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Directed by Frank Perry
USA 19
62

 

David (Keir Dullea), a young man suffering from an overwhelming fear of being touched, is admitted to a home for disturbed teenagers run by Dr. Alan Swinford (Howard Da Silva). Though at first resistant to interacting with the other patients, David finds himself drawn to Lisa, a schizophrenic girl who speaks only in rhymes. Their relationship, which grows from antagonism to one of trust, gives them both the strength to confront their inner demons and hope for the future.

The debut film for the husband-and-wife team of Frank and Eleanor Perry, David and Lisa (1962) was a surprise commercial success when it was first released. Made on a remarkably low budget of $200,000, the film worked on several levels - as a technically accomplished first feature, as a love story, and most importantly, as a more realistic look at the treatment of mental illness minus the usual psychobabble and sensationalism associated with Hollywood produced films in the same genre. What particularly impressed critics were the naturalistic performances and the seamless mixture of documentary-like realism with nightmarish dream sequences, all strikingly photographed in black and white by Leonard Hirschfield in and around Philadelphia. In a year that saw the release of such landmark films as Lawrence of Arabia, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Manchurian Candidate and Lolita, it was no small achievement that David and Lisa won Oscar® nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay (adapted by Eleanor Perry from the case study, Lisa and David by Dr. Theodore Isaac Rubin). The film was remade for television by co-producer Oprah Winfrey in 1998 with Sidney Poitier as the psychiatrist, Lukas Haas as David and Brittany Murphy as Lisa.

Excerpt from Turner Classic Films located HERE

 

Probably not everything it was cracked up to be in 1963, this independent, low-budget first feature by Frank Perry, about two emotionally disturbed teenagers (Keir Dullea and Janet Margolin) who fall in love, was sufficiently sensitive to elicit the admiration of Jean Renoir at the time. I suspect he dream sequences haven't stood up very well, but Howard da Silva does a good job as a sympathetic doctor.

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum's review at The Chicago Reader located HERE

 

  Posters

Theatrical Release: December 26th, 1962

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Comparison:

Homevision - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Scorpion Releasing (Limited Edition) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

  

   

Distribution Homevision - Region 1 - NTSC Scorpion Releasing
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:33:00  1:32:58.573  
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.8 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 14,976,716,438 bytes

Feature Size: 11,650,320,384 bytes

Total Bitrate: 13.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

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 1.0)  DTS-HD Master Audio English 1715 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1715 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles English, None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Homevision

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date: May 8th, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 10

Release Information:
Studio:
Scorpion Releasing

 

Disc Size: 14,976,716,438 bytes

Feature Size: 11,650,320,384 bytes

Total Bitrate: 13.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
Interview with Keir Dullea (41:36)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: March 31st, 2015
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray March 15': I don't know what the original aspect ratio of David and Lisa was but I can say that composition in both 1.33:1 SD and 1.78:1 BD can, occasionally, look incorrect to me.

Bruce tells us in email "I saw this film about 100 times during its very long run in LA and followed it from theater to theater. The aspect ratio was absolutely 100% 1.85 - framed that way, shown that way, and you can see it clearly in several of your photos with unruly and ridiculous headroom. The close-ups in the film were ALL framed tightly like that. No one can use as the excuse that in Academy you can see the tops of heads because they're cut off there, too." (Thanks Bruce)

The Home-Vision DVD is out-of-print and fetching some high $s via third party sellers. Scorpion's new 1080P isn't very robust (sharing a similarity with the 2007 DVD) at less than 15 Gig for the entire disc (with a 40-minute supplement) and an extremely low bitrate for the feature. Hence there are a few artifacts and the source has some minor scratches and speckles. So, the transfer is far from perfect but I do kinda like this odd film.

The DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono at 1715 kbps is also at the mercy of the source limitations sounding a bit scratchy in the beginning. The score is by Mark Lawrence - his only film composure credit. There are no subtitles but the extra included is a decent one - 40-minutes with a candid Keir Dullea sharing recollections of the production.

A less-than-stellar release from our friend at Scorpion - and the Region FREE Blu-ray disc is advertised as a 'Limited Edition', yet I'm unsure of how many that might include in the production run. However, because of the film's less-mainstream appeal it seems destined to reach the 'hard to obtain' status yet again.

So even after some complaints, I would still say those keen on seeing this unusual and clandestine work - this HD presentation, flawed as it is, is certainly watchable and we can encourage those interested to seek it out, while they still can. 

***

ON THE DVD: So after Image Entertainment swallowed up Homevision, consequently putting many out of work, they continue to infrequently release under this label. And this is their product. A single-layered disc (3.75 Gig) with a marginal image transfer - no extras and at an exorbitant price. Actually the only other DVD of this film is a Fox/Lorber release from 5 years ago - and it is even weaker. This at least has optional subtitles and contrast is acceptable.

I think the film has some merit and I was very interested to watch it as one of the first efforts to openly deal with the emotional problems of teenagers - but I am sickened by how Image Entertainment attempts to rape their customers. I suspect that as the market for this film is so small - to make it cost effective the price had to be excessive. This is not a healthy situation for consumers. So, unless you are very keen, we certainly don't recommend based on the DVD production quality proportional to the price. This independent film is a bit dated but very much worth seeing if you ever get the chance, however we don't encourage purchasing this DVD at full price.    

Gary W. Tooze


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1) Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Home Vision - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Scorpion Releasing - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

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Distribution Homevision - Region 1 - NTSC Scorpion Releasing
Region FREE -
Blu-ray




 

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