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(aka "North Sea Hijack")

 

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen
UK 1980

 

Screen legends Roger Moore (Gold), Anthony Perkins (Psycho) and James Mason (Lolita) star in this fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat espionage thriller. Madman Lou Kramer (Perkins) captures and threatens to destroy a vital North Sea oil rig in 24 hours unless the British government delivers a huge ransom. Only one man has the skills to defeat him—Rufus Excalibur Folks (Moore), a reclusive underwater expert who leads an elite commando team in a race-against-the-clock high-seas assault. Veteran filmmaker Andrew V. McLaglen (The Wild Geese, The Devil’s Brigade) directed this entertaining, action-packed, humorous and offbeat thriller in a genre all its own.

***

Roger Moore took a brief vacation from playing James Bond in this witty adventure drama. Rufus Excalibur ffolkes (Moore), who for some reason prefers not to capitalize his last name, is a scuba-diving adventurer for hire with a sharp mind, a quick wit, a fondness for cats, and a certain distrust of women. When terrorist Lou Kramer (Anthony Perkins) takes over an oil drilling platform in the North Sea and threatens to blow it sky high if his demands are not met, ffolkes is called in by Admiral Brinsden (James Mason) to foil Kramer's scheme before it's too late. ffolkes, also released as North Sea Hijack and Assault Force, was based on the novel Esther, Ruth, and Jennifer by Jack Davies, who also penned the screenplay ("Esther, Ruth, and Jennifer," incidentally, are the code names for the ship, drilling rig, and platform seized by Kramer in the film).

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 30th, 1980

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:39:47.982         
Video

1.85:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,913,810,960 bytes

Feature: 20,756,656,128 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.45 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

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

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

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.85:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,913,810,960 bytes

Feature: 20,756,656,128 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.45 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary by Film Historians Howard S. Berger, Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson

• Trailer (2:14)


Blu-ray Release Date:
October 1st, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (September 2019): Kino have transferred the 80's British espionage-adventure-heist flic "ffolkes" to Blu-ray. It is on a single-layered disc with a middling bitrate. The beginning can look a bit 'thin' (digitized) but after 10-minutes settles in to look quite pleasing with rich colors (reds, greens and yellows) but only decent detail in close-ups. It's not the most stellar looking film-to-digital but is clean and in 1080P. Without undue scrutiny, most will appreciate the HD video appearance.

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (16-bit) in the original English language. There are some aggressive effects (guns) and a few underwater sequences plus a score by Michael J. Lewis (The Legacy, The Medusa Touch, 11 Harrowhouse, Julius Caesar) sounding consistent and adept in the lossless. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray includes a commentary from Howard S. Berger, Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson where they address the 'Alistair MacLean-genre', a lot on Moore as Bond and beyond, his representation as a great guy outside of the set, Perkins and other cast members and how the film carries a nostalgic edge. It's worth a listen. There is also a trailer - and trailers of other films.

Nice to see Roger Moore attempt to break out of his Bondian 'mold' of debonair, fun and witty womanizer, and the film has a good storyline. Here he's an unlikable hard-ass who drinks, pets his cat and does needle-point. I liked it as I did Gold, as Moore can carry a film in his own less-arrogant yet macho way. I will revisit this on Blu-ray. Recommended to those who enjoy Moore or have some nostalgia associated with 'ffolkes'. 

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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