DVD Review HTF REVIEW: The Detective

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Osadciw, May 7, 2005.

Tags:
  1. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    1,329
    Likes Received:
    1
    Real Name:
    Michael Osadciw
    [​IMG]

    THE DETECTIVE





    Studio: 20th Century Fox
    Film Year: 1968

    U.S. Rating: Not Rated
    Canadian Rating: Not Rated

    Film Length: 114 minutes
    Genre: Crime/Drama

    Aspect Ratio:[*] 2.35:1 widescreen enhanced
    Colour/B&W: Colour

    Audio:[*] English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo[*] English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono[*] Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 mono[*] French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
    Subtitles: English, Spanish
    Closed Captioned: Yes

    SLP: US $11.98
    SLP: CDN $16.98






    Release Date: May 24, 2005.



    Film Rating: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Starring: Frank Sinatra (Det. Joe Leland), Lee Remick (Karen Leland) Ralph Meeker (Curran), Jack Klugman (Dave Schoenstein), Horace McMahon (Capt. Tom Farrell), Tony Musante (Felix Telsa), Robert Duvall (Nestor), Jacqueline Bisset (Norma MacIver)

    Directed by: Gordon Douglas
    Screenplay by: Abby Mann



    Immediately following Tony Rome, The Detective is another crime investigation film starring Frank Sinatra. Based on the novel by Roderick Thorp, this film is a little edgier and blunt in its themes. The Detective is a gritty and powerful exploration of corruption and prejudice.

    Frank Sinatra is Detective Joe Leland. He’s a well-respected detective who dedicates his life to the police force. He knows the junkies, the whores, and the perverts. This doesn’t let him get out much. He’s had failed relationships in the past, thus he concentrates on what he does best: busting criminals.

    He is working on a murder case of a politically influential man who body is found castrated and with his head smashed in. This rather intolerant cop must see past his own views of the man’s sexuality and convince his fellow officers of the same tolerance. When questioning the suspect, it is the department’s goal to get him to confess and get on to the next case. Not only does this allow Leland to advance in rank but it makes the department look great solving crimes. Sure enough, the man confesses and is sentenced to death.

    The next case Leland gets involved with brings on an ugly discovery; he finds last case is linked to this one and it’s quite possible men on his force may have been involved. It is up to Det. Leland to get to the truth of the case and uncover those protecting the evidence from the courts and for the sake of the detective’s knowledge.

    The film’s theatrical trailer aims this at adult audiences for being very adult orientated. This movie is rather crude in its dialogue and perception of homosexuals. There is some imagery I’m not used to seeing in a movie during this era of film so it was a little bit of a shock to me.

    There are two things I didn’t like with this film. I do know that I don’t like the original cinematography. There is too much negative space surrounding people and it appears in "strange" areas on the screen. That is just my own observations and others may disagree with me. It makes it look like the framing is wrong. Also, I felt the movie was rather slow and it wasn’t as interesting as I wanted it to be. Still, some Sinatra fans will be pleased when this DVD arrives on the shelves.


    VIDEO QUALITY
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The film is presented in its theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and exhibits a pleasing picture. It is clear, doesn’t look out of focus, and has colours that seem to be a neutral to slightly desaturated look. The film’s age shows the dirt and there are a lot of specks going on. I’m not sure if any major effort was taken to clean this film up because there is frequent dirt. Thankfully, film grain is at a minimum. While contrast is fine, I am disappointed to see edge enhancement throughout the entire film. It is noticeable and to me it was distracting. There is few, if any distraction regarding compression artefacts.


    AUDIO QUALITY [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Thankfully the mono soundtrack has been preserved for this release because the first audio option is English Stereo. The two soundtracks don’t sound different in terms of sound placement. What is different is noise reduction. The “stereo” soundtrack has significantly less background hiss compared to the mono version. But not all good things are entirely good. The reduction in hiss comes at the expense of high frequency loss of the soundtrack. While the sounds of the soundtrack are very limited in fidelity to begin with, and the fact that the mono soundtrack is a little bright (without adding EQ) this stereo version may not bother anyone. I chose to flip back and forth between the two and eventually settled with one of them. I’ll let you be the judge of your preference.


    SPECIAL FEATURES [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Only the theatrical trailer is included here and it looks like it came from a very bad videotape. At least it’s in its original aspect ratio. There are also some previews for other already available FOX DVDs.

    IN THE END…

    This is one of the four Sinatra films that will be released on May 24th. The other titles include Tony Rome and its next story The Lady in Cement, and an entirely separate film Von Ryan’s Express. While not my favourite Sinatra title, this movie is filled with great supporting actors and solid performances by all. It is worth a look at.

    Michael Osadciw
    05.05.07
     
  2. RyanZ

    RyanZ Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    This has long been a movie I have appreciated. It was only released once on VHS back in the eighties, and copies are selling for $350, so I'm thrilled that a widescreen DVD is now available. Great to see it released!
     
  3. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    852
    Likes Received:
    8
    they had DVD in the eighties??

    Funny how that godawful magnetic video tape that actually was released back in 1979 was worth alot more than the LD that came out in 1994, which was widescreened!
     
  4. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    3,594
    Likes Received:
    0
    Too bad the Video presentation is not better. [​IMG]
     
  5. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    8,311
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino


    You don't remember those? [​IMG] The players were steam-powered, and the discs only held 1/2 of video per side. No wonder the format didn't really take off until 1997. [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  6. RyanZ

    RyanZ Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry guys. I meant VHS.
     
  7. Tina_H_V

    Tina_H_V Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2000
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    105
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    Tina
    Interesting.

    I bought this movie on LD back in 2000 and then read the book right around the time of 9/11--ironically--in 2001.

    As is wont for movies being converted from best-selling novels, this one had a lot of differences from the book, which totalled circa 500+ pages, BTW.

    And to think, back in 1968, Frank's then-wife, Mia Farrow, was on the verge of starring in Rosemary's Baby, while ol' Blue Eyes was doing this. The Detective, at the time, was considered serious hot property around Hollywood.

    Glad to see it out on DVD. I'll think about whether or not add this one... [​IMG]
     
  8. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2000
    Messages:
    2,376
    Likes Received:
    3

    And the book's sequel was mutated by Hollywood into Die Hard [​IMG]
     

Share This Page