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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Richard Marquand
USA 1978

 

Written by the late, great Jimmy Sangster (The Revenge of Frankenstein, Taste of Fear), this supernatural riff on Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None is a gruesome, hugely entertaining chiller. Two American architects (real-life couple Katharine Ross and Sam Elliott, who met on the set of this film) are holidaying in England and find themselves trapped at a country mansion where the various guests become victims in a series of unexplained and increasingly violent deaths. Director Richard Marquand (Return of the Jedi, Jagged Edge), making his feature-film directing debut, deftly balances horror and grisly black humour. The film also boasts sumptuous photography by the great Dick Bush and Alan Hume, a wonderfully eccentric score by Michael J Lewis and a superb supporting cast which includes Charles Gray, Margaret Tyzack, Ian Hogg, John Standing and The Who's Roger Daltrey.

***

How far would you go to inherit everlasting life? When Margaret (Katharine Ross, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and her boyfriend Pete (Sam Elliot, The Big Lebowski, Road House) have a car accident in the English countryside, the other driver offers to take them to his lavish country estate to make amends. But once there, they are surprised to learn that all of the other houseguests are already expecting them! It’s not long before the couple’s fear turns into terror when the guests (including Roger Daltrey, Tommy) begin dying in unspeakable ways. Now it’s clear, the true master of the house is a supernatural force that will stop at nothing to find the rightful heirs for an unimaginably horrible legacy.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 1978

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

Distribution Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:39:42.810         1:39:39.723
Video

1.78:1 1080P Sing.-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,963,566,687 bytes

Feature: 18,672,734,208 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.97 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,563,809,326 bytes

Feature: 29,393,686,080 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Shout! Factory Blu-ray:

Bitrate Indicator Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1624 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1624 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -31dB

Subtitles English, None English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Shout! Factory

 

1.78:1 1080P Sing.-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,963,566,687 bytes

Feature: 18,672,734,208 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.97 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Interview with Academy Award winning film editor Anne V. Coates (Lawrence of Arabia) (13:47)
• Interview with special effects artist Robin Grantham (10:46)
• Theatrical Trailer (1:43)
• TV Spot (:32)
• Radio Spot (:29)
• Photo Gallery (2:32)


Blu-ray
Release Date: September 15th, 2015
Standard
Blu-ray Case inside cardboard sleeve

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Indicator

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,563,809,326 bytes

Feature: 29,393,686,080 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio commentary with Kevin Lyons, editor of The Encyclopaedia of Fantastic Film and Television

An Extended Legacy: Version Comparison (10:16)
"An Editing Legacy" (13:48) - Interview with Anne V. Coates
"The Make-up Effects of 'The Legacy'" (10:47) - Interview with Robin Grantham
"Ashes and Crashes" (04:01) - Second Unit Director Joe Marks on 'The Legacy'
Theatrical Trailer (01:43)
Image Gallery
"Between the Anvil and the Hammer"
TV and Radio Spots
Between the Hammer and the Anvil (1973) (27:06):  Marquand’s acclaimed documentary short film, made for the Central Office of Information, about the Liverpool police force
Image gallery: On-set and promotional photography
New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Julian Upton, an overview of contemporary critical responses, archival articles, and film credits


Blu-ray Release Date:
July 29th, 2019
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Shout! Factory Blu-ray (July 2019): Indicator release a new High Definition remaster of "The Legacy". The 1080p 1.85:1 image is kept on a dual-layered Blu-ray disc and has a completely maxed-out bitrate. When compared to the Shout! Factory Blu-ray, this is a much more impressive transfer. This new image shows that the Shout! Blu-ray was zoomed-in/cropped just a tad on all sides of the frame. The biggest difference that one may see when comparing the screen captures is the greater contrast in this new Blu-ray from Indicator. Blacks are deeper and way more varied, showing a greater depth to the image. Gone is the yellow-hued forest with a slightly purple sky in the first image capture, now we have a much more realistic picture, with lifelike skin tones (check out the image of Katharine Ross by the fireplace mantle). The original Blu-ray that Shout! released was no slouch, showing a fine amount of detail without much print damage, and yet this new transfer shows how much was clearly lacking. Another fantastic transfer thanks to Indicator.

NOTE: Indicator give the option of viewing the film in either the US Theatrical Cut (HD 1.85:1 100 min) or the UK Theatrical Cut (SD, 1.33:1, 102 min) The menu states that "The Legacy premiered in UK cinemas in September 1978. When it played US cinemas a year later, the runtime was reduced and it featured some alternative shots. The US Theatrical Cut is presented here in a new High Definition remaster. The UK Theatrical Cut is presented in open-matte Standard Definition.

On this new
Blu-ray, Indicator wisely include the original mono audio, presented in uncompressed linear PCM 2.0 (24-bit). The rather mediocre DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1624 kbps that appeared on the Shout! Blu-ray is now bested by this new uncompressed track. The score by Michael J. Lewis (The Medusa Touch, 11 Harrowhouse, Julius Caesar) is given more weight thanks to this linear PCM. Not to mention the Kiki Dee track, "Another Side of Me". There are also new and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing on this Region 'Free' Blu-ray from Indicator.

The first extra is an audio commentary with Kevin Lyons, editor of The Encyclopaedia of Fantastic Film and Television. Next up are 3 interviews, starting with "An Editing Legacy"; a 14-minute interview with with Anne V. Coates. "The Make-up Effects of 'The Legacy'" is an 11-minute interview with Robin Grantham. "Ashes and Crashes" is a 4-minute interview with Second Unit Director Joe Marks. "Between the Hammer and the Anvil" is Marquand’s acclaimed documentary short film, made for the Central Office of Information in 1973. The documentary is about the Liverpool police force. Also here is the film's theatrical trailer, as well as TV and radio spots. An image gallery featuring on-set and promotional photography is also located on the
Blu-ray. There is a limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Julian Upton, an overview of contemporary critical responses, archival articles, and film credits.

"The Legacy" features some fine tongue-in-cheek performances from Katharine Ross and Sam Elliot (who shows off his backside, unless that was a body double). The film finds a lot of unique ways to get around an otherwise boilerplate spooky gothic castle plot. This
Blu-ray from Indicator is recommended to fans of the genre, not to mention the fine cast.

A note that some have mentioned that their discs experience an issue around the 71-72 minute mark (some saying 72:10) on the US cut. We should note that our screener copy did not have such errors.

Colin Zavitz

***

ON THE Shout! Factory Blu-ray (September 7th, 2015) - The Legacy looks solid on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory. It's another modest 70's - 80's horror put to 1080P. The transfer is described as an 'HD transfer from the inter-positive'. The image quality supports the film's visuals with excellent contrast. There are some light surface scratches here and there. This is single-layered with a modest bitrate but the colors look true with some depth. It is transferred in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. There are no dominant flaws - the video is produces a positive presentation.

Audio is in the form of a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1624 kbps. Not an abundance of effects in the film. The score is by Michael J. Lewis and is fairly subtle with some aggressive outbursts - exporting some occasional depth. There are optional English subtitles (see sample) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked
Blu-ray.

Shout! Factory add some extras - a 14-minute interview with editor Anne V. Coates and a second, 11-minutes long, interview with special effects artist Robin Grantham - both talking about the film production. There is also a theatrical trailer, TV and radio spot plus a superfluous gallery.

I think The Legacy had potential, but falls short. I was keen to see Katharine Ross and Sam Elliot together. The plot doesn't move with any urgency and seems directionless - relying on the two stars to carry it forward - which they are capable of doing to a small degree. The Shout! Factory
Blu-ray produces a fine presentation - but the film may disappoint those with high expectations. 

Gary Tooze

 


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

 

Indicator  Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


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

2) Indicator US  Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Indicator (UK Theatrical Cut)  Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


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

2) Indicator  Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


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

2) Indicator  Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


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

2) Indicator  Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


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

2) Indicator  Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


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

2) Indicator  Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


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

2) Indicator  Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


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Distribution Shout! Factory - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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