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Directed by Bryan Forbes
UK 1967

 

From Bryan Forbes, the legendary writer/director of Séance on a Wet Afternoon, The Wrong Box, The Stepford Wives and The Naked Face comes this gripping classic about an elderly woman who becomes increasingly ensnared by her own world of delusion and exploited by the very real world of morally corrupt people. Three-time Oscar nominee Dame Edith Evans received her final Best Actress in a Leading Role Oscar® nomination for her performance as the eccentric Mrs. Ross, living alone in a meager apartment and hearing “whisperers” that plot against her. The whispering voices are right—but will anyone believe her? Gerry Turpin’s (Morgan: A Suitable Case of Treatment) stunning photography and John Barry’s (The Lion in Winter) haunting score are two of this powerful psychological drama’s best features.

***

Elderly Mrs. Ross (Edith Evans) loses her grip on reality when she begins to hear "voices" that seem to be conspiring against her. Separated from her dishonest husband, Archie (Eric Portman), and living alone, Mrs. Ross is patiently waiting for a windfall from her late father's nonexistent estate. When her thieving son, Charlie (Ronald Fraser), stashes a large sum of stolen cash in her apartment, Mrs. Ross finds it, assuming the money is her long-awaited inheritance.

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 1967 (Berlin International Film Festival)

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

Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:46:12.366        
Video

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,990,709,500 bytes

Feature: 31,623,045,120 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.93 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

 

1.66:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,990,709,500 bytes

Feature: 31,623,045,120 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Kat Ellinger

Trailers for other films


Blu-ray Release Date:
January 14th, 2020
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 (January 2020): Kino have transferred Bryan Forbes's The Whisperers to Blu-ray. It is advertised as being from a "Brand New 2K Master". It has close-ups that look almost 'demo' they are so crisp and tight with a beautiful fine grain being exported by the dual-layered transfer with a max'ed out bitrate. This 1080P image is highly remarkable - great contrast and a very appealing texture. Big thumbs up for the image.

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (16-bit) in the original English language. There are many silent, empty pauses, in the film and an less-utilized score by the iconic John Barry (Boom, Deadfall, The ChaseMidnight CowboyDances With Wolves and the Bond themes among his many credits) that advanced the dour and melancholy atmosphere. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray offers a new audio commentary by Kat Ellinger. She brings up the empty street scenes with cats and dogs roaming about, how it is reminiscent of the TV series Coronation Street which she sees the long-running series as imbuing a sense of community. I always found it heavy on class structure and how no one can seemingly rise above their station. She discusses Dame Edith Evans, director Forbes, his wife Nanette Newman, barely in the film, and many of the supportive cast including Eric Portman, Leonard Rossiter (Rising Damp) and Ronald Fraser. Her comments certainly added to my film experience although I may have seen things even more, appallingly, grim. There are also a handful of trailers but none for The Whisperers.

Well, let's just say The Whisperers won't be used as an advertisement for immigration to the UK. It is so defeatist dealing with themes of survival, the trappings of an ineffectual bureaucracy dolling out just enough to survive, corruption, loss of morality, human indifference, mercenary lifestyles, isolation, mental health - and I think this all may have been a very negative political inference by Forbes. It's a film I am so glad to have seen and was getting very keen on as it progressed - it was beautifully shot, expertly directed and filled with a great lead, and supportive, performances. I was fascinated and so glad to have watched it on Blu-ray with the Ellinger commentary option. Strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


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Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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