Protocol (1984) (NTSC)

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Released 11-Jun-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1984
Running Time 94:57 (Case: 96)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 1,4 Directed By Herbert Ross

Warner Home Video
Starring Goldie Hawn
Chris Sarandon
Richard Romanus
Cliff DeYoung
Gail Strickland
Andrι Gregory
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Basil Poledouris

Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Goldie Hawn has made a number of films that differ only in setting. They are all comedies. They all feature a pretty woman who is a bit of a ditz — well-meaning but scatter-brained and not too bright. They are generally a pleasant divertissement, but nothing more. I'm thinking of films like Foul Play, Private Benjamin, and this one, Protocol.

    That's not to say that this film is bad, just that it gets mixed up in my head with the others. Well, in some ways this is not quite as good as the others, and it does have that rather strong preachy American bit towards the end.

    Judging this as the simple bit of froth and bubble that is all it claims to be, this is a reasonably well-made film. Goldie Hawn is the obvious choice for the cocktail waitress thrust into the media spotlight by one impulsive act of heroism. That she is seized upon and used by the (heavy-handed) forces of scheming political animals is to be expected. And that the dilemma is resolved by her simple faith in all things American, well, that's a bit hard to swallow for those of us not indoctrinated with all things American. But that part is over fairly quickly...

    Take it for what it is, and you can enjoy it. Look for anything deeper, and you'll be disappointed.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    Speaking of disappointment, this disc is a perfect subject. Sure, this film is not an icon of movie-making brilliance, but it deserves more respect than this. DVDs don't come any more primitive than this.

    This disc contains an NTSC version of a pan-and-scan transfer that was almost certainly made for VHS release (well, it might have been the laserdisc transfer). That means an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced. IMDB has this film down as originally made in anamorphic Panavision, with a theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 — I don't remember what it looked like when I saw it in the cinema.

    The image is soft and grainy, well below true DVD resolution. Shadow detail is limited. There is a little bit of low level noise here and there.

    Colour is not bad, although some shades looked a little wrong (probably due to the infamous Never Twice the Same Colour system) — some reds came out distinctly orange, for example.

    There are innumerable film artefacts — I won't attempt to list them. None of them were all that big, but there were plenty of them. More irritating, however, was the telecine jiggle — as thought the sprocket holes in the film were worn, and the film bounced up and down a little. It's most obvious around 82:42, but it happens to a lesser extent through most of the film.

    There is almost nothing in the way of aliasing or moire — I think the softness covers that. There are no obvious MPEG errors, either, but it's quite possible that part of the softness of the transfer comes from being compressed a bit more than is desirable.

    There are no subtitles at all.

    The disc is single-sided and single layered. That's not too surprising — there's not enough on this disc to warrant a second layer.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The soundtrack is provided in one language, so that's what I listened to — fortunately it happens to be English. It's Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded, but there's not a whole lot of stereo separation evident.

    The dialogue is mostly clear, but there is a little bit of distortion on the high points of one or two lines. There are no obvious audio sync problems.

    The music, credited to Basil Poledouris, is reasonable, although I tired a bit of the brass band march through the opening and closing credits.

    The surrounds echoed the fronts as far as score went, but nothing more. The subwoofer slept through the entire performance.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are no extras at all.


    The menus are dreadful — they are marked copyright 1998, but they lack any flair or creativity. They are boring text laid over a Warners logo (no graphics from the movie at all). They offer Jump to a Scene and Start Movie — that's it.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Region 1 received a poor quality release of this movie in 1998, while DVD was in its infancy. Gosh, that poor quality release seems to offer exactly the same features as this one — I wonder how that might be?


    Protocol is a lightweight comedy given a truly awful presentation on DVD.

    The video quality is VHS quality, and not top-quality VHS at that.

    The audio quality is adequate.

    There are no extras..

Ratings (out of 5)


© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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