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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Joseph Losey
UK 1968

 

Joseph Losey’s lurid and often misunderstood drama stars the great Elizabeth Taylor (Suddenly, Last Summer) as an ageing London prostitute who befriends a young woman (Mia Farrow, See No Evil) that reminds her of her long-dead daughter. As the bizarre relationship between the two evolves, the appearance of Robert Mitchum (Cape Fear), as Farrow’s abusive stepfather, ignites deep emotions and dark passions.

***

Psychological thriller starring Elizabeth Taylor, Mia Farrow and Robert Mitchum. Leonora (Taylor) is an aging prostitute mourning for her dead daughter. The unbalanced Cenci (Farrow) comes to believe that Leonora is her own dead mother, and the two women are content to bolster each other's fantasies. But when Cenci's sinister stepfather Albert (Mitchum) comes on the scene, he reveals some long-hidden secrets that could destroy their relationship.

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 23rd, 1968

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

Coming to the US on Blu-ray, from Kino, in April 2020:

Distribution Universal (UK) Home Video - Region 2 - PAL Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:44:16 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:49:09.834  
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.48 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,092,454,542 bytes

Feature: 32,151,107,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.94 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 Blu-ray:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 

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

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

Subtitles English, None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Pictures Video (UK) Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date: May 15th, 2006

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 14

Release Information:
Studio:
Indicator

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 44,092,454,542 bytes

Feature: 32,151,107,136 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.94 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary with authors and critics Dean Brandum and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (2019)
• Archival Interview with Joseph Losey (1969, 14:03): extract from the French television programme Cinéma critique, featuring the celebrated director promoting the release of Secret Ceremony and an appreciation by critic Michel Mourlet
• The Beholder’s Share (2019, 24:14): interview with Gavrik Losey, son of Joseph Losey
• TV version: additional scenes (1971, 17:36): unique epilogue and prologue produced for US television screenings, with Robert Douglas and Michael Strong
• Original theatrical trailer (2:01)
• Larry Karaszewski trailer commentary (2015, 2:57): short critical appreciation
• Image gallery: promotional and publicity material
• Limited edition exclusive 40-page booklet with a new essay by Neil Sinyard, an archival location report, Joseph Losey on Secret Ceremony, a look at the source novella, an overview of contemporary reviews, and film credits
• World premiere on Blu-ray
Limited edition of 3,000 copies


Blu-ray Release Date:
November 18th, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case inside cardboard sleeve

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Indicator Blu-ray (October 2019): Indicator have transferred Joseph Losey's Secret Ceremony to 1080P Blu-ray. It shows much more information in the frame than the older DVD. Colors, contrast, grain support are demonstratively superior in 1080P that has 7X the bitrate of the PAL sped-up SD transfer. No contest - the very textured Blu-ray image is lush, rich and very film-like.

On their Blu-ray, Indicator use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. It is another advancement in the film's audio and subtly mysterious score by Richard Rodney Bennett's (Figures in a Landscape Far From the Madding Crowd, The Witches, Equus, Billy Liar, The Man Who Could Cheat Death), sounding a bit deeper with more consistent dialogue. Indicator offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region 'B' Blu-ray.

Indicator include a new audio commentary with authors and critics Dean Brandum and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas both Australian 'Losey-ologists' and they give a great analysis seeing rituals, repetition, power structure, role-playing and comparisons to Boom and The Servant. It is excellent and they really advanced my appreciation of Secret Ceremony from simply over-the-top pretentious camp. There is a 1/4 hour archival Interview with Joseph Losey from 1969 represented as an extract from the French television programme Cinéma critique, featuring the celebrated director promoting the release of Secret Ceremony and an appreciation by critic Michel Mourlet. The Beholder’s Share is a new 25-minute interview with Gavrik Losey, son of Joseph Losey. Losey fans will love the inclusion of 18-minutes worth of the TV version's additional scenes that represent a unique epilogue and prologue produced for US television screenings, with Robert Douglas and Michael Strong. Included is an original theatrical trailer plus a 'TFH' Larry Karaszewski trailer commentary from 2015 where he gives a short critical appreciation. There is an extensive image gallery of promotional and publicity material and the extensive package contains a limited edition exclusive 40-page booklet with a new essay by Neil Sinyard, an archival location report, Joseph Losey on Secret Ceremony, a look at the source novella, an overview of contemporary reviews, and film credits.

Indicator keep hitting it out of the park. I was not crazy about Secret Ceremony when I saw it on DVD but all the Joseph Losey's detail revealed in the commentary and extensive supplements make this Blu-ray essential - a very strong recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

 


Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL

 

Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


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

 

Subtitle Sample - Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL  TOP

2) Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


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Box Cover

Coming to the US on Blu-ray, from Kino, in April 2020:

Distribution Universal (UK) Home Video - Region 2 - PAL Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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Gary Tooze

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