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A PEEK AT THE MIND BENDERS (1 Viewer)

haineshisway

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My history with The Mind Benders: I saw the film at the Lido Theater here in LA as a sneak preview a month or two before its release. I absolutely was riveted by it - loved the photography, the music, and especially the acting, and I kind of crushed on Mary Ure in a major way. I saw the film about eight times after that when it played its run. I bought the DVD when it came out and the film really held up well, I thought. So, I was excited when the Blu-ray was announced, but kept said excitement in check because you never really know what you're gonna get with Kino - sometimes great, sometimes a lot less than great.

I'm happy to say that this transfer is pretty great - it would be all great save for, I believe, one misstep in the transfer. I don't have the DVD handy so I can't check it there, but more about that in a minute. Other than that one thing, the transfer is just stellar. The Beaver points out a scratch here or a blip there - no, there aren't ANY save for the opticals, where there's a hair on the right side of one of them - that kind of thing that's SOP for opticals. There's also a series of extreme close-ups on Bogarde during the birth sequence that are obviously optically blown up and therefore very grainy, also SOP.

So, what is the misstep? Well, there's an entire sequence that follows Bogarde in the tank. He's removed after eight hours, then they do the brainwashing experiment. When that's done, Bogarde is hungry for bacon and eggs, thinking it's still the morning or early noon hours (they haven't told him he was in the tank for eight hours) - they inform him it's nine at night. When one of the characters opens a door, you can see the window and it's clearly day outside. Then the following scene outside is also kind of late afternoon, yet all the streetlights and building lights are on. This carries on for the entire sequence, which, I'm pretty sure, was shot day for night and should have been printed that way and wasn't. I wish I could find the DVD - if anyone has it, maybe you could check that sequence. This happens more than you'd think with new transfers, this printing day for night incorrectly - if memory serves, there's a day for night sequence early on in Ride the High Country that's printed too bright. Anyway, it's just a bit weird and doesn't really detract hugely.

The film remains taut, suspenseful, beautifully acted (Mary Ure is absolutely brilliant in this), and beautifully and simply directed by Basil Dearden. Now, I never listen to audio commentaries, because every time I do, unless it's my late friend Nick and his ever-lovin' Julie, I am inevitably irritated by them, most recently that woman who did the Sweet Charity commentary, which was so irritating I shut it off after about six minutes. I decided to see what these fellows had to say - I believe I had a bit of a set-to with one of them on Facebook or maybe it was even here - who remembers? :) Well, I lasted about fifteen minutes and finally had to shut it off because I would have hurled my shoe through the TV. I know some will LOVE it - the Beaver did. And off on tangents they go while interesting actors are on the screen with no comment - at one point, Edward Fox has a one-line bit, maybe his first job - what, you don't point that out? They say it was clearly inspired by The Manchurian Candidate - no, it was not. The clear inspiration for it is stated rather largely directly after the main titles. The film carries a 1962 copyright (released here in 1963) and would obviously have been shot mid that year and have been written the year before. Well, I had to stop.

Anyway, I recommend this without reservation.
 
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Robin9

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Thank you for this assessment of the film and disc. I share your disdain for most commentaries and, like you, I find those by Mr. Redman and Julie Kirgo hugely superior to all others except those by John Frankenheimer. I'm now going to order this disc.
 

Matt Hough

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I'm going to have to do some research. Not only have I never seen it, I've never heard of it until I read Bruce's tribute to it here just this minute.
 

Keith Cobby

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One reason to buy this (there may be others) is the late, great Mary Ure. What a gorgeous, luminous woman and what a wonderful voice. She made so few films and obviously is best known for Where Eagles Dare.
 

lark144

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mark gross
I'm going to have to do some research. Not only have I never seen it, I've never heard of it until I read Bruce's tribute to it here just this minute.
Oh, Yeah. This is a great unheralded British film, superb photography, direction, writing, acting; straight down the line. Yes, Mary Ure is amazing (btw, in the UK, she was celebrated for originating the role of Alison Porter in both the original Royal Court stage production as well as the film of LOOK BACK IN ANGER; she's also terrific in SONS AND LOVERS) and this happens to be my favorite Dirk Bogarde performance along with MODESTY BLAISE. Like Bruce, I saw this when it opened and loved it though I haven't seen it since. Clearly that's something I need to remedy.
 

Charles Smith

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I just watched the Anchor Bay DVD, and the questionable day for night sequence is just as you describe it appearing on the Blu-ray.
 

haineshisway

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I simply don't believe it was that way theatrically - it was clearly shot day for night, and I guess when they did the transfer they had no timing notes to use and as we pretty much know, no one actually watches this stuff for content - if they had, they would have immediately flagged the sequence as soon as someone said it's nine at night.
 

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