1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

Blu-ray Review Experiment in Terror Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Richard Gallagher, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Messages:
    3,628
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    Fishkill, NY
    Real Name:
    Rich Gallagher
    XenForo Template Experiment in Terror, an original and exciting thriller from director Blake Edwards, arrives on Blu-ray with a gorgeous black & white transfer from Sony and Twilight Time. Set in San Francisco, the film chronicles an extremely shocking series of events which ensue after Kelly Sherwood (Lee Remick), a bank teller, is accosted in her garage by a psychopathic killer (Ross Martin) who demands that she help him rob the bank of $100,000. He warns her that if she does not cooperate or if she goes to the police he will not hesitate to kill her and her younger sister, Toby (Stefanie Powers). Chillingly, the deranged man makes it clear that he knows a great deal about Toby - where she goes to school, who her boyfriend is, and the details of her daily schedule. It is clear that he is terribly serious.  Experiment in Terror Studio: Twilight Time/Columbia Pictures Year: 1962 Rated: Not Rated Program Length: 123 Minutes   Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 1080p Black & White Languages: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA Subtitles: English SDH The Program Experiment in Terror, an original and exciting thriller from director Blake Edwards, arrives on Blu-ray with a gorgeous black & white transfer from Sony and Twilight Time. Set in San Francisco, the film chronicles an extremely shocking series of events which ensue after Kelly Sherwood (Lee Remick), a bank teller, is accosted in her garage by a psychopathic killer (Ross Martin) who demands that she help him rob the bank of $100,000. He warns her that if she does not cooperate or if she goes to the police he will not hesitate to kill her and her younger sister, Toby (Stefanie Powers). Chillingly, the deranged man makes it clear that he knows a great deal about Toby - where she goes to school, who her boyfriend is, and the details of her daily schedule. It is clear that he is terribly serious. In spite of the threats, Kelly contacts an FBI agent named Ripley (Glenn Ford) and tells him about the plot. They have a clandestine meeting at the bank in downtown San Francisco, but Ripley has very little to go on because Kelly has not gotten a look at the intruder. All she is able to tell Ripley is that the man has difficulty breathing and may be asthmatic. Ripley is faced with the dilemma of trying to protect Kelly and Toby without letting her adversary know that the police are involved. The case gets even more complicated when an odd woman named Nancy Ashton (Patricia Huston) comes to Ripley with vague concerns about being involved with someone who has committed crimes. This leads to a very spooky scene involving an apartment full of mannequins. While Ripley tries to find clues about the identity of the sociopathic bank robber, the crook embarks upon a reign of psychological terror to keep Kelly in line. He calls her at home and at work, issues various instructions to her, and never fails to remind her that both she and her sister will pay the ultimate price if she crosses him. Beautiful Lee Remick is thoroughly believable as Kelly, a woman who is understandably shaken to the core by the threats but who demonstrates considerable intestinal fortitude (Remick's next film, The Days of Wine and Roses, also directed by Blake Edwards, earned her a Best Actress Academy Award nomination). Stefanie Powers is sympathetic as Toby, and Glenn Ford is his usual sturdy self as FBI agent Ripley. The real revelation here is the performance of Ross Martin, who is probably best-known for his role as Artemus Gordon in the television series "The Wild Wild West." Edwards had previously used Martin in a mostly light-hearted role as the friend and business partner of the title character in the successful but ill-fated television series "Mr. Lucky," so his chilling performance here as a cold-blooded brute came as a surprise to many. Another star of Experiment in Terror is the city of San Francisco, where virtually all of the exteriors were filmed on location, including such iconic sites as Fisherman's Wharf and Candlestick Park. As is the case with all Twilight Time releases, this Blu-ray is a limited edition of 3,000 copies. Click here for ordering information. The Video Sony has provided Twilight Time with another first-class Blu-ray transfer. Blake Edwards had already developed a relationship with cinematographer Philip Lathrop on the television shows "Peter Gunn" and "Mr. Lucky," and Lathrop's work on Experiment in Terror is exceptional. The images are extremely sharp and detailed. Viewers who would like to see what some of the San Francisco exteriors look like today will have no problem reading the street signs and finding the locations with Google Street View (hint: Kelly's house is located at the intersection of Glenbrook Avenue and St. Germain Avenue, and it has not changed much in the past fifty years). Black levels are generally deep and solid, and shadow detail is excellent. The framing appears to be proper and the video is pleasingly film-like throughout. The Audio The 5.1 DTS-HD soundtrack is very good. Dialogue is confined to the center channel and is clear and intelligible. The surround channels are used primarily to provide an expansive soundstage for Henry Mancini's remarkable and evocative musical score, and the audio also adds some punch to the sounds of sirens blaring and tires screeching during pursuits through the streets of San Francisco. As is typically the case with Twilight Time releases, there also is an isolated score track. The Supplements There are just a few extras here. In addition to the isolated score track, there are two theatrical trailers and two television spots. It is interesting to note that trailers attempted to make a mystery about the fact that Ross Martin was playing the psychopath. Indeed, Martin's name does not appear in the opening credits and his face is obscured for the first half of the film. I am not sure that this gimmick had much effect, because film critics at the time were not reluctant to mention Martin's performance. The on-screen catalogue of Twilight Time releases shows that Pony Soldier, In Like Flint, and Nicholas and Alexandra are scheduled to be released in February. Included with the disc is an excellent and informative 8-page illustrated booklet written by film historian Julie Kirgo. The Packaging The single disc is packaged in a standard Blu-ray keep case. The Final Analysis Experiment in Terror is a riveting thriller which features an outstanding cast, wonderful cinematography, a superb musical score and more than a few chilling and suspenseful moments. This is another outstanding Blu-ray release from Twilight Time. Equipment used for this review: Panasonic DMP-BD50 Blu-ray player Panasonic Viera TC-P46G15 Plasma display, calibrated to THX specifications by Gregg Loewen Yamaha HTR-5890 THX Surround Receiver BIC Acoustech speakers Interconnects: Monster Cable Release Date: January 15, 2013
     
  2. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Messages:
    4,753
    Likes Received:
    114
    Real Name:
    John Steffens
    Richard, Thanks for the good review. Never seen this and sounds like something I'd like. Going to order it.
     
  3. Robin9

    Robin9 Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,497
    Likes Received:
    585
    Real Name:
    Robin
    Mmmmm. This is where it becomes difficult. I've bought several Twilight Times Blu-ray discs and have been very pleased with all of them. So far the high cost has not been a big deterrent because the BRDs have either been a major upgrade on the DVD or . . . . there has been no DVD at all! The DVD of Experiment In Terror is very good. Will this BRD provide a substantial improvement? Suddenly Twilight Times' higher costs come into play. If this BRD was going for about $14.25 I'd upgrade without a second thought. I don't worry about $30.00 for something I can't find anytwhere else - The Sound And The Fury is a good example - but $30.00 for possibly a very small improvment . . . . I'll watch the DVD again before I make my decision.
     
  4. RobHam

    RobHam Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    UK
    Robin - although I've already been told off once for taking threads on this board off their specific track, I think you've touched on something here that I think may be a dilemma for many. I have several thousand movies on DVD, and a growing BD collection - many of which are "upgrades" from the DVD version. The decision to upgrade is now based on solid reviews of the BD rather than having a punt on the basis that the BD is bound to be better than the DVD - too many costly mistakes in the past. With Twilight Time discs, my experience has thus far been very good. However I agree with you in respect of it being difficult to quantify a "want" againt a financial cost - a movie will mean something different, and therefore have a different worth, to each potemtial consumer. For instance, Experiment in Terror isn't one I'd consider paying 2x the normal price of a BD release, but Nicholas & Alexandra is - to each their own, I guess.
     
  5. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    12,048
    Likes Received:
    705
    Great review, thanks! I've been hoping this would get to blu-ray! There was a thread discussing this film a few years ago. I too have the DVD. It does indeed look great. Being that San Francisco is my home town, I have to have this on blu-ray! As I do most films I like that are set in San Francisco. I'm sure it will improve picture quality. I will be trying to order it today and I'll give my impressions when I get it compared to the DVD. I expect better contrast and shadow. And good grain too and a sharp image. I have posted a link to a very cool site before, but I'll do it again here. It's a site that identifies all the filming locations in San Francisco of classic noir and classic films up to the late 1960's. This link goes straight to the Experiment in Terror section. http://reelsf.com/pages/experiment-in-terror-1962
     
  6. bryan4999

    bryan4999 Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    177
    Real Name:
    Bryan Forbes
    That's a cool site - I am surprised they don't list the locations for "What's Up, Doc?".
     
  7. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    12,048
    Likes Received:
    705
    Bryan, I think What's up, Doc is not included because he only focuses on classic films of the crime and noir genre and I guess 1968 is his cut off date. Though I've never seen Petulia, it does seem to not exactly fall into that category.
     
  8. bigshot

    bigshot Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    532
    Real Name:
    Stephen
    I got this one. It's a no brainer. Fantastic film, great acting, wonderful soundtrack and a beautiful transfer.
     
  9. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Messages:
    4,753
    Likes Received:
    114
    Real Name:
    John Steffens
    The stairs that are damaged in the movie are still damaged today if you drive by them.
     
  10. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Messages:
    3,628
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    Fishkill, NY
    Real Name:
    Rich Gallagher
    Thanks for the link. That's a wonderful site.
     
  11. bigshot

    bigshot Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    532
    Real Name:
    Stephen
    Watched this with a bunch of friends last night. The image quality and sound are spectacular. As good as any b&w movie I own on bluray. Totally worth the high price tag, as The Big Heat was too.
     
  12. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
    Messages:
    988
    Likes Received:
    311
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    Real Name:
    Robert Smith
    I was surprised (pleasantly) when the sound was in stereo (mainly Henry Mancini's wonderful score). The original release was definitely not. Bravo to Sony/Twilight time for making a substantial improvement to this film.
     
  13. lukejosephchung

    lukejosephchung Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    389
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA., USA
    Real Name:
    Luke J. Chung
    I was 6 years old when this was filmed and am a San Francisco native still living in the house I moved into that year...after hearing this review's description of not only Blake Edwards' tension-filled plot, but the various on-location exterior shots done for this movie, I've pulled the trigger and gotten this from TTE's website today...looking forward to seeing the San Francisco of my childhood in this...
     
  14. TheVid

    TheVid Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    I watched this blu-ray last night, and having had the dvd for years, was completely immersed once again. It's worth the upgrade for the stereo remix alone. Does anyone know if the NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA blu-ray will have stereophonic sound? I saw it in a reserved-seat engagement in Kansas City, when it was released theatrically, and it was monophonic. Were there theatrical prints in stereo? It's one film that sure could do with a stereophonic remix, even if it was originally released in mono.
     
  15. Craig Beam

    Craig Beam Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2000
    Messages:
    1,777
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Gresham, OR
    Real Name:
    Craig Beam
    Ordered my copy last night.... can't wait!
     
  16. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    12,048
    Likes Received:
    705
    My childhood too Luke. I watched this disc the last two evenings, I would venture to guess Robert Harris would approve. I was amazed by the close-ups of Lee Remick and Ross Martin and the details of their skin and hair are nice and sharp. It was a very enjoyable viewing and the film holds up so well. The score is terrific too.
     
  17. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Messages:
    3,628
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    Fishkill, NY
    Real Name:
    Rich Gallagher
    RAH just posted his comments a few hours ago. Unsurprisingly, he loves the transfer and the audio.
     
  18. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    8,645
    Likes Received:
    4,077
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    Nick and Alex was magnetic monaural, even in 70mm.
    RAH
     
  19. theonemacduff

    theonemacduff Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    106
    Location:
    the wet coast
    Real Name:
    Jon Paul
    Mono? Darn. Seems a bit cheap. Weren't a lot of big productions in those days released in stereo? I know 2001 was, and I seem to recall seeing Grand Prix in stereo too. In any event, N&A is a no-brainer buy for me as I love Schaffner's films (yes, even The Boys From Brazil, which has a bravura opening 20 minutes or so that plays almost without dialogue), and it has Freddie Young as DP. Apparently there are different versions of N&A in circulation, some longer than others. Anybody have any detailed information?
     
  20. Douglas R

    Douglas R Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Messages:
    2,004
    Likes Received:
    348
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    Real Name:
    Doug
    Not so. I saw it in stereo when I was living for a time in Sheffield, north of England, and here's the advert: [​IMG]
     

Share This Page