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H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The High Commissioner aka "Nobody Runs Forever" [Blu-ray]


(Ralph Thomas, 1968)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: The Rank Organisation

Video: Kino Lorber



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

Runtime: 1:41:55.692

Disc Size: 23,998,501,208 bytes

Feature Size: 22,596,145,152 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.17 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 28th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1842 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1842 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)











Description: Thrills and suspense abound in this crackling good tale of political espionage, intrigue and murder! Featuring a first-rate cast that includes Rod Taylor (The Time Machine), Christopher Plummer (The Night of the Generals), Lilli Palmer (The Holcroft Covenant), Camilla Sparv (Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round), Daliah Lavi (The Whip and the Body), Clive Revill (Modesty Blaise), Calvin Lockhart (The Beast Must Die), Derren Nesbitt (Where Eagles Dare), Burt Kwouk (A Shot in the Dark) and Franchot Tone (Advise & Consent). Aussie detective Scobie Malone (Taylor) accepts a mission to fly to London to arrest Sir James Quentin (Plummer), a high-level Australian commissioner wanted down under for murder. But when Malone arrives, he finds that the amiable Quentin is not only the key in groundbreaking peace negotiations, but also the target of an assassin himself! His mission hopelessly changed, Malone must find a way to escort and protect Quentin while routing out this new enemy... or face deadly international consequences. Shot by Ernest Steward (Deadlier Than the Male), edited by Ernest Hosler (On Her Majesty's Secret Service), music by Georges Delerue (The Day of the Dolphin) with a screenplay by Wilfred Greatorex (Battle of Britain) and direction by Ralph Thomas (The Iron Petticoat) - The High Commissioner will exhilarate you!



The Film:

A police investigator is forced to rely on the man he's been instructed to apprehend in this cold war thriller. Sir James Quentin (Christopher Plummer) is a high level negotiator with the British government who is approached by Scobie Malone (Rod Taylor), an Australian detective who has been instructed to arrest Quentin in connection with the murder of his first wife 25 years earlier. Quentin calmly asks Malone if he could wait until he completes his work at a diplomatic conference, and Malone agrees; Quentin even allows Malone to stay at his home with his second wife Shelia (Lilli Palmer). Malone's assignment soon proves to be more complicated (and dangerous) than he expected when he has to save Quentin from an assassination attempt. Quentin must protect a fellow diplomat also targeted by gunmen, and Malone learns that Shelia has a deadly secret. The High Commissioner was also released under the title Nobody Runs Forever.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Scobie Malone, a detective sergeant in the bush country of Australia, is sent to London by Flannery, his ambitious supervisor, to arrest Australian High Commissioner Sir James Quentin for the murder of his first wife 25 years ago. Scobie meets Quentin in London and is impressed with his personable manner and dedication to a vital trade conference he is directing. Unperturbed by the murder charge, Quentin refuses to leave until the conference is over. Scobie moves into Quentin's house and meets Sheila, Quentin's second wife, and Lisa, his devoted secretary. When Quentin is called away to visit the ailing American ambassador, he is accompanied by Scobie, who saves him from an attempted assassination. That night, Scobie is summoned to a gambling club where he meets the beautiful Madame Cholon, spends the night with her, and is beaten by three thugs on his way home.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

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

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The High Commissioner looks solid in 1080P. The grain textures are very appealing. Contrast and detail are impressive but there isn't a ton of depth but the image is consistent. The thickness is film-like. Pastel colors seem rich and true. This 1.66:1 Blu-ray gave me a very watchable viewing in regards to the HD picture quality.





























Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1842 kbps (24-bit) in the original English language. There are effects in the film - mostly pursuing cars, gunfire and an explosion. They have some mild depth.  The score benefits the political bourgeoisie expression - it's by the great Georges Delerue (Silkwood, Mister Johnson, Jules et Jim, The Woman Next Door, The Last Metro, Day For Night) and helps the film's suspense and upper-class aura. The dialogue was easy to distinguish despite the accents. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Only 3 trailers - none for the film.




I had never seen The High Commissioner - good cast, Rod Taylor is great! and it's a fairly unique political thriller. I was attentive throughout (not simply my drooling over Daliah Lavi!) There is some late 60's production nostalgia here too. The bare-bones Kino Lorber
Blu-ray allows you to see the film in 1080P. Yes, it is worth a spin and re-visitations.  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 33% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

November 6th, 2017



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