

Gary W. Tooze





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