Harry Tracy (1982)

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Released 25-Jul-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Menu Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1982
Running Time 102:25
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By William A. Graham

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Bruce Dern
Helen Shaver
Michael C. Gwynne
Gordon Lightfoot
Jacques Hubert
Daphne Goldrick
Lynne Kolber
Alex Willows
Frank C. Turner
Fred Diehl
Charles Siegel
Jack Ackroyd
Suzie Payne
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music Micky Erbe
Maribeth Solomon

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    This Canadian film stars Bruce Dern as real-life American criminal Harry Tracy, who escaped from prison in Oregon in 1902, killing three guards and a fellow inmate in the process, sparking one of the biggest manhunts in American history to that time. He evaded capture for a couple of months, eventually making his way to Seattle.

    This is a low-key, somewhat elegiac film about this outlaw which seems to be fictionalised for the screen. While the basic facts of his escape are true, there is a female character who appears in none of the accounts of this event that I have read. The film is not particularly good, with some dull stretches and not much drama or suspense. Dern gives a very good performance as the title character, but I am not sure how true to the original his portrayal is.

    The portrayal of the Old West of the turn of last century looks quite realistic, as the production is mostly outdoors and has a grimy, dirty look to it. The clothes of the characters look lived in and their behaviour is mostly idiomatic, unlike westerns of the 1950s and earlier. This film might play better if the transfer was not problematic.

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Transfer Quality


    The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. This is a pan and scan transfer of the original, but I have not been able to ascertain the original ratio.

    This is a pretty dismal transfer. It looks like it was taken from a video master, and is not very sharp. There is a distinct graininess to the image which is distracting. It looks like it was filmed through gauze at times. The colour is also poor. It looks quite washed out, and the special effects blood looks more like satay sauce.

    The transfer has a considerable amount of telecine wobble, most noticeable in the opening credits. There is a severe example of overmodulation at 5:40 at the top of the screen, on the prison bars. There is also an amount of dirt and white flecks visible on the film throughout.

    This is a single layered disc with no subtitles.

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


    The sole audio track is English Dolby Digital 2.0.

    This is a badly flawed audio transfer. The sound is muffled and indistinct, and dialogue is not always easy to understand. This film was a chore to listen to as a result. There is a high level of hiss present throughout the film.

    The music score is by Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon. This score is very dated sounding, as if it was written for a 1970s TV series, and while it is generally appropriate for this film I found it slightly distracting as it draws attention to itself more than complementing the action.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    No extras of any substance are provided.

Main Menu Audio

    The menu has some music from the film.

R4 vs R1

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

    This film does not seem to have been released on DVD in any other region.


    A fairly dull film, this isn't really worth watching unless you are a Bruce Dern completist.

    The video quality is very poor.

    The audio quality is abysmal.

    There are no extras to speak of.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V596 for surround channels; Yamaha AX-590 as power amp for mains
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Richter Harlequin; Rear: Pioneer S-R9; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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