After Hours (1985)

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Released 7-Jun-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Black Comedy Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Select Scenes: Filmmakers' And Griffin Dunne (Actor)
Featurette-Filming For Your Life
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1985
Running Time 93:08
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (58:24) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Martin Scorsese

Warner Home Video
Starring Griffin Dunne
Rosanna Arquette
Verna Bloom
Tommy Chong
Linda Fiorentino
Teri Garr
John Heard
Cheech Marin
Catherine O'Hara
Dick Miller
Will Patton
Robert Plunket
Bronson Pinchot
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Howard Shore

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

††† Paul Hackett (Dunne Griffin) is a buttoned-up computer operator. He is single and lonely. Whilst at a coffee shop one evening he strikes up a conversation with Marcy Franklin (Rosanna Arquette) over their shared love of the book he is reading. Macy is staying with her friend Kiki (Linda Fiorentino), a sculptress who is selling plaster-of-Paris bagel and cream cheese paper weights. Under the guise of wanting to buy one of these paper weights Paul rings the phone number Marcy has given him. Marcy asks Paul to come over to the loft in SOHO where she is staying. On the wild cab ride over Paul loses all his money when the $20 bill he is carrying blows out the window.

††† Paul realises that Marcy is a bit strange and has a few emotional problems and after a crudely planned escape he attempts to make his way home. Unfortunately without any money this isnít going to be that easy. Along the way Paul will meet up with a passive/aggressive bartender (John Heard), a lonely but clingy waitress (Terri Garr), witness a murder, be chased by a women (Catherine OíHara) in an ice-cream van, be stolen (yes, thatís right, stolen) by two hapless burglars (Cheech and Chong), be pursed by a vigilante mob and many many more cleverly intertwined adventures.

††† After Hours was Martin Scorseseís attempt at black comedy. The script was first presented to Scorsese by producers Amy Robinson and Griffin Dunne (who plays Paul in the film) but he was committed at the time to The Last Temptation of Christ. The financing for The Last Temptation of Christ subsequently fell through and Scorsese approached the producers with his interest in directing After Hours (initially titled Lies). The film had, however, subsequently been presented to then little known director Tim Burton. Upon hearing that Scorsese was interested in making the film, Burton graciously bowed out of the project and thus Scorsese was able to make After Hours. Shot over 40 nights (even interiors were shot at night), this was one of Scorsese's quickest shoots in many years and a return in many ways to his style of shooting from his early films. It was made quickly with a small crew and for a relatively small amount of money.

††† After Hours is unashamedly over the top and while there is much to enjoy in this film, I do not feel this is one of Scorsese's best. It should however be pointed out that despite not being a box office success upon its initial release, After Hours has become something of a cult classic and is much loved by many people. The acting performances, like the film itself, are often a little over the top but always nicely realised. Scorsese also won a best director award at the Cannes Film Festival for it.

††† The original music by Howard Shore is a bit dated and seems a bit too reliant on synthetiser sounds but I guess this was pretty typical in the mid eighties. The cinematography by Michael Ballhaus, however, is excellent and itís easy to understand why Martin Scorsese chose to work again with Ballhaus on some his major works including Goodfellas and Gangs of New York.

††† After Hours is an unusual black comedy from director Martin Scorsese. Something of a cult classic, I suspect most people will either love or hate this film. Scorsese fans should enjoy this film if they approach it with an open mind.

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Transfer Quality


††† For a twenty year old film the transfer is really very nice.

††† The film is presented at an aspect of ratio of 1.78:1 which is close to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The transfer is 16x9 enhanced.

††† The image is generally quite sharp and exhibits very pleasing levels of details. The image is smooth and very film like with no traces of any edge enhancement. Fine film grain is present throughout but was never a distraction. With much of the movie set at night shadow detail is very important and thankfully there is no real problem in this area. No low level noise was detected.

††† Colours are well saturated and natural with no traces of any colour bleed.

††† The transfer is free of MPEG artefacts. The print used is very clean with only the occasional white and black specks visible on close inspection.

††† I sampled the English subtitles which were white and easy to understand and very accurately followed the onscreen dialogue.

††† After Hours is presented on a dual layered disc and is RSDL formatted. The layer change occurs at 58:24 which is at a cut between scenes and is fairly well placed.

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


††† The soundtrack is provided in big fat mono. The fidelity of this soundtrack is a bit thin and this was especially noticeable with the music. I expected better for a film released in the 1980s but itís good enough that it shouldnít impact your enjoyment of the film too much.

††† The English Soundtrack is provided in Dolby Digital 1.0 encoded at a rate of 192 Kb/s.

††† Audio sync is generally quite good although there are few scenes where the dialogue has obviously been looped in at a later stage such as at 72:01 where Paul shouts up towards the camera coming down at him.

††† Music in the film seemed to stretch the fidelity of the mono soundtrack, showing it to have limited dynamics and frequency range.

††† Being mono there was no surround or subwoofer activity in this soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


††† A genuinely interesting collection of extras is provided.


††† The menus are 16x9 enhanced†static images†with music from the movie.

Audio Commentary

††† This is an edited commentary with participation from Martin Scorsese (director), Griffin Dunne (actor/producer), Amy Robinson (Producer), Michael Ballhaus (cinematographer) and Thelma Schoonmaker (editor). It is generally not scene specific but does contain some quite interesting information. The first twenty minutes or so where Scorsese discusses the background for the production of the film is the most interesting. The rest, while interesting, will probably only appeal to true fans of the movie and those who love audio commentaries. I suspect there was a lack of interesting material for this commentary as we seem to get a lot of cinematographer Michael Ballhaus†in the second half discussing his early work which†seems to†have very little to do with this actual movie.

Filming for your Life: Making After Hours. (18:54)

††† This is a rather interesting little retrospective featurette including interview material form Griffin Dunne, Amy Robinson and Thelma Schoonmaker. Martin Scorsese is present only in voice-over. It contains some fascinating information such as the fact that the film was originally going to be directed by Tim Burton but he turned it down when he found out Scorsese wanted to direct it. It is presented 4x3 with letterboxed clips from the movie.

Deleted Scenes (7:47)

††† Consists of 7 short deleted scenes. No explanations are provided but itís fairly obvious where they would have been in the film. Some of these are discussed in the Audio Commentary. I will not go into details as it would necessitate giving away some plots points. Suffice it to say they are all quite interesting and well worth checking out once you have watched the film first.

Theatrical Trailer. (2:00)

††† This trailer probably gives away a bit too much of the story and is probably best avoided until after youíve seen the film. Itís 16x9 enhanced but not of the same quality as the film.

R4 vs R1

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

††† The two releases are virtually identical aside from the PAL and NTSC formatting. On direct comparison the Region 4 exhibits slightly improved image detail thanks to the superior resolution of PAL but itís a pretty close thing. The Region 1 version is available in a well priced box set with Special Editions of Goodfellas, Alice Doesnít Live Here Anymore, Whoís That Knocking at my Door and Mean Streets. Means Streets will probably be of the most interest to Scorsese fans as it has not been released here in Australia and really is a pivotal film in Scorsese's career.


††† After Hours is an unusual black comedy from director Martin Scorsese. Something of a cult classic I suspect most people will either love or hate this film. Scorsese fans should enjoy this film if they approach it with an open mind.

††† The video transfer is really very good but the mono only soundtrack is somewhat thin and a remastered soundtrack would have been nice here.

††† A genuinely interesting collection of extras is provided. Start with the featurette and deleted scenes, and†then†if you still want to learn more proceed onto the commentary.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Gauntlett (read my bio if you're bored.)
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVPNS575-S Progressive Scan, using Component output
DisplaySony KVDR29M31 68cm PROGRESSIVE SCANNING. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderLogitech 5500 THX. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationLogitech 5500 THX
SpeakersLogitech 5500 THX

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