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The Other Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray Fox Twilight Time

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#1 of 20 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted October 07 2013 - 01:24 PM

The Other Blu-ray Review

Actor-turned-author Tom Tryon lends a strong hand (both producing and script writing) in bringing his best seller The Other to the screen in Robert Mulligan’s masterful 1972 exercise in psychological horror. Like Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, another utterly faithful film version of a best selling novel, the shocks are momentarily visceral, but the atmosphere of evil all around the central characters is what keeps tension fraught to a fever pitch as the viewer is offered droplets of information at regular intervals until the truth is utterly and inevitably revealed.


Cover Art


Studio: Fox

Distributed By: Twilight Time

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio: English 1.0 DTS-HDMA (Mono)

Subtitles: English SDH

Rating: PG

Run Time: 1 Hr. 40 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray

keep case

Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

Region: All

Release Date: 10/08/2013

MSRP: $29.95




The Production Rating: 4/5

Identical twins Niles (Chris Udvarnoky) and Holland (Martin Udvarnoky) Perry are having a rambunctious summer of 1935. Their older sister is expecting a baby which has all of the family excited, and their mother (Diana Muldaur) is starting to come out of a deep depression she had suffered some months earlier. Niles and Holland are like opposite sides of a coin: Niles is the thoughtful, deeply emotional twin while Holland is the mischievous, surly one. When a series of lethal and near-lethal accidents begin happening in this rural neighborhood, there is a great uproar in the family, especially since grandmother Ada (Uta Hagen) feels she can get to the root of the truth by first forcing Niles to participate in a trance-based empathy game and then once she gets the answers she needs, forbidding him to engage in the game any longer.

While the story’s central twist is a good one, it’s more successfully carried out in the Tom Tryon book where certain visual clues can be more successfully camouflaged than they can in the realistic world of the movies. As he did in To Kill a Mockingbird, director Robert Mulligan focuses more strongly on individuals and lets the story unfold rather matter-of-factly. And the director is so smart to show us images without putting a blaring spotlight on them which will have great significance much later in the film (the carnival sequence is one of those scenes that has a much bigger payoff later than at the time of first viewing, and we watch Niles participate in “The Game” in purely visual terms in an exhilarating sequence with a frightening conclusion.) The shock moments are certainly chilling without being gore-infused monstrosities, but the psychological implications of what has gone on before the big reveal (about two-thirds of the way through the film) carry even greater effect in the film’s last third even though the action slows down considerably. The final images have a chill all their own which will bring to a cinemagoer’s mind not only Rosemary’s Baby from a few years past but also The Omen which will be coming in a couple of years.

Chris Udvarnoky who has the larger role of Niles is creepily effective even if he occasionally swallows his dialogue in whispers or muted emotional outbursts. Brother Martin Udvarnoky playing twin Holland has very believable rapport with his real-life brother, and their scenes together are sometimes quite disturbing. Uta Hagen with a thick Russian accent and a lot of expressive warmth has a field day with Grandma Ada. Diana Muldaur well captures the brittle emotional state of Alexandra and later most effectively conveys her muted condition. Victor French beautifully plays a handyman whose son (Clarence Crow) is murdered during the killing spree, and Portia Nelson likewise gets nicely inside her stern neighbor character Mrs. Rowe who also comes to an untimely end.



Video Rating: 4.5/5  3D Rating: NA

The film’s theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 is faithfully realized in the 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. Color is wonderfully conveyed in consistently rendered hues that are most appealing and somewhat suggestive of an earlier era, the skin tones always completely believable. Sharpness is usually excellent though there are a couple of softer than expected shots with contrast that’s occasionally a trifle light. Black levels are usually quite good though not always plumbing the depths of inkiness. The film has been divided into 12 chapters.



Audio Rating: 4/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 sound mix reproduces the cinema experience of the era with a very effective mono track. Dialogue has been nicely recorded and isn’t compromised by the mixing with sound effects or Jerry Goldsmith’s edgy score. There are no age-related artifacts like hiss or crackle to intrude on the suspenseful viewing experience the film offers.



Special Features Rating: 2.5/5

Isolated Score Track: the Jerry Goldsmith score is presented in a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo reproduction.

Theatrical Trailer (3:10, SD)

Six-Page Booklet: contains a superb collection of color stills, poster art on the back cover, and film historian’s Julie Kirgo’s astute analysis of the movie.



Overall Rating: 4/5

The Other was one of the last of its breed: a horror film that eschewed stomach-churning blood and guts for more internalized, chill-inducing effects (The Exorcist would be unveiled the following year). There are only 3,000 copies of this Blu-ray available. Those interested should go to www.screenarchives.com to see if there are any still available. Information about the movie can also be found via Facebook at www.facebook.com/twilighttimemovies.


Reviewed By: Matt Hough


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#2 of 20 OFFLINE   Virgoan

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Posted October 07 2013 - 02:51 PM

One of my favorite films of the 1970s, and one of my favorite Jerry Goldsmith scores. I have a recollection that this score was one of three up for consideration as a replacement nominee when Rota's "The Godfather" was disqualified for the 1972 Academy Award.  Another Fox score, John Addison's "Sleuth", took the 5th slot for score.  I don't recall the third score considered, but believe it was a Jerry Fielding score.



#3 of 20 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted October 07 2013 - 03:33 PM

This is such great news.  I've seen The Other exactly twice -- when it opened in 1972, and on TV (TCM?) just a year or two ago.  The first time, I have to admit I thought it was okay but was ultimately unexcited by it.  My fault, not the film's.  I wasn't ready for it.  Decades later, it just made total sense and I was delighted to have captured it on DVD-R!  Well, now I can give that away and dig into this the evening it arrives.  Can't wait.  Thanks, Matt, and thank you once again, Twilight Time!


Edited by Charles Smith, October 07 2013 - 04:15 PM.


#4 of 20 OFFLINE   ROclockCK

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Posted October 07 2013 - 04:13 PM

*
POPULAR

Robert Mulligan won the Best Director award at Sitges, but during the 1972 awards season The Other was bafflingly ignored overall. If nothing else, I expected it to lock-up Oscar nominations for Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, and Score, but it missed the cut on all counts. On balance, 1972 was an unusually crowded year for quality filmmaking, specifically stateside. 

 

Actually, I saw The Other 3 times theatrically, which was very unusual for me, even pre-video. There was just something mesmerizing about Mulligan's beautifully shot yet ominous frames...his simultaneously nostalgic yet sombre mood...and the chilling yet sweetly tragic feelings he managed to evoke, sometimes within the same scene. The Other was one of the most compelling 'pushme-pullyou' cinematic dream states I've ever given over to...and I think I love it precisely because of Mulligan's stubborn refusal to rely on the usual genre tropes...creating both a celebration and apotheosis of what a horror/mystery/thriller can be.

 

I haven't seen this gem since '72, so I'm eagerly anticipating TT's Blu-ray edition. It will be interesting to see what a little mileage on the old life odometer will do for an oddity like this...



#5 of 20 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted October 08 2013 - 03:31 PM

Can you please tell me times so I can see these softer than expected shots and the shots with light contrast because I honestly haven't seen them and I'm curious as to where they are so I can view them and offer an opinion - because, for me, this is a five-star perfect transfer in every way.  I can only tell you it didn't look this good in theaters.



#6 of 20 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted October 08 2013 - 06:10 PM

Sorry, Bruce. When I note something awry even a little bit, I put a mark on my note sheet, but I don't note the times or places. I had three small marks when I finished the film. I hope you understand I am extremely busy at this time of year (three TV box sets at the moment) and simply cannot go back into the movie to offer proof to you of what I saw on my set-up.

 

But really, the difference in my mind between a 4.5 (which in my grading system is an A) and a 5 (an A+) isn't worth haggling about.

 

And you're right. It looked washed out, almost dim when I saw it at the movies all those years ago. This is a massive improvement.



#7 of 20 OFFLINE   haineshisway

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Posted October 08 2013 - 08:14 PM

I'm just always curious about this stuff - for example, there's one shot of the boy towards the end of the film - he's in close-up and at some point he moves slightly back and goes out of focus slightly - that happens when focus is critical and the actor moves - they don't catch it until dailies and its usually too late by then.  The most famous example of it is The Manchurian Candidate, where in Sinatra's wonderful one-take monologue, he moved slightly to the rear and the entire shot is out of focus slightly.  They reshot it but the performance wasn't as good, so the original out of focus take is in the transfer.  If it's that sort of thing, it's not the transfer it's the way it is on film.  That was really the only instance of that I saw, other than the occasional softness inherent in the opticals, including one multi-pass optical that has four dissolves in it.

 

Love the film and was so pleased with the way it looks.



#8 of 20 OFFLINE   Radioman970

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Posted October 10 2013 - 02:20 AM

awesome.. well, it would be more awesome if it was on amazon and a little cheaper.

 

It is a very good film.  I don't remember seeing it, but it takes me back since it's like a particularly strange episode of The Waltons or something. 


Edited by Radioman970, October 10 2013 - 08:25 AM.

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#9 of 20 OFFLINE   Virgoan

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Posted October 10 2013 - 08:22 AM

Very much enjoyed it last night. The sound on the isolated soundtrack was especially compelling and crisp/bright.  Am hopeful some label issues the "complete" soundtrack some day.



#10 of 20 OFFLINE   Felix Martinez

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Posted October 13 2013 - 03:38 PM

I love this film, and I'm very pleased with the TT Blu-ray. So glad to have this in HD; it looks wonderful.

 

I find this to be a particularly disturbing, haunting, and tragic film.  I envy those who are watching it for the first time.

 

Found a vintage one sheet on Ebay and got it framed, just in time for the Blu-ay viewing this weekend.



#11 of 20 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 23 2013 - 09:16 AM

Just finished watching this film.

 

Had never heard of it before this Twilight Time release.

 

Really liked this film and the way it keeps the mystery hidden, revealing its

secrets in bits and pieces so that the viewer doesn't know the complete 

truth until the film nears its climax.

 

Creepy?  You bet!  As mentioned, it has that feel of both "Rosemary's

Baby" and "The Omen."  

 

The transfer looks great as Matt has pointed out in his review.  I always 

amazed time and time again by how well some of these 70s films look on

Blu-ray. 

 

Was kind of cool to see that Uta Hagen was cast in the film.  A highly respected

actress, she was a guest at a film study class at my local college in the early 1980s.  

Also, a very young John Ritter in one of his earliest acting roles.

 

Really happy that I put faith in this title.  It was really cool to get a little creeped

out by this little gem of a film I had previously never heard of.  


 

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#12 of 20 OFFLINE   ChromeJob

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Posted March 12 2015 - 01:32 PM

Just found this while shopping Screen Archives ... so glad to find it reviewed here. I've loved this film since I was a kid (network TV airing, on Friday nights if memory serves), and own the barely acceptable DVD. I enjoy sharing this film with those who haven't heard of it, as I have the book too. Can't wait to see the BD.
 
I consider this another chapter in a series of films that Robert Mulligan made about growing up, all classics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Summer of '42, The Other, and The Man In the Moon. He had an almost wizardly touch for conveying the complicated and emotional experience of being a child growing up into a mysterious and oftimes contradictory adult world. The Other is an unusual film that illustrates that languid feeling of being out of school during the summer, trying to invent ways to keep entertained, all while adult distractions occur on the periphery. Like Mockingbird, there's a dark secret lurking in the background. Summer of '42 was ostensibly a comedy, a poignant "coming of age" story (overused to the point of cliche), but there are so many shades to it.
 
It was a very busy time for American film innovation, a conventional film like this was easily bulldozed over by more attention-grabbing flicks. Looking forward to seeing this in HD, and hearing Goldsmith's score by itself.
 
When asked to give a shortlist of truly great, classic horror movies for Halloween viewing, I always includ The Other along with Dead of Night, The Haunting, Don't Look Now, The Innocents, Night of the Demon (UK cut), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978).
 

Spoiler

 
Interesting piece about Mulligan.
http://www.thefilmjo...rtmulligan.html


Edited by ChromeJob, March 12 2015 - 07:34 PM.

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#13 of 20 OFFLINE   Cineman

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Posted March 12 2015 - 10:19 PM

Just found this while shopping Screen Archives ... so glad to find it reviewed here. I've loved this film since I was a kid (network TV airing, on Friday nights if memory serves), and own the barely acceptable DVD. I enjoy sharing this film with those who haven't heard of it, as I have the book too. Can't wait to see the BD.
 
I consider this another chapter in a series of films that Robert Mulligan made about growing up, all classics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Summer of '42, The Other, and The Man In the Moon. He had an almost wizardly touch for conveying the complicated and emotional experience of being a child growing up into a mysterious and oftimes contradictory adult world. The Other is an unusual film that illustrates that languid feeling of being out of school during the summer, trying to invent ways to keep entertained, all while adult distractions occur on the periphery. Like Mockingbird, there's a dark secret lurking in the background. Summer of '42 was ostensibly a comedy, a poignant "coming of age" story (overused to the point of cliche), but there are so many shades to it.
 
It was a very busy time for American film innovation, a conventional film like this was easily bulldozed over by more attention-grabbing flicks. Looking forward to seeing this in HD, and hearing Goldsmith's score by itself.
 
When asked to give a shortlist of truly great, classic horror movies for Halloween viewing, I always includ The Other along with Dead of Night, The Haunting, Don't Look Now, The Innocents, Night of the Demon (UK cut), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978).
 

Spoiler

 
Interesting piece about Mulligan.
http://www.thefilmjo...rtmulligan.html

 

Thanks for that link. I love Mulligan's work and fell in love with The Other when I first saw it in the theater the year it opened. However, I think there is something even more complex going on with Mulligan's handling of it than is generally discussed.

 

Spoiler
 



#14 of 20 OFFLINE   Cineman

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Posted March 12 2015 - 10:26 PM

^ *sigh*

 

My love of computers has just increased manyfold. uh..for whatever reason some of my "spoiler" comments are blacked out since I dared to copy and paste a quote from the link provided and it carried over to...well, whatever the hell happened. Anyway, it also turns out doing that made the last section of my comment in the "spoiler" box blank out. Even further comments about that problem were blanked out when I tried to edit it.

 

Whatever.

 

Turns out you can read the end of my "spoiler" comment if you drag your cursor over that section. If anybody knows how to get back to normal on that post, I'd be happy to give it a try. However, at this point the marvelous modern world of computer ease and convenience has defeated me. LOL! 



#15 of 20 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted March 13 2015 - 06:34 AM

I'm on my browser now, and I see what you mean.  However, on Tapatalk (using an iPad), which is where I read this thread a while ago, the spoilers displayed normally.



#16 of 20 OFFLINE   ChromeJob

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Posted March 13 2015 - 09:38 AM

I've seen people purposely disguise spoiler text as white-on-white ... so I know that trick to drag-select. :)

 

Might try editing your post,  copying all the text, pasting into Notepad or the Apple equivalent, then pasting back in. I'll bet there's formatting code that the editor converted from that site's white-on-black format (which I'm glad most people abandoned; it's harder to read on most devices). But no need on my acccount, just future readers/lurkers.

 

So back to the movie....

 

Spoiler

 

I'll have to watch it again. I was thinking of being frugal (I'm between jobs, just orderd a $600 sub, the complete Jacques Tati set from Criterion), ordering only JTOCOTE so that I could test the new sub with  Bernard Herrman's "Atlantis" suite (isolated music track), as I recall he used no less than 5 various organs ... but I think I'll bite the bullet (more like throw caution to the wind) and order this BD.

 

That's the magic of Mulligan's best films. They just keep delivering on re-viewing, in a way that paint-by-numbers directors (cough, Michael Bay, cough) can't achieve. To Kill A Mockingbird is proof ... one of the 100 most beloved American films, ever. That film has so many well-crafted moments.


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#17 of 20 OFFLINE   Cineman

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Posted March 14 2015 - 01:01 AM

I've seen people purposely disguise spoiler text as white-on-white ... so I know that trick to drag-select. :)

 

Might try editing your post,  copying all the text, pasting into Notepad or the Apple equivalent, then pasting back in. I'll bet there's formatting code that the editor converted from that site's white-on-black format (which I'm glad most people abandoned; it's harder to read on most devices). But no need on my acccount, just future readers/lurkers.

 

So back to the movie....

 

Spoiler

 

I'll have to watch it again. I was thinking of being frugal (I'm between jobs, just orderd a $600 sub, the complete Jacques Tati set from Criterion), ordering only JTOCOTE so that I could test the new sub with  Bernard Herrman's "Atlantis" suite (isolated music track), as I recall he used no less than 5 various organs ... but I think I'll bite the bullet (more like throw caution to the wind) and order this BD.

 

That's the magic of Mulligan's best films. They just keep delivering on re-viewing, in a way that paint-by-numbers directors (cough, Michael Bay, cough) can't achieve. To Kill A Mockingbird is proof ... one of the 100 most beloved American films, ever. That film has so many well-crafted moments.

 

I would even say the two scenes in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD where the three kids find themselves in Boo Radley's yard (Jem has to leave his overalls behind because they were stuck in the barbed wire fence) and on Halloween night when Scout and Jem encounter an attacker are both scarier than the vast majority of supposedly scary scenes in modern movies. Mulligan has never been given due credit for his knack for directing horror/suspense scenes.

 

One other thought on what is or isn't explicitly stated in The Other:

 

Spoiler
 



#18 of 20 OFFLINE   ChromeJob

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Posted March 14 2015 - 01:24 PM

Spoiler

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#19 of 20 OFFLINE   Cineman

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Posted March 14 2015 - 10:52 PM

Spoiler

 

 

 

lol. Our discussion made me pull out my DVD of THE OTHER to check my memory of this...

Spoiler



#20 of 20 OFFLINE   ChromeJob

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Posted March 18 2015 - 06:56 PM

Cineman, on 14 Mar 2015 - 05:01 AM, said:

Spoiler

Spoiler

 

Got it today. Boy, what a nice AVC transfer, and rich stereo isolated Jerry Goldsmith music track. (E.g. when Ada and NIles play the Game with the crow.) This TT label may be dangerous to my disposable income. The Great Game. 

 

Dang, I wish they'd release Planet of the Apes with an isolated music track...!

 

I just discovered something (well, I haven't read the booklet so perhaps Twilight Time discloses this), switching to the isolated music track in Chapter 9, 1:08 into the film, there's Goldsmith's music, but the scene just has the sound of wind. So TT has restored Goldsmith's music cues before some of they were  cut? Wow. Brilliant. 

 

Spoiler

 

"God does not mean that we should miss too much, what he takes from us." 


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