Marooned (1969)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 24-May-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Trailer-20 Million Miles To Earth, 7th Voyage Of Sinbad
Trailer-Earth Vs The Flying Saucers, First Men In The Moon
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1969
Running Time 123:41 (Case: 129)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (65:24) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By John Sturges
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Gregory Peck
Richard Crenna
David Janssen
James Franciscus
Gene Hackman
Lee Grant
Nancy Kovack
Mariette Hartley
Scott Brady
Craig Huebing
Frank Marth
John Carter
Vincent Van Lynn
Case ?
RPI $9.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Italian
Dutch
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Space, the final frontier, going where no man has gone before. One small step for mankind and all that hoopla must have seemed very exciting back in 1969 when this film was made. The detailed, and I mean detailed, process of sending a spaceship into space, it all going pear shaped and somehow retrieving the spaceship must have also seemed like a great and interesting idea for a movie at the time. However, I find it hard to believe that, even in 1969, this would have been considered an exciting and tension filled production. In 2005 it is, quite frankly, dated and tedious. If it wasn't for the interesting and slightly manic performance of Gene Hackman as an astronaut who succumbs to the pressure, it would be hard to sit through at all.

    Marooned tells the story of a fictional space mission in a spaceship called Ironman 1. The plan is that three astronauts will take off, dock with a space laboratory, spend 7 months working in space and then return using the same vehicle they arrived in. The three astronauts are Jim Pruett (Richard Crenna), the mission commander, Buzz Lloyd (Gene Hackman), the guidance pilot and Clayton Stone (James Franciscus), a scientist. The mission is controlled from the ground by Charles Keith (Gregory Peck), the Chief of Manned Space. After 5 months in the laboratory, it is obvious that extended time in space is taking its toll on the men and Keith decides it is time for them to be brought home. Unfortunately, the automated process to fire the rocket and send them back to earth does not work and they become marooned in space. Despite the objections of Keith, a rescue mission is mounted led by Col Ted Dougherty (David Janssen). The movie follows the process of the mission, trying to fix the problems and then the attempted rescue.

    The complete lack of any score, although there are numerous beeps and other mechanical noises, did not enhance the experience. I'm sure that this was meant as a device to increase the tension, however all it manages to do is increase the tedium of the whole film.

    From an acting perspective no-one really has much to do with the exception of Gene Hackman, whose character is the only one who has more to him than two dimensions. Gregory Peck's talents are completely wasted in a very cliched role. For the time, the sets and special effects are quite well done and this film was obviously given a good budget to work with, but that certainly does not translate into excitement on-screen. From an audience perspective you do not really engage with the characters and the lack of much in the way of emotion does not help in this regard.

    If you have a big interest in space exploration this might be worth a look, but generally I cannot recommend it.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is decent but certainly not spectacular.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced, which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was not overly clear and sharp, although considering the age of the film, was fine. There was some grain throughout. Shadow detail was pretty ordinary but not terrible.

    The colour was decent but quite dull, although the colour scheme of the film was quite flat with little in the way of vibrant colours on show. Some of the blacks were more like grey.

    From an artefacts perspective, the most obvious were film artefacts in the way of specks, flecks and lines. The specks were fairly constant and some bigger lines occurred at 2:56 and 5:15. I also noticed some moire at 4:00 and some mild aliasing at 85:22 on a jacket.

    There are subtitles in 5 languages including English. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read.

    The layer change occurs at 65:24 and was well placed.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is fine but the nature of the soundtrack does not give your home theatre much to work with.

    This DVD contains four audio options, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s and the same in French, German & Italian.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The only sounds other than dialogue on this soundtrack are the beeping sounds of the control room and mechanical sounds in the rockets, plus the occasional takeoff.

    The surround speakers carried some of the beeps when played using Dolby ProLogic II.

    The subwoofer was not used.

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

Extras

   

Menu

    The menu included still photos and the ability to select scenes, languages and subtitles.

Trailers

    Trailers are included for 20 Million Miles to Earth, 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Earth Vs Flying Saucers and First Man in the Moon.

 

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 release is exactly the same except for PAL/NTSC and some minor subtitle and soundtrack differences. Accordingly I would go for the local product.

Summary

    A dated and overlong space movie which is badly in need of some excitement or tension. Gene Hackman is the only reason to watch.

    The video quality is decent.

    The audio quality is decent but mono.

    The set has no real extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, May 23, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
I Prefer the MST3K version - Anonymous
MST3K version was kinda different - AKath
Wonderful authenticity - Paul Cordingley