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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "L'étranger" )

 

directed by Lee Philips
USA 19
74

Who is the father of Ann Collins' baby? Her husband had a vasectomy years ago. And Ann hasn't been with another man. Even more mysterious: as the baby grows inside her, Ann begins to change. She is beset by strange illnesses, pours tablespoons of salt on her food, turns the thermostat to 50 degrees, speed-reads academic tomes. But much bigger shocks are yet to come. Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie) stars in this hypnotic, swiftly paced blend of horror and sci-fi from Richard Matheson (Duel, Dying Room Only), the popular and prolific writer who also penned the novel I Am Legend and several notable The Twilight Zone scripts.

***

Richard Matheson picked and chose the most effective elements of such earlier films as Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist, then glossed over all with his own original touch. The result was this superior (if occasionally wavering) TV movie. Barbara Eden, who after five years of I Dream of Jeannie was no stranger to the supernatural, is here cast as a mother-to-be whose baby is inducing more than the standard kicks and labor pains. Fact is, the little stranger in the womb is an extraterrestrial being, bent upon controlling Eden's body and mind. The Stranger Within should not be watched in a natural-childbirth class anywhere at any time.

Video Cover / TV Promo

Television Premiere: October 1st, 1974

 

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:14:12
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.14 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 1.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: January 25th, 2010
Keep Case

Chapters 10

 

 

 

Comments

The Stranger Within has a lot going for it - sexy Barbara Eden (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, 12 Hours to Kill), George Grizzard (The Deliberate Stranger), Joyce Van Patten (God's Pocket) and David Doyle as the probing hypnotist. Yes, it is certainly derivative of Polanski's Rosemary's Baby, made 6 years earlier. It has a creepy score by Charles Fox (The Green Slime, Barbarella, Dying Room Only), and has that Richard Matheson TV 'unknown' atmosphere appeal. Great 70's TV science-fiction popcorn'er.

It's standard single-layered MoD (Made-on-Demand) disc but progressive in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and looks very good. This is labeled under the Warner's "Archive Collection" marquee and the image is very impressive but flat with only shade of damage at about 1/2 hour in. Black levels are strong and detail surprisingly good. Colors seem a little funky (warmer than usual skin tones), but the disc supports the film with a watchable, if far from stellar, transfer. Decent enough for SD. 

The mono sound is decent supporting the score and there are no subtitles offered. No supplements at all.

I was in the mood for this and had a ball watching it. My expectations were not high and I found a lot to appreciate. It offers reasonable value for those keen on the mix of talent. I'll probably revisit this - I got that much out of it.  

  - Gary Tooze

 



 

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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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