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The Wicked Lady [Blu-ray]
(Michael Winner, 1983)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: London-Cannon Films
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,067,071,928 bytes
Feature Size: 21,705,867,264 bytes
Video Bitrate: 25.98 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: April 21st, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1665 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1665 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
• Trailer (1:28)
Description: Legendary actress, Faye Dunaway (3 Days of the Condor, Network, Bonnie & Clyde) looking delectable in her 17th Century wardrobe, stars as Lady Barbara Skelton, a beautiful English socialite who finds her life extremely dull in spite of being married to a rich man (Denholm Elliot, Trading Places). In order to escape her banal existence, Barbara begins an affair with a miscreant criminal, Jackson (Alan Bates, The Go-Between), and together they enter into a life of crime… specifically, highway robbery. As Barbara masquerades as a bandit by day, she must uphold her duties in the social hierarchy by night. A remake of the 1945 classic, The Wicked Lady is a bold foray into deviance. Director Michael Winner (Death Wish) has even gone so far to include an erotic whipping scene between Dunaway and Marina Sirtis (Commander Deanna Troi of TV's Star Trek: The Next Generation). The wonderful supporting cast includes Sir John Gielgud (The Portrait of a Lady), Prunella Scales (Howard's End), Oliver Tobias (The Stud) and Glynis Barber (Terror).
Faye Dunaway stars in Michael Winner's labored re-make of the 1945 swashbuckler, which was co-scripted by Leslie Arliss, the original director of the 1945 film. Dunaway is Lady Barbara Skelton, a lady of the royal class, who becomes a highway robber, taking up with Captain Jerry Jackson (Alan Bates), a highwayman and her lover. Because of a notorious whipping scene in which Lady Barbara and Jackson's girlfriend (Marina Sirtis) take horsewhips to one another, tearing their clothing to strategically-placed ribbons, the film was held back from release because Winner refused to cut the salacious footage. After corralling author Kingsley Amis, and directors John Schlesinger, Karel Reisz, and Lindsay Anderson to attest to the redeeming social value of the scene, the scene stayed in the film.
'Bawdy', 'full-blooded', 'boisterous romp' - jaded adjectives hover over this particular filmic carcass, and popular British cinema gets another Carry On Up the Restoration. Charles II is squeezing Nell's oranges ho ho, and the very wonderful Dunaway becomes a roaring girl by night, cantering out from secret back passages and getting their money or their lives from rentacrowd in full-bottomed wigs. No village green without a rollicking maypole, no keyhole without a rutting doxy behind it; Tyburn's in there somewhere, and so is that whip-fight which almost constituted a case for censorship.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Wicked Lady has come to Blu-ray from the Kino Lorber label although the transfer may be from Scorpion Releasing with their logo appearing at the beginning. The single-layered transfer supports some impressive visuals. Colors have some richness and there is a tightness and depth. This 1.85:1 aspect ratio looks quite good. I see no manipulation and the source used is very clean. This Blu-ray seems to do its job exporting a fine, consistent, 1080P image.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio comes in a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1665 kbps. There are effects and a lively score by Tony Banks that suits the proceedings quite adeptly. There are quite a few pleasing moments for the audio although not much depth. There are optional English subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Only a trailer.
April 13th, 2015
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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