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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by David Lowell Rich
USA 1968

 

A Lovely Way to Die stars screen legend Kirk Douglas (Lonely Are the Brave, The Vikings) as Schuyler, a hard-boiled police detective who turns in his badge after charges of brutality are made against him. Hired by a prominent attorney (Eli Wallach, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), Schuyler is assigned to protect Rena Westabrook (Sylva Koscina, The Secret War of Harry Frigg), a beautiful young woman who is accused of murdering her wealthy husband. While trying to uncover more information about the murder, Schuyler falls for his lovely client and gets embroiled in a murderous scheme of blackmail, deadly secrets and lies. David Lowell Rich (Madame X) wonderfully directed this colorful sixties caper featuring early unbilled screen appearances by Ali MacGraw (The Getaway), Doris Roberts (TV's Everybody Loves Raymond) and John P. Ryan (Runaway Train).

***

A cop quits the force after too much disappointment in the system. He becomes a bodyguard of a rich recent widow. She is on trial for her husband's murder. He decides to help her clear her name... and get over her husband.

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 19th, 1968

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

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:43:49.139         
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,878,883,290 bytes

Feature: 32,543,705,088 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.92 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 1556 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1556 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

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,878,883,290 bytes

Feature: 32,543,705,088 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historians Howard S. Berger and Steve Mitchell
U.S. Theatrical Trailer (HD) (2:25)
International Theatrical Trailer (HD) (3:17)


Blu-ray Release Date:
April 27th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (March 2021): Kino have transferred David Lowell Rich's A Lovely Way to Die to Blu-ray. It is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate but still subject to the source which is marginally compromised. Contrast takes a notch down and the image has a rough-hewn blocky look but not necessarily film-texture-like. It's very watchable with great Technicolor colors and impressive Techniscope 2.35:1 aspect ratio but looks like it may be somewhat worn. Visually the film itself is a pleasure with some striking scenes.

NOTE: We have added 74 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (16-bit) in the original English language. It sounds pretty strong with some aggressive action sequences and, occasionally humor-infused, score by jazz-notable Kenyon Hopkins (Lilith, notable for also composing Rossen's "The Hustler" and being a conductor for many great films such as "12 Angry Men" and "Elmer Gantry") sounding clean and adds to the film experience via the lossless. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Howard S. Berger and Steve Mitchell. Great to hear from them on this as they discuss A Lovely Way to Die being very sexist by today's standards, Kirk's role perhaps being a response to the success of Sinatra's Tony Rome and Lady in Cement. They discuss the theme of imprisonment beyond a jail-term, the Morris Hartzband widescreen compositions, Sylva Koscina abs, the many stars in the film (some uncredited) including the girl at the horse race; Ali MacGraw (The Getaway), the sexy maid; Sharon Farrell (Marlowe), Ralph Waite (The Waltons), Conrad Bain (Diff'rent Strokes), ingénue Leslie Charleson etc. . Steve discusses New York locations, and they talk about Kirk and director David Lowell Rich (Eye of the Cat, Madame X) among many other details. It's at their usual informative and gregarious level of superior commentary. There are also trailers for the film - original theatrical and 'international'.  

A Lovely Way to Die is not premium Kirk Douglas although he is excellent as the macho-lothario ex-cop P.I./bodyguard. Sylva Koscina (Deadlier Than the Male) is scantily dressed through most of her screen-time... which could be considered quite a bonus. I found the humor to add an awkwardness to a decent thriller. Certainly a good film for 'star-spotting' and the commentary adds immense value. Without the Kino Blu-ray this may have continued to be out of the conversation and it was nice to revisit. 

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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