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Joseph Losey's King and Country from VCI (1 Viewer)

John Hodson

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Can I give a quick thumbs up to VCI's Blu-ray presentation of Joseph Losey's King & Country, which is a *much* nicer transfer than I'd dared hope.

Presented at 1.78:1 (close enough to the likely 1.75:1 shooting ratio), despite the AR being given as 1.66:1 on the box, it's sharp without bearing the hallmarks of digital jiggery-pokery, beautifully clean, decent contrast and, while the lossless soundtrack could be a tad clearer, it's not really an issue.

Oddly, the film kicks off with a credit to VCI for their restoration, then the Janus logo, which begs the question of why Criterion didn't pick this up - it would appear to slot perfectly into their catalogue. A nice touch is the BBFC certificate which precedes the film itself.

It doesn't benefit from Kubrick's flair for the visual (bar, possibly, the rats scene), but to my mind, from a narrative point of view, Losey's film outshines Paths of Glory; there are no heroes on display, no real villains, it is, as Jack Hawkins said in another film, 'just the bloody war'.

I cannot for the life of me understand why it isn't at least as well known as The Servant, and why, in this of all years, it hasn't been picked up for a scintillating release in it's motherland, which lead to me importing it to the UK. For those that aren't multi-region equipped, it doesn't appear to be region locked.

What a film; was Tom Courtenay ever that young?
 

JoHud

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Joe Hudak
Thanks for the news. I put this on hold since VCI can be dodgy with its blu-rays. Ordering now.
 

Robin9

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John Hodson said:
I cannot for the life of me understand why it isn't at least as well known as The Servant, and why, in this of all years, it hasn't been picked up for a scintillating release in it's motherland, which lead to me importing it to the UK.
I've never been a fan of Joseph Losey and I saw most of his films during my teens. The one Losey film I thought was truly excellent was King And Country so I too am puzzled that it's one of his least-lauded movies.
 

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