Icons of Adventure

4 film, 2 disc collection of classic adventures from Hammer Films with Christopher Lee in three title roles. Sony Columbia R1 USA boxset.

The Films - links to individual film reviews where available.

In Brief:

Anyone famous in it? Hammer's favourite villain Christopher Lee gets three titles roles alongside studio regulars Andrew Kier, Michael Ripper and Oliver Reed as well as a host of familiar character actors.
Who is it for?
Fans of Hammer should enjoy this chance to see some the studio's lesser known adventure films. Fans of swashbuckling movies will certainly enjoy the two pirate titles.

The DVDs

Visuals All films are in Original Aspect Ratios (from 1.66 to 2.35) and Anamorphically Enhanced. Mix of Colour and B&W.
The picture quality is generally very good
Audio All discs have original English Dolby Digital mono - sounds good.
All films have French language dub tracks.
Subtitles English and French subtitles included for all films.
Extras The set includes:
  • Audio commentaries for all four films. The first three with Hammer expert Marcus Hearn and script writer Jimmy Sangster, joined by art director Don Mingaye on the pirate films and assistant editor Chris Barnes on Terror of the Tongs - all of which are very interesting discussions. Script writer David Zelag Goodman does a solo track on Stranglers of Bombay which is interesting but could have used a moderator to keep things moving.
  • All four films include original theatrical trailers.
Additional features:
  • Hot Paprika (1935) - a rather tepid comedy short starring Scottish comedian Andy Clyde. A bumbling fool accidentaly gets involved in a revolution on the small island republic of Paprika. (18 minutes. B&W)
  • The Great Adventures of Captain Kidd (1953)  - part 1 of an (as yet) unreleased Columbia serial. An interesting opening to the serial but rather annoying to tease of part 2 if it is not yet available... (20 minutes. B&W)
  • Merry Mutineers (1935) - a rather strange and surreal little cartoon with characatures of many comic teams from the era, including Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers. (7 minutes. Colour)
  • Bonus trailer reels - Columbia Westerns and Ray Harryhausen in Colour.
      Packing/Discs A standard Amaray box with two single sided discs, with two films on each.
      Region Region 1 - NTSC
      Other regions? Only Devil-Ship Pirates has previously been released and that was a now OOP, featureless disc.
      Cuts? All films are generally uncut as per their theatrical prints, although some are missing cuts imposed by the BBFC on the original releases. English language prints.


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      All text in this review written by Timothy Young: June 2008.
      Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

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