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Deadlier Than the Male [Blu-ray]
(Ralph Thomas, 1967)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Greater Films Ltd.
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,890,599,002 bytes
Feature Size: 17,473,990,656 bytes
Video Bitrate: 21.00 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 8th, 2015
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
English (SDH), none
•Original Theatrical Trailer (3:01 - HD)
• Archive interviews - Richard Johnson - 5:03 , Elke Sommers - 5:13, Sylva Koscina - 3:44, Nigel Green - 5:52, Steve Carlson - 4:43
• Archive location reports (15:17 + 14:22)
• Extensive image galleries (HDs - Portraits - 6:48, Production - 16:12, and Promotional - 2:48)
Description: Richard Johnson gives a suave performance as
Hugh 'Bulldog' Drummond in this cool '60s take on the
exploits of H.C. McNeile s famous fictional hero. Giving
Bond a run for his money, Deadlier Than the Male sees
Drummond involved with daring escapes, murderous plots,
femmes fatales and dolly birds by the score! The film is
presented here as a High Definition transfer from the
original film elements in its original aspect ratio.
It's all about how two gorgeous females, Elke Sommer and Sylva Koscina,
spend their time tripping around London and the Riviera, blithely
bumping off unsuspecting males with spear guns, hypodermic injections
(which paralyze the victims so they may be tossed off roofs), time-bombs
placed adroitly in apartments, and bullet-loaded Corona cigars. It seems
they are disposal units for a business syndicate, directed by Nigel
Green, who uses unorthodox methods in trying to corner rights to Saudi
Yup, two incredibly gorgeous henchwomen walk out of the surf in their
bikinis, armed with a spear-gun, and use that spear-gun to penetrate one
surprised and happy spy. Urusla Ander's similar Bond scene has got
nothing on this. Their bodies, their non-chalant attitude towards
seduction and murder, their borderline lesbian chemistry... mmph.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The fun and sexy spy-spoof Deadlier Than the Male gets a Blu-ray from Network in the UK. It's single-layered with a modest bitrate. The image quality doesn't seem as tight and crisp as may have been anticipated. I don't know if it is the transfer or source but it is definitely soft - almost waxy at times although digitization seems unlikely. It's very clean with few speckles and no noticeable damage. Colors are true but marginally dampened. There is no depth and the grain clumps like noise. It's not a good HD presentation but it's fairly consistent (looking a shade sharper later in the film). I'd say that this Blu-ray is watchable but suggest that this film should look better than it does in 1080P.
As Michael Brooke states in our FB Group HERE, "Techniscope can look great if the original neg has been properly preserved - see Arrow's 'Day of Anger' or 'Zombie Flesh Eaters' for excellent examples. But a common problem with the format is that the image is sometimes softer than it should be when converted to anamorphic 35mm - as it needs to be in order to make it showable in cinemas. So pre-print materials other than the original camera negative might be significantly flawed in this respect."
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Network use a linear PCM 2.0 channel track (16-bit) for Deadlier Than the Male. It lacks depth but dialogue is clear. The score is by Malcolm Lockyer (Dr. Who and the Daleks, Island of Terror, Night of the Big Heat, Bang Bang, You're Dead, Ten Little Indians) and adds to the thrills and action sounding pleasing, if lacking intensity, in the uncompressed. There is also the annoying theme sung by The Walker Brothers. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Network include five archival interviews running about 25-minites in total - presumably shot at the time of the film's release. We hear from Richard Johnson, Elke Sommers, Sylva Koscina, Nigel Green, and Steve Carlson. There are 2 archive location reports running about 1/4 hour each and show the stars at the locations - the waterfront and swimming in the ocean. There are also extensive image galleries in HDs labeled 'Portraits', 'Production' and 'Promotional'.
July 13th, 2017
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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