"Murder on the Orient Express" --- Quick Comments

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Erik_H, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. Erik_H

    Erik_H Stunt Coordinator

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    I picked up a copy at one of those NYC retailers that breaks street dates; the street date is September 7.

    The supplements exceed an hour in length and include a profile of Agatha Christie (with comments by her grandson) and a 4 chapter overview of the making of the film, with extensive comments by director Sidney Lumet, designer Tony Walton (who received 2 Oscar nominations for the film), producer John Brabourne and actor Michael York, along with a few clips from interviews with Jacqueline Bisset and Sean Connery and composer Richard Rodney Bennett (all of the interviews appear to be recently filmed). The supplements are entertaining and informative, although the lack of participation from surviving cast members Albert Finney (Best Actor nominee for the film), Lauren Bacall and Vanessa Redgrave is unfortunate.

    Video quality: based on a spot check of about a dozen scenes, the anamorphic transfer is fine but hardly reference quality. There are numerous specks in certain darkly lit scenes, such as the departure of the train from the Istanbul station. The image is on the "soft" side, as was the case in the VHS and laser releases (and, if memory serves, the theatrical release as well).

    Audio quality: the entertainingly retro (and Oscar nominated) score by Richard Rodney Bennett sounds wonderful in Dolby 5.1 (audio options include a restored English mono track and a French mono track). There is no commentary track.

    The arrival of this classic mystery on DVD, one of the biggest hits of 1974 and the recipient of 6 Oscar nominations including Best Picture (and a win for Ingrid Bergman as Best Supporting Actress) is long overdue. Worth a rental, at least.
     
  2. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the (p)review! Can't wait to pick this one up. [​IMG]
     
  3. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    I've had a non-R1 DVD of this for a long time now. I'll more than likely double dip.
     
  4. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Your memory serves you correctly, Erik. Murder was one very soft looking movie in its theatrical incarnation so the soft looking DVD is an accurate representation.
     
  5. Douglas Bailey

    Douglas Bailey Second Unit

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    Real Name:
    Douglas Bailey
    Murder was one very soft looking movie in its theatrical incarnation so the soft looking DVD is an accurate representation.

    Agreed: Murder is one of the classic examples of Geoffrey Unsworth's diffusion-laden work from the 1970s. I'm glad to hear that the DVD preserves that look, rather than adding tons of filtering/EE to try to make it match some perceived "norm" of sharpness.
     

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