Loot (1970)

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Released 9-Mar-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1970
Running Time 97:06 (Case: 107)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Silvio Narizzano
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Lee Remick
Richard Attenborough
Milo O'Shea
Hywel Bennett
Roy Holder
Dick Emery
Case ?
RPI $14.95 Music Keith Mansfield
Richard Willing Denton


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes, frequent
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Although the studios haven't run out of good movies to put onto DVD, they seem to have run out of the obviously good ones. Or perhaps they have decided to put out a budget line of movies. Whatever the reason, there are some shockers being released at the moment.

    Don't get me wrong, there are some good films being released as budget discs — I'm All Right Jack for example. But this is not one of them.

    This film was released in 1970, which explains the outfits, the haircuts, and the songs.

    Dennis (Hywel Bennett) is supposed to be a lovable rogue (he got the rogue part right) who works as a chauffeur for an undertaker. His mate, Hal (Roy Holder), is waiting for his mother to die. Initially, we think this is because he will inherit money, but we learn differently after a while. Hal's father, Mr McLeavy (Milo O'Shea), is somewhat bemused by the behaviour of the nurse who was tending Mrs McLeavy. The nurse, Fay (Lee Remick), barely waits for Mrs McLeavy to stop breathing before she starts suggesting that he consider marrying again (after a decent interval of mourning — 2 weeks).

    It turns out that Dennis and Hal are planning to rob a bank (in the nude, to avoid brick dust on their clothes...) — their plan depends on stashing the loot in Hal's mother's coffin (hence the waiting for her death). Why they feel it necessary to do this is not adequately explored.

    Once the robbery is discovered, the film swings into outright farce. The detective in charge is Inspector Truscott (Richard Attenborough), a pompous ass. He spends a considerable part of his time claiming to be a representative of the Water Board for no apparent reason. He has a nasty line in witness beating.

    There is quite a bit of anti-Protestant prejudice expressed by various Catholic characters.

    Dick Emery has a bit part, playing a (frequently) complaining hotel guest — the McLeavy family run a hotel.

    This film is based on a play by Joe Orton. That probably goes some way toward explaining the unnatural and stilted dialogue.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. I haven't managed to ascertain the original aspect ratio, but it seems likely to have been either 1.66:1 or 1.85:1, more likely the former, judging by the framing — in either case, this is not the original aspect ratio. It looks like an open matte presentation of a 1.66:1 original.

    The image is soft and a little grainy. Shadow detail is not especially good. There is no low-level noise.

    Colour is somewhat washed out.

    The source used for this transfer exhibits a plethora of film artefacts, with plenty of flecks and specks and a surprising number of fibres. I noticed one reel-change marking at 20:09.

    There is some aliasing on the usual culprits (car chrome in particular). There's some nasty moiré, mostly on the finely striped nurse's uniform. There are no significant MPEG artefacts.

    All up, this is not a good transfer

    There are no subtitles.

    The disc is single-sided and single layer. That means no layer change, and the single layer is more than adequate for this short film with no extras.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The soundtrack is provided in English Dolby Digital 2.0, not surround encoded, at 224kbps. It sounds like a mono soundtrack.

    The dialogue is not clear enough, and there is some distortion on occasions; the (mostly fake) accents don't help. The quality of the sound varies, with quite a bit of the dialogue sounding very obviously ADRed, and lacking any trace of ambient noise. There are no obvious audio sync problems.

    The score, from Keith Mansfield and Richard Willing Denton,  is overly brassy and not especially original.

    The surrounds and subwoofer get the night off with this one.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are no extras on this disc

Menu

    The menu is static and silent. Like some other titles recently, they have combined scene selection with the main menu — that's really getting cheap.

R4 vs R1

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

    As far as we can ascertain, this movie has not been released on DVD in Region 1.

Summary

    An uninvolving farce, given the most basic of treatment in making a DVD.

    The video quality is poor.

    The audio quality is adequate.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Saturday, April 24, 2004
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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