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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Ladyhawke (1985)

Ladyhawke (1985)

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Released 10-Sep-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Fantasy Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1985
Running Time 116:00
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (55:36) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Richard Donner

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Matthew Broderick
Rutger Hauer
Michelle Pfeiffer
Leo McKern
Case ?
RPI $36.95 Music Alan Parsons

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 4.1 L-C-R-S-Sub (384Kb/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 Croatian
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Ladyhawke is a fantasy film about a man and a woman in love who have been separated by a terrible curse that prevents them from ever being together.

    Philippe the Mouse (Matthew Broderick) is a young thief who escapes from a prison just before being executed. While on the run from the authorities he meets a mysterious stranger (Rutger Hauer) with a pet hawk. Philippe joins the stranger on his journey and slowly learns the truth about the hawk he travels with and the terrible curse that has destroyed his life.

    This is an enjoyable film directed by Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon, Superman, The Omen) that is dated slightly by its soundtrack. If you have not seen this film in a number of years you may find the soundtrack slightly jarring. Despite this small problem the movie still remains enjoyable and should appeal to all fans of fantasy adventures.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is quite sharp throughout and a high level of detail is always visible. No low-level noise was visible at any time. During the numerous dark scenes a high level of shadow detail is visible but for a small number of scenes towards the end of the transfer the shadow detail is obviously reduced. This problem with shadow detail may be due to the original source material and it is only slightly distracting.

    The natural colour palette displayed during the transfer is always slightly muted. This slight muting of the palette is typical of nearly all films of this age and is not distracting.

    There were no noticeable MPEG artefacts.

    There is some aliasing visible. Some examples of this may be seen at 5:54, 9:49, 13:00, 13:14, 15:11 and 29:20. Due to their frequency these artefacts are moderately distracting.

    There are a number of minor film artefacts that may be seen - look at 9:24, 13:09, 22:39, 24:25, 26:14 and 27:08. All of these are quite minor and are minimally distracting.

    The transfer appears to skip a frame at 25:28 resulting in a slight jump in the image but this is not troubling.

    Thirteen sets of white subtitles are provided for the transfer. I extensively sampled the English SDH stream and found them to be consistently accurate and easy to read.

    The layer change occurs at 55:36 during a scene change part way through chapter eight and is not disruptive.

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


    A single Dolby Digital 384 kbps 4.1 (3/1 L,C,R,S) soundtrack is provided on the disc.

    The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand at all times.

    A small problem with audio sync may be heard at 76:54 but this appears to be a result of ADR work. A two-second dropout may be heard at 70:07; this is slightly distracting.

    The musical score by Alan Parsons unfortunately sounds very dated. It feels out of place in the film, constantly drawing attention to itself.

    The discrete mono surround channel is used minimally throughout the transfer to support the score and for the occasional effect.

    The subwoofer channel is used minimally during the transfer to support effects but never draws attention to itself.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The non-animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of either 1.78:1 or 1.33:1 depending upon the player setup.

Trailer (1:25)

    This trailer is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

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

The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix found on the R1 release reportedly has identical audio provided for both surround channels and consequently would be the same as the 4.1 mix provided on the local release. The 16x9 enhanced transfer makes the R4 release clearly the version of choice but the omission of production and cast & crew notes is a little disappointing.


    Ladyhawke is an enjoyable fantasy adventure that features high-quality performances by all the lead characters.

    The video transfer presented is acceptable but does display a number of aliasing artefacts.

    The Dolby Digital 4.1 soundtrack is well presented but is let down by the very dated musical score.

    Disappointingly the only extra included is a theatrical trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Friday, September 06, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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