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International Euro Blu_ray Review: Hitchcock's THE LODGER (1926) - NICE TRANSFER, BUT WATCH OUT!

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Dick, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. Dick

    Dick Well-Known Member

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    THE LODGER (1926)LABEL: NetworkCOUNTRY OF ORIGIN: UKREGION: Region B LockedASPECT RATIO: 1.33:1C/BW: B&WSOUND: One Choice Only: LPCM Surround (apparently 5.1) with score by Nitin SawhneySUBTITLES: None. Intertitles make these unnecessary. BONUS MATERIAL: Photo galley, interview with composer Nitin Sawhney, 15-page booklet.CHAPTERS: 12Probably the best and best-known of the silent films directed by Alfred Hitchcock, very much suggesting the crimes of Jack The Ripper without ever mentioning the name. There is a lot to like about the film, and it does include a few of what would soon become signature Hitchcock touches.

    The image quality is delightful. Correctly framed at 1.33:1, the presentation is mostly tinted, and I actually like the colors chosen to present this. While the contrast is not terrific (mediocre black levels), the detail is strong, and the picture is very sharp. I was quite happy after watching this.

    But there is a caveat...A HUGE CAVEAT.

    The surround score is by someone named Nitin Sawhney, who I am not familiar with. He has provided a mostly serviceable modern score for THE LODGER, not unlike those TCM added to various silent films when they were holding contests for musicians nation-wide. I like most of this music well enough and, credit where credit is due, the final few moments have a lovely underscore.

    BUT...

    During a romantic sequence early-on in the film, there is suddenly a modern pop song, and not a good one, taking me completely out of the movie. I instantly thought: what an ego! This Sawhney dude needed to find an outlet for a song he had written and just arbitrarily stuffed it into this movie. It's COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE. What was Network thinking, allowing this to happen without even offering an alternate soundtrack option? I bought this disc having read there were issues with the score, so I can only blame myself, but I had no idea how bad this song was. Just when I thought that song was an anomalie, another one was thrown at me toward the end of the film (not as bad as the first, but what the hey?).

    So, it's a toss-up. Fine PQ, sometimes awful (i.e. offensive) music score. A message to Mr. Sawhney: I hope you didn't give up your day job.
     
    David_B_K likes this.
  2. Thomas T

    Thomas T Well-Known Member

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    The U.S. DVD of The Lodger has two scores. One by Paul Zaza (A Christmas Story) and one by Ashley Irwin. Both are good. Nitin Sawhney wrote the new score to the 1928 silent A Roll Of The Dice which is one of the best silent film accompaniments I've ever heard. That being said, a pop song for a silent film does seem egregiously out of place though that didn't stop Giorgio Moroder when he got his hands on Lang's Metropolis.

    As for giving up his day job, Sawhney has been writing film scores since 1995, he wrote the score to acclaimed film The Namesake.
     
  3. Eastmancolor

    Eastmancolor Well-Known Member

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    IMHO the score completely ruins the film. I play the British Blu-ray (which is superior to the U.S. dvd visually) with some generic orchestral music. While not in sync or scene specific, it's preferable to Sawhney's "score."
     
  4. AshJW

    AshJW Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the warning.
     
  5. Sumnernor

    Sumnernor Well-Known Member

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    What version do you have - with or without the Sawhney's "score."?
     
  6. Eastmancolor

    Eastmancolor Well-Known Member

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    I have both the British Blu-ray that has the Sawhney score, as well as the MGM DVD which doesn't.
     
  7. mikeyhitchfan

    mikeyhitchfan Well-Known Member

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    I don't find it as objectionable as some, but it would've been nice to include an alternate score.
     

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