|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Never Take Sweets from a Stranger [Blu-ray]
(Cyril Frankel, 1960)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Hammer Films
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:21:10.824 (both are 1:21:10)
Disc Size: 40,757,874,051 bytes
Feature Size: 23,092,003,968 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.97 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: February 19th, 2018
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1064 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1064 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), none
• Two presentations of Never Take Sweets from a Stranger:
the original UK theatrical cut, containing original titles
and dialogue; and the alternative US version with amended
Never Take Candy from a Stranger titles and censored
Description:Clarence Olderberry, a senile psychopath living in a Canadian town, is sexually attracted to little girls. High school principal Peter Carter and his wife, Sally, new arrivals from England, discover that their 9-year-old daughter Jean and her playmate Lucille have undressed in front of Olderberry in exchange for candy. Peter takes the matter to court, but the wealthy Olderberry's son, a powerful influence in the community, is able to conceal the fact that his father is a former mental patient and at the same time arouse public sentiment against the Carters. The prosecution is dropped when the defense counsel, a clever "family" lawyer, bullies and confuses Jean, and the old man is acquitted. Peter resigns his post and prepares to leave town when he discovers that Jean and Lucille have vanished, as has Clarence Olderberry.
After a series of phenomenally successful horror films, Hammer
Films took a chance and produced a serious drama dealing with a grim social
problem: child molestation. The resulting film is a sincere, delicately handled
work that is quite successful from a social and artistic standpoint. But Hammer
could not change its bloody image with the critics overnight, and the film was
savaged in the press by writers who assumed that Hammer would exploit the
sensitive material. The studio did not, however, and NEVER TAKE CANDY FROM A
STRANGER is one of the few films that examines this unsettling and important
problem. Allen, his wife, Watford, and their young daughter, Faye, move from
England to a small town in Canada so that Allen can begin his new job as the
high school principal. Also in the town lives Aylmer, a senile old man with
severe psychopathic problems and an
This relevant thriller from Hammer Films tells the story of Peter Carter (Patrick Allen) and his family, who have moved to a small Canadian town where Peter’s been hired as the new school principal. But the Carters are unaware there’s a sexual predator on the loose in the community.
The elderly pervert Clarence Olderberry (Felix Aylmer) makes a play for Carter’s young daughter Jean (Janina Faye) and her friend, by offering them sweets if they strip nude.
Carter takes legal action and demands justice. But even though rumors have long swirled about the wealthy and respected Olderberry, the odds are against the Carters.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Never Take Sweets From a Stranger arrives on Blu-ray from Indicator out of the UK. Firstly, we get the option for the UK or US titles (see above) but the presentation is seamlessly branched and is the same quality from then on, although the US version has some censored dialogue. The image quality is very impressive - extremely sharp, contrast is strong - sometimes quite dark with a hint of green but the visuals exhibit pleasing depth. This is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate - towering above the old DVD. This Blu-ray offers an impressive presentation in 1080P and kudos to the cinematography of Freddie Francis.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio is transferred via a linear PCM authentically mono at 1152 kbps (24-bit). There are no aggressive effects and the film's tension relies solely on the excellent score by Elisabeth Lutyens' (The Skull, The Terrornauts, Paranoiac, The Earth Dies Screaming) - good featurette on her in the extras - that certainly benefits from the lossless transfer heightening the Never Take Sweets' drama and suspense. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE - playable world-wide.
Indicator add many supplement. Conspiracy Theories: Inside "Never Take Sweets From a Stranger" runs 25-minutes and has Jonathan Rigby, John J. Johnston and others talking about the film's impact and it's position in Hammer's oeuvre. It includes an archival audio interview with director Cyril Frankel. Hammer's Women: Gwen Watford spends 8-minutes with Laura Mayne discussing the actress, her theatrical and many later TV roles. There is a new 1/4 hour interview with Janina Faye and she discusses her experiences in the child role of Jean Carter and her other Hammer film Horror of Dracula (1958). I enjoyed the dozen-minute Appreciation by Matthew Holness and the extensive The Perfect Horror Chord by David Huckvale author of Hammer Film Scores and the Musical Avant-Garde. It runs a 43-minutes and is filled with interesting information. There is also a US theatrical trailer with an Trailer-From-Hell Brian Trenchard-Smith commentary as well as galleries for advertising, press and promotional material. The package has an exclusive booklets for each film, with new essays by Kat Ellinger, Julian Upton and Kim Newman, archival interview materials, contemporary reviews, and full film credits.. This edition is limited to 6,000 copies.
February 25th, 2018