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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Directed by Richard Fleischer
UK 1971

 

As infamous serial murderer John Reginald Christie, Richard Attenborough is just exaggerated enough to remain credible. With his vaguely threatening countenance (shiny bald pate, pupil-magnifying spectacles) and lulling wisp of a voice, this genial strangler might be the bastard child of anarchy and politesse—or at least Elmer Fudd and Droopy.

Christie’s cartoonishness is appropriate considering that director Richard Fleischer is the son of animated-film pioneer Max Fleischer. Yet the character never seems a gag come to life. Both the director’s sober approach to the very lurid subject matter and Attenborough’s appropriately one-note performance help to illuminate this ostensible villain’s psychopathic philosophies, which are never treated as unholy gospel.

Unlike many a film serial killer, Christie isn’t preaching an alternate way of living to a secretly receptive audience. He remains a nondescript loner whom Fleischer and Attenborough insist we pay attention to, even as he slowly shatters the existence of his illiterate boarder (Hurt, doing the definitive take on “two sandwiches short of a picnic”). When Christie thereafter spirals into an undistinguished purgatory, the film gains in methodical momentum. The inevitable end—the killer’s apprehension on the banks of the Thames—sticks troublingly in the mind, as if justice has swaddled nothing more than a heavy-breathing black hole. It’s the perfect, downbeat grace note on which to end this underseen gem.

Excerpt from the TimeOut located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 10th, 1971

Indicator (Powerhouse) initial slate of Blu-rays
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Reviews                                                                               More Reviews                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Sony Pictures Home Ent. UK - Region 2,4 - PAL vs. Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Indicator (UK) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) Sony - Region 2,4 - PAL - LEFT

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

Distribution Sony Pictures Home Ent. UK  Home Video - Region 2,4 - PAL Twilight Time
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Indicator (UK)
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:46:16 (4% Pal Speedup) 1:50:57.067  1:50:57.067 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.95 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66:1 Disc Size: 33,437,452,872 bytes

Feature Size: 32,566,837,248 bytes

Total Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,742,916,777 bytes

Feature: 34,962,613,632 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Twilight Time Blu-ray:

Bitrate: Indicator Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0) 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1061 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1061 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1583 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1583 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1801 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1801 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2052 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2052 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Isolated Score:

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

 
Subtitles English, None English (SDH), None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent. UK 

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• DVD Introduction & Exclusive Interview by Sir Richard Attenborough
• Commentary by John Hurt
• Fact Files
• Vintage Lobby Cards
• Filmographies

DVD Release Date: March 29th, 2004

Keep Case
Chapters: 28

Release Information:
Studio:
Twilight Time

 

1.66:1 Disc Size: 33,437,452,872 bytes

Feature Size: 32,566,837,248 bytes

Total Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
Audio Commentary with Actress Judy Geeson, and Film Historians Lem Dobbs and Nick Redman
Audio Commentary with Actor John Hurt

Original Theatrical Trailers (3:20)
Isolated Score Track

• 8-page liner notes by Julie Kirgo
Limited to 3,000 units

 

Blu-ray Release Date: March, 2016
White Blu-ray case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: Indicator

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
 

1080P / 23.976 fps Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,191,567,700 bytes

Feature: 36,916,798,848 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.40 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• 
Audio commentary with Judy Geeson and film historians Lem Dobbs and Nick Redman
• Audio commentary with acclaimed actor John Hurt
• Introduction by Sir Richard (1:29) Attenborough: An appreciation by the great actor
• Interview with Sir Richard Attenborough: Attenborough discusses many aspects of the film (22:35)
• Being Beryl: Judy Geeson Interview Filmed in 2016.(22:09)
• Isolated score track
• Original theatrical trailer (3:20)
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Booklet with new and archival contents
Dual format edition

Blu-ray Release Date:
November 28th, 2016
Transparent
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Indicator (4K restored) - Region FREE - Blu-ray (November 2016): The short story is that I can't tell any difference in the video transfers of the two Blu-rays. They both have max'ed out bitrates, both 1.66:1 and look identical to me (I've compared 3 captures of which 2 of them are the exact same frame.) I also can't distinguish anything between the uncompressed audio - both mono and 24-bit (although Twilight Time's is DTS-HD Master and Indicator is linear PCM.) Both, also offer optional English (SDH) subtitles and an isolated score by John Dankworth (Sands of the Kalahari, The Last Grenade, Losey's Accident and The Servant among his credits).

So where are the differences? Primarily in the cover art and supplements. Both offer the same two commentaries (Indicator only in lossy Dolby) - "...actress Judy Geeson, and Film Historians Lem Dobbs and Nick Redman that is quite good as well as the older commentary with John Hurt as found on the UK DVD" and a trailer. Indicator go a few steps further and include a short introduction by Sir Richard Attenborough as an appreciation by the great actor as well as a 23-minute interview with him discussing many aspects of the film. We also get a new Fiction Factory (Robert Fischer) filmed-and-produced interview entitled Being Beryl with Judy Geeson running over 22-minutes. Indicator also add a new booklet with new and archival contents. The UK package is Dual-Format and includes a second disc DVD.

So Indicator (limited to 5,000 copies) go the extra mile and make their Blu-ray edition the definitive release although I wouldn't double-dip if you already owned the Twilight Time. It remains a chillingly honest film and gets our very highest recommendation!

***

ADDITION: Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray April 16': The new Twilight Time 1080P is in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio and shows the Sony DVD chops many heads in their cropped 1.85:1 transfer. This is significant. On the visual front skin-tones warm and colors gain richness plus there is a thick, heavy, film-like texture. It is dual-layered with a very high bitrate and looks very appealing in-motion.

Twilight Time use a DTS-HD master mono track - sounding authentically flat with the wonderful score also available as an isolated score option. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles on the region FREE Blu-ray disc.

Twilight Time include a new commentary with actress Judy Geeson, and Film Historians Lem Dobbs and Nick Redman that is quite good as well as the older commentary with John Hurt as found on the UK DVD. There is a trailer and the aforementioned Isolated Score Track in lossless and the package has an 8-page liner notes by Julie Kirgo and is limited to 3,000 units.

Great film - and the more authentic transfer (1.66, 1080P, theatrical running time and lossless audio) make it extremely desirable over the SD. I hadn't seen it for years but was again blown-away. Great presentation and fabulous commentaries - give this package our highest recommendation!

***

ON THE DVD: Firstly, I don't know how this film got by me - but it appears to have done the same to many on this side of the pond. It is as chilling a piece of cinema as I have ever seen - I had the feeling of grisly discomfort through the entire first hour. I had strong recollection of another quasi-brilliant effort by Richard Fleischer; The Boston Strangler (1968) as well as Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972) but frankly 10 Rillington Place is in another league altogether. As one reviewer puts it "more blood-curdling than Psycho"... and I wouldn't disagree. I would also state that it may be Richard Attenborough's best ever performance that I can recall and I thought Hurt and Geeson was also very effective. Perhaps the films keynote was the lack of exploitive imagery - although it is a harsh and truly disquieting subject matter - the true story of a serial killer. This may very well be one of the best films you have never seen.

The DVD image is very good. Decent sharpness and dark scenes remaining dark with no visible signs of untoward manipulation. The print is very clean and the mono audio clear and consistent. It strikes the correct aspect ratio of 1.85:1. John Hurts commentary is also very interesting - he points out Fleischer strong European sensibility and lack of relying on intense music to fill in for the narrative. Hurt obviously had a lot top say about his character of Timothy John Evans. He praises Attenborough and relates some anecdotes of working with him and his ability to manipulate props into his character's makeup. There are also 11 short spots with Richard Attenborough ranging from 90 seconds to 6 minutes each - they all appear to have been shot, along with the introduction, at the same time. he is an excellent speaker and tells his genuine feelings about this film experience and it is all very positive. There are also some static screen Lobby Cards, fact files and filmographies.    

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus


 

Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Sony - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Sony - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Sony - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Sony - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - MIDDLE

3) Indicator - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Sony - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Sony - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Sony - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Sony - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Sony - Region 2,4 - PAL - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Covers

Distribution Sony Pictures Home Ent. UK  Home Video - Region 2,4 - PAL Twilight Time
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Indicator (UK)
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Indicator (Powerhouse) initial slate of Blu-rays
Spine #001 Spine #002 Spine #003 Spine #004

Spine #005

Spine #006

Spine #008 Spine #010 Spine #012 Spine #013 Spine #019 Spine #020

 


 



 

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