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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Girl-Getters")

 

Directed by Michael Winner
UK 1964

 

The first of six collaborations between two of British cinemas most infamous figures - Oliver Reed (The Damned, The Triple Echo) and Michael Winner (Death Wish) - The System finds both at their creative peak.

Reed is leader of a gang of youths, who spend a hot summer season in Devon in pursuit of women - including Jane Merrow (Night of the Big Heat) and Barbara Ferris (A Nice Girl Like You).

Filmed on location, and shot by the great Nicolas Roeg before he turned his attentions to directing, The System boasts a fine supporting cast, including Julia Foster (Alfie), Harry Andrews (The Deadly Affair), and David Hemmings (Fragment of Fear).

***

The System is a "Swinging London" comedy with an unsettling undercurrent of bitterness and cynicism. Oliver Reed plays a girlie-magazine photographer, the self-appointed leader of a group of handsome but unscrupulous bachelors who hang out in a British seaside resort. Their avowed goal is to seduce and abandon as many wealthy young girls as possible. One of the group, jealous of Reed's success, uses their "system" to hoist the leader on his own petard. Michael Winner solidified his reputation as a "mod" director in The System--and also displayed his utter contempt for the pretty young people he depicts. The film was released to the US under the more bankable title The Girl Getters.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 1964

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:30:18.663        
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,700,973,221 bytes

Feature: 23,134,240,320 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.02 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

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 (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Indicator

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,700,973,221 bytes

Feature: 23,134,240,320 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.02 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio commentary with film historians Thirza Wakefield and Melanie Williams (2019)
Interview with actor Jane Merrow (2019 - 17:52)
Drinking and Dancing Interview with John Porter-Davison (5:39)
John Burnham - Fun and Games (3:50)
Haunted England (1961): a short film by director Michael Winner exploring some of the haunted castles of England (23:31)
Image gallery: promotional and publicity material
Limited edition exclusive booklet with new essays by Andy Miller and Vic Pratt, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits


Blu-ray Release Date:
September 23rd, 2019
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Indicator Blu-ray (September 2019): Indicator have transferred Michael Winner's The System (also know as The Girl-Getters) to Blu-ray. It is on a dual-layered disc with a high bitrate. The film is as gritty as the image. It has plenty of thick, appealing texture. It has softness but the camera is quite kinetic and the close-ups show impressive detail. It looks very pleasing in-motion.

On their Blu-ray, Indicator use a linear PCM mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. It sounds a bit scattered at times with with crowd sequences around Torquay, Devon - a reflection of the original production. There is a jazzy score by Stanley Black (Hammer's The Full Treatment and Maniac, Val Guest's The Day the Earth Caught Fire, Jacques Tourneur's War Gods of the Deep) and it adds to youthful rebellion, seaside fun-fair atmosphere. There is other music in the club/bar dances and has The System opening theme, sung by the Merseybeat group "The Searchers". Indicator offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'B' Blu-ray.

The Indicator Blu-ray has some extras. These supplements include an audio commentary with film historians Thirza Wakefield and Melanie Williams who discuss the 'British New Wave' / Woodfall films like A Taste of Honey, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner etc., Winner's cameo, flip-talk, the 'sheepish' looking David Hemmings, cinematography by Nic Roeg ("Antonioni-esque"), writer Peter Draper, the 'angry-young-man' and tribal themes etc. There is some narration but a relaxed, enjoyable, dissertation on the production. There is a new 18-minute interview with actor Jane Merrow who describes how she ended up in the film. Drinking and Dancing is a short interview with John Porter-Davison (Grib in The System), Jeremy Burnham (uncredited as Ivor in the film) - Fun and Games is less than 4-minutes where he talks about the tennis sequence and a couple of other anecdotes. Haunted England is a 1961 documentary short film by director Michael Winner exploring some of the haunted castles of England and the Marquis of Bath tells of some of the ghosts at his stately home of Longleat. It runs shy of 24-minutes. There is an image gallery of promotional and publicity material and the package has a limited edition exclusive booklet with new essays by Andy Miller and Vic Pratt, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits.

The System has young men pushing limits in a British summer holiday season. It has a dark edge, with the 'playing' reversing roles -  and I appreciated the commentary. I had never seen this film before and it's a great choice for Indicator to bring to Blu-ray. Recommended for its earthy qualities and subtle dark energies. 

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

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Distribution Indicator - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 


 

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