The Domino Principle (1977)

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Released 5-Sep-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Animation
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1977
Running Time 97:25
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Stanley Kramer

MRA Entertainment
Starring Gene Hackman
Candice Bergen
Richard Widmark
Mickey Rooney
Edward Albert
Eli Wallach
Ken Swofford
Neva Patterson
Jay Novello
Joseph V. Perry
Ted Gehring
Claire Brennen
George Fisher
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $9.95 Music Billy Goldenberg

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Paranoia was everywhere in the United States of the 1970s, either the fear that nuclear war was going to break out, or that we were being unknowingly controlled by the government, or that the communists were taking over the world starting in South East Asia. Accordingly, quite a few paranoia psychological thrillers were made during this period and this is an example of the genre.

    A man, Roy Tucker (Gene Hackman), is in prison for the murder of his wife's ex-husband, who used to mistreat her. The wife, Ellie (Candice Bergen in a horrible wig), also spent time in prison as an accessory to the murder but she has now been released. Roy still has fifteen years left to serve on his sentence when he is approached through the warden by a man called Marvin Tagge (Richard Widmark). Without explaining who he is or who he represents, Tagge offers Tucker an opportunity to get out of jail, be re-united with his wife and move to South America with money. Tucker agrees with the proviso that his cellmate, Oscar Spiventa (Mickey Rooney), be brought along. It soon becomes clear that Tagge and his associates, General Tom Reser (Eli Wallach) and Ross Pine (Edward Albert), want Tucker to assassinate an important politician using his training as a marksman in Vietnam. When he initially refuses they threaten to kill his wife if he does not comply. He needs to decide whether to go through with the assassination or try to escape without getting his wife killed.

    The film starts slowly but once it gets moving it is quite intriguing despite the restrictions of its paranoid plot. The cast is exceptional although does not really include the best performances of any of them. The film was directed by Stanley Kramer, who was responsible for great films like Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and Inherit The Wind, and adapted from a novel by the author, Adam Kennedy. If you enjoy thrillers of this vintage (as I do) this one is certainly worth a look and the price tag is very reasonable.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is very good despite a lack of 16x9 enhancement.

    The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio NON 16x9 enhanced which is probably the original aspect ratio.

    Despite the lack of enhancement the picture is surprisingly clear and sharp, especially considering the age of the film. Shadow detail is nothing special but most of the film is set during the day so this is not a major issue. There is some light grain throughout, especially noticeable in backgrounds of indoor scenes.

    The colour was very good if slightly dull with no major issues to report.

    From an artefacts perspective, mild aliasing was fairly regular without being constant, restricting itself to the usual suspects such as car grilles and the steps at 35:55. There was also a very occasional speck or splodge such as at 65:19 and there was sometimes some flickering which was not overly noticeable. All things considered for the age of the film, this transfer is fairly artefact free.

    There are no subtitles.

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


    The audio quality is good but no more.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync, although I did find the volume needed to be turned up above my usual level from this soundtrack to be clearly audible.

    The score of this film by Billy Goldenberg is very good, adding appropriate tension and atmosphere without being intrusive.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use




    The menu included motion and the ability to select scenes.

R4 vs R1

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

    This movie is not available on DVD outside of Region 4.


    An intriguing but unspectacular paranoia thriller from the 1970s.

    The video quality is very good despite a lack of 16x9 enhancement.

    The audio quality is good.

    The disc has no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, November 09, 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)
Video pretty good..? - Anonymous REPLY POSTED