Murder At 1600

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Details At A Glance

Category Action Thriller Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1997 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 102 minutes Other Extras Cast & Crew Biographies
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 4 Director Dwight Little

Warner Brothers
Starring Wesley Snipes
Diane Lane
Alan Alda
Daniel Benzali
Ronny Cox
Dennis Miller
Case Snapper
RRP $29.95 Music Christopher Young

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision ?
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes

Plot Synopsis

    Murder At 1600 is a surprisingly good action thriller. It is set in the Whitehouse. A Whitehouse staffer is found dead, a mere hour after having sex in the Whitehouse. Detective Regis (Wesley Snipes) is assigned to look after the investigation. However, he finds his investigation blocked at every angle by the Whitehouse security staff. Regis is assisted by a Secret Service agent, Nina Chance (Diane Lane) and by his own sidekick, Detective Stengel (Dennis Miller).

    The plot thickens and grows ever more sinister as suspicion progresses higher and higher, but it remains quite believable at all times. The resolution of the plot is most satisfying, as are the number of plot twists.

Transfer Quality


    The video transfer of this movie is up to standard.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The other side of the disc carries a Full Frame presentation of the movie.

    The transfer was clear and sharp most of the time. A significant amount of the movie was shot in quite hazy lighting conditions, which leads to some scenes losing some definition but this looks like it was a source issue rather than a DVD transfer issue. Shadow detail was acceptable, and no low level noise was apparent.

    The colours were well rendered with no under or oversaturation noted.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen, though some of the more hazy scenes appeared on the verge of breaking up into MPEG artefacting. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some minor aliasing, none of which was of any consequence. Film artefacts were only very rarely present, and never obtrusive.


    There are three audio tracks on this DVD; an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, a French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack and an Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    Dialogue was usually audible, though some words here and there were hard to make out.

    There were no definite audio sync problems with this disc, but there were times when the audio and the video threatened mightily hard to come out of sync. If there was a sync problem, it was right on the limit of delectability and most likely related to ADR work.

    The musical score by Christopher Young suited the movie nicely, adding excellently to the overall tension.

     The surround channels were well used for music, ambience and the occasional special effect. Whilst this would not be described as a "thumping" 5.1 mix, nonetheless it was nicely immersive with good enveloping characteristics.

    The .1 channel was used in a very integrated fashion to support the music and the special effects. It had a fairly light workout during this movie.


    Only extremely limited extras are on this disc.


    The main menu is plain and functional.

Cast & Crew Biographies

    These are of average length, but there are only three of them!


    Murder At 1600 is an above average action thriller with a decent and eminently believable storyline. It is well worth adding to your video collection.

    The video quality is quite good.

    The audio quality is good, with a nice surround presence.

    The extras present are very very limited.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
16th April 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer