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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Suture [Blu-ray]


(Scott McGehee, David Siegel, 1993)




Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Kino Korsakoff

Video: Arrow Video



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

Runtime: 1:35:58.294

Disc Size: 48,813,279,934 bytes

Feature Size: 30,096,122,304 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.95 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 4th-5th, 2016



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps



English (SDH), none



Audio commentary with writer-directors David Siegel and Scott McGehee

Lacerations - The Making of Suture (32:25) with all-new interviews with Siegel, McGehee, executive producer Steven Soderbergh, actor Dennis Haysbert, cinematographer Greg Gardiner, editor Lauren Zuckerman and production designer Kelly McGehee
• 3 Deleted scenes (1:07, 0:49, 1:47) with optional commentary
Birds Past, Siegel & McGehee's first short film, about two young San Franciscans who journey to Bodega Bay along the path set by Tippi Hedren in Hitchcock's classic, The Birds (27:31)
US theatrical trailer (2:07)
European theatrical trailer (1:38)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by maarko phntme

Second disc DVD






Inspired by the paranoid visions of John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate and Seconds, the desert noir of Detour and the black and white widescreen beauty of Hiroshi Teshigahara's The Face of Another and Woman of the Dunes, Suture is one of great feature debuts by writer-directors David Siegel and Scott McGehee and a truly unique piece of cinema.

The wealthy and self-assured Vincent (Michael Harris) meets his blue collar half-brother Clay (Dennis Haysbert) at their father s funeral and is struck by their similarity. He decides to murder Clay and take his identity, only Clay survives the assassination attempt with no memory and is mistaken for Vincent. The fact that Harris is white and Haysbert is black only complicates a film that probes into the nature of identity.

After viewing an early rough cut, Steven Soderbergh came on board as executive producer and enthusiastic patron. Suture went on to become a hit on the festival circuit, including Sundance where it deservedly won the award for Best Cinematography.



The Film:

Suture, Scott McGehee and David Siegel's self-conscious exploration of identity and individuality, evokes a flashy remake of Edward D. Wood Jr.'s Jail Bait. Dennis Haysbert and Michael Harris play half-brothers Clay and Vincent Towers. Clay travels to Phoenix to meet with Vincent, whom he hasn't seen in years. Upon seeing one another, they are amazed at their resemblance to each other. Clay remarks, "Isn't it remarkable how much we look alike?" The problem is they look nothing alike: Clay is a black man who could pass for a Dallas Cowboys linebacker, while Vincent resembles Ralph Nader. Nevertheless, after their reunion, the characters in the film have trouble distinguishing between the two, which is good for Vincent. Responsible for a murder, Vincent decides to fake his own death by substituting Clay for himself -- since no one will notice the old switcheroo. Vincent arranges for Clay's body to be discovered in the aftermath of an automobile explosion. Then Vincent can flee and start a new life. Unfortunately for Vincent, Clay survives the accident. Swaddled in bandages and ointments, Clay is attended to by the beautiful Renee Descartes (Mel Harris), a plastic surgeon who busily reconstructs his face. At the same time, his psychiatrist Dr. Max Shimono (Sab Shimono) tries to reconstruct his memories. Before the healing process ends, Vincent tries to get to Clay and make sure that this time he really dies!

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Vincent (Michael Harris), a wealthy sophisticate, and Clay (Haysbert), a construction worker, have met only once, at their father's funeral. So when Vincent asks his half-brother to visit him in Phoenix, Arizona, then disappears on a business trip, Clay is perplexed. But that's only the start of his worries. After dropping Vincent at the airport, the car Clay is driving explodes, leaving him burnt beyond recognition and with amnesia. Then, when psychoanalyst Shinoda (Shimono) and plastic surgeon Renée Descartes (Mel Harris) start piecing his mind and body together, as if they were (the now missing) Vincent's, Clay's enjoyment of his newly acquired riches is tempered by the fact that, as Vincent, he's suspected of murder. This first feature is a witty, imaginative noir thriller exploring questions of identity, memory, and the duality of mind and body. In this last respect, the seemingly perverse decision to have Vincent and Clay played, respectively, by a white and a black actor makes perfect sense, complementing the balanced ironies and structural antitheses of the narrative. Most impressive.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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


This is the another Arrow Blu-ray release that is being simultaneously released in both region 'A' (US) and 'B' (UK). It is the exact same package on both sides of the pond to the best of our knowledge.


NOTE: As Michael Brooke informs us on Facebook in regards to Day of Anger: 'As the producer of Arrow's release, I can confirm first hand that the UK and US discs are absolutely identical: we only paid for one master, so there's no doubt about this at all! Which means that no matter which package you buy, the discs will play in any Region A or B setup (or Region 1 or 2 for DVD - and in the latter case the video standard is NTSC, to maximise compatibility). The booklets are also identical, but there are minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.' Suture the same situation.


Suture gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow.  It is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the 1 1/2 hour feature. The black and white film has marvelous contrast and consistent textures supporting the presentation as extremely film-like. The 1080P is 'Director Approved' and in the original 2.35:1 frame.  It's very clean with a no damage, speckles or scratches. This Blu-ray probably looks like exactly the theatrical version of the film. It provides an impressive video viewing.

















Audio :

Audio is transferred via a faithful linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 1536 kbps in the original English. It's a fairly passive film with only a couple of more dramatic incidents (explosion, gunfire). The unique score is by Cary Berger - who has done mostly short films - but it does a good job of supporting the film in the uncompressed transfer. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.


Extras :

Arrow include an audio commentary with writer-directors David Siegel and Scott McGehee plus a new 1/2 hour featurette entitled Lacerations - The Making of Suture with all-new interviews with Siegel, McGehee, executive producer Steven Soderbergh, actors Dennis Haysbert, Sab Shimono, cinematographer Greg Gardiner, editor Lauren Zuckerman and production designer Kelly McGehee and Kino Korsakoff. There are also three, short, deleted scenes with optional filmmaker's commentary. Birds Past is Siegel & McGehee's first short film, running 27-minutes - about two young San Franciscans who journey to Bodega Bay along the path set by Tippi Hedren in Hitchcock's classic, The Birds. We get both the US and European theatrical trailers and the package contains a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by maarko phntme A DVD is also included (NTSC for both packages) signifying it as 'Dual-Format'.




Noir enthusiasts will definitely gravitate to Suture! A totally unique dark cinema expression with some of the quintessential conventions of the cycle that we love (amnesia, black and white, evil brother etc.). The Arrow Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation with valuable supplements. I suggest this is kind of a 'lost' gem and a film that you don't want to miss. We strongly recommend. 

Gary Tooze

July 17th, 2016


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.

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Gary W. Tooze





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