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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Destructors aka "The Marseille Contract" [Blu-ray]

 

(Robert Parrish, 1974)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Kettledrum Films

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:30:53.072

Disc Size: 19,516,001,437 bytes

Feature Size: 18,713,001,984 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.34 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 22nd, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1635 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1635 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

The Destructors trailer (2:51) / Billion Dollar Brain trailer (2:44)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Newly Re-mastered in HD! Screen legends Michael Caine (Get Carter), Anthony Quinn (Zorba the Greek) and James Mason (Odd Man Out) co-star in this action-packed thriller set in the City of Light. This crime drama chronicles the attempts of a U.S. drug agent (Quinn) to stop a major drug-lord (Mason). Though the agent realizes his three predecessors have all been murdered, and that the French government doesn't necessarily approve of the Yank's harassment of a French citizen, he is determined to succeed and when Inspector Briac (Maurice Ronet, Purple Noon), a Parisian cop quietly suggests that maybe he should hire a professional assassin to snuff the drug lord... he hesitantly agrees. The hit man (Caine) turns out to be one of Quinn's old war buddies and agrees to the take the very dangerous and almost impossible mission. Cult director, Robert Parrish (Cry Danger) directed this exciting action film featuring another top-notch score by the great Roy Budd (Get Carter). Co-starring Marcel Bozzuffi (The French Connection).

 

 

The Film:

Set in the City of Light, this crime melodrama chronicles the attempts of a US drug agent to stop a major drug-lord. Though the agent realizes his three predecessors have been assassinated, and that the French government doesn't necessarily approve of the Yank's harassment of a French citizen, he is determined to succeed. Then a Parisian cop quietly suggests that Anthony Quinn himself hire an assassin to kill the drug lord. He thinks about it long and hard, before agreeing to it. Later he is shocked to learn that the assassin is an old war buddy. The hit man then works overtime to cozy up to the criminal and earn his trust. While he is doing that, the agent learns that events have changed and he must capture the drug lord alive. Unfortunately, he must first find a way to call off the professional killer before it is too late.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

"The Destructors," once reportedly titled "The Marseilles Connection," involves Anthony Quinn, as the harried American narcotics chief in Paris, in a variety of murderous machinations to eliminate James Mason, as the Marseilles kingpin of the international dope traffic. Mr. Mason, it turns out in a highly convoluted plot, has knocked off our hero's best agents, thus driving him to Maurice Ronet, as a seemingly helpful Parisian police inspector, and Michael Caine, as a professional hit man, womanizer and old friend, and others, to do the job.

If Paris's streets, bridges and Metro and the Marseilles waterfront never were lovelier, the script by Judd Bernard, who also produced, rarely delves deeply into the characters of his cast. Speed is the essence of director Robert Parrish's approach, which includes shootings, stabbings, car chases, pay-offs and wisps of amour and sex between our hero and Alexandra Stewart and Mr. Caine and Maureen Kerwin, as our villain's pretty daughter, and even a brief appearance by former Presidential aide Pierre Salinger as a top embassy official.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

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

The Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The Destructors has some production-related softness but it is consistent. It is single-layered with a supportive bitrate. It is not the most vibrant image looking a shade dull but detail in the many close-ups is pleasing. I imagine this is a decent representation of the source. It can look quite flat. The source is clean, but perhaps a bit faded. This Blu-ray gave me a watchable, but unremarkable, viewing in regards to the picture quality.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1635 kbps in the original English language. There are plenty of effects in the film - cars, guns etc. and they come through reasonably but with a pinch of punch. There is some depth and Roy Budd's (Get Carter, The Carey Treatment, The Wild Geese) score that moves seamlessly from passive to aggressive moments. Those attuned may also catch Thelonious Monk's 'Round Midnight in the film. It all sounds fine with clear consistent dialogue. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Only a couple of trailers - one for the film and one for Billion Dollar Brain.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Destructors is a a bit of a wayward adventure with, obviously, a strong cast. There are quite a few things to appreciate and a few to ignore. The modest pacing actually picks up as the film near conclusions and sticking around till the end was somewhat rewarding for this reviewer. Quinn is grand and so is Caine - Mason is only briefly a part of the proceedings. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray
is far from stellar but it did give me the opportunity to see the film in 1080P. Those who appreciate the cast may be the most recommended to catch this on Blu-ray

Gary Tooze

September 15th, 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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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