Five Card Stud (5 Card Stud) (1968)
|Year Of Production||1968|
|Running Time||98:13 (Case: 100)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Programme|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Henry Hathaway|
Paramount Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Five Card Stud is a well-made mystery thriller set in the old west. During a late night poker game, a player is found cheating. He is subsequently lynched by the other members of the game. Van Morgan (Dean Martin) is the sole voice of opposition to this course of action, but is knocked unconscious before he can stop the hanging by fellow poker player and all round scumbag Nick Evers, played by Roddy McDowall. Months later, the card players responsible for the lynching are turning up murdered. Dean Martin must solve the murders before he also becomes a victim.
It's not often you combine a murder mystery with an old fashioned western, and to the filmmakers' credit Five Card Stud is an enjoyable mix of both genres. Dean Martin is great in the lead role once again proving what a talented performer he was. Robert Mitchum plays a gun-wielding preacher with great panache, and Roddy McDowell, one of the great character actors, excels as the weaselly Nick Evers. The rest of the cast prove themselves worthy in minor roles. The screenplay and direction are first class and the film is well paced with the murderer's identity cleverly disguised until the film's third act. Five Card Stud is highly enjoyable and well worth a look for fans of both genres.
Five Card Stud is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. This is close to the original film's aspect ratio of 1:85:1.
Sharpness levels are excellent. Shadow detail is also first rate providing the film with a strong and detailed presentation. I was really impressed with the picture quality of this almost 40 year old film. There were no low level noise problems and barely a sign of grain throughout the transfer.
Colours were a little muted, but mostly natural and showcased the work of cinematographers Daniel Fapp and James King to great effect.
As the film is 36 years old, there were film artefacts present, but they were never distracting and were all minor in nature.
The disc has English, French, Italian, German and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital mono audio tracks available. The English track is reviewed here.
Dialogue is clear and there were no audio sync issues.
The film's music by Maurice Jarre was excellent and added a wealth of atmosphere to the on-screen proceedings. Dean Martin sings the film's opening song over the credits - a nice touch.
Surround channel usage was non existent, as is only to be expected with a mono track. Only the front speakers were utilised during the film. However, the sound was strong and did not require a more vibrant mix.
There was minimal deep bass redirected to the subwoofer - the film's music suffered because of this, with the score sounding a little hollow and crying out for a deeper range.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
All versions of this DVD across regions are essentially the same.
Five Card Stud is a highly enjoyable mix of both the western and thriller genres. The disc's audiovisual presentation was better than average for a film of this vintage, but sadly lacked a single extra.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||LG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Sony HT-K215. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie|