Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-On Location Footage
Trailer-Without A Clue, The Rutles, The Best Of British Collection
|Year Of Production||1967|
|Running Time||99:30 (Case: 105)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (67:48)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Stanley Donen|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, but only God laughing!|
Stanley : 'I don't know what to believe' Devil : 'Not me, that's for sure'
Many people would be aware of the reasonably recent Brendan Fraser comedy with the same title as this film but a significant portion of those people would not be aware that that film was a remake of this classic English comedy from 1967. This film was written by its co-stars, then a comedy team, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and directed by Stanley Donen, an Academy award winner and famous for films such as Charade, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Royal Wedding and many more.
The plot follows the story of Stanley Moon (Dudley Moore), a depressed short order cook who yearns for the love of the waitress at the diner he works in. Desperately shy, he is too timid to ask Margaret Spencer (Eleanor Bron) to go out with him and accordingly decides to end it all. After an unsuccessful suicide attempt, a strange man walks into his flat announcing himself to be the Devil AKA George Spiggott (Peter Cook). He offers Stanley a chance to have seven wishes in return for his soul. After initially not believing that it is the Devil he eventually agrees and signs the contract to exchange his soul for the wishes, which he plans to use to make Margaret his. Unfortunately, as you would expect from the Devil, the deal is not quite as simple as it seems because the Devil does not really want Stanley to succeed and be happy. Therefore, he purposefully grants the wishes in such a way that Stanley does not really get what he expects. It would seem that the Devil is in competition with God to see who can get the most souls and if the Devil wins he can return to heaven.
This is a very droll comedy rather than laugh out loud funny but does contain some excellent dialogue and amusing performances by Moore and Cook. It sometimes becomes quite absurdist in nature, especially during the nunnery sequence involving trampolines. To my mind it has perhaps not aged quite as well as some other classic comedies from the time, such as The Party, but it is certainly enjoyable and amusing. Watch out for cameos by Racquel Welch as Lillian Lust and 'our' Barry Humphries as Envy.
The video quality is very good, surprisingly so for a film of this vintage.
The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.
The picture was very clear and sharp throughout except for a few sections such as from 48:00 - 52:00 and from 91:00 - 93:00. There was no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was surprisingly good for a film of this age. There was no noticeable grain.
The colour was wonderful, rich and solid throughout.
Artefacts were present but not overly intrusive. There was a section of telecine wobble at 5:20, some specks such as at 15:20 and 96:08, some occasional edge enhancement such as at 27:48 and 45:10, a bit of flickering at 25:23 and white lines at 31:30 and 57:54. All things considered, the artefacts were quite minimal considering the age of the film.
There are no subtitles.
The layer change occurs at 67:48 and was not noticeable.
The audio quality is very good.
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.
The score of this film by Dudley Moore is very suitable for the material, adding some sixties grooviness to the proceedings.
The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu included music, scenes and the ability to select scenes.
Presented 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced and without time coding. This is a recent interview with Barry Humphries where he discusses his career, Peter Cook, the movie, his role and Dudley and Peter's partnership. He is interesting, amusing, honest and very droll. Well worth watching.
This is an old black and white promotional film made at the time the film was being shot, which consists of Dudley Moore interviewing Peter Cook. It is quite funny and definitely worth watching. Presented 4x3 and without time coding.
Trailers for Without a Clue, The Rutles and the Best of British Collection.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
I can find no evidence that this title has been released in Region 1. It is available in Region 2 in the same format it has been released here.
The video quality is very good.
The audio quality is very good.
The disc has a small selection of decent quality extras.
|DVD||Pioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output|
|Display||Sony 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 Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Bose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)|