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Category:    Home > Reviews > Crime > Drama > Murder > Sex > Exploitation > Gangster > British > Man Of Violence (1970 aka Moon/BFI (British Film Institute) Flipside Blu-ray/Region Zero/Free Import)

Man Of Violence (1970 aka Moon/BFI (British Film Institute) Flipside Blu-ray/Region Zero/Free Import)

 

Picture: B Sound: C Extras: B- Film: B-

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: This Blu-ray is only available in the U.K. from our friends at BFI and can be ordered from them at the website address link provided below at the end of the review or at finer retailers. This is a Region Free/Zero Blu-ray and will play on all Blu-ray players. All the supplements are also in 1080p High Definition.

 

 

Pete Walker was an independent counterculture filmmaker who wanted to show the underside of British life and was bolder than most of his contemporaries to the point that he has been too forgotten for our own good. BFI has restored and issued his 1970 film Man Of Violence (aka Moon) on Blu-ray and added the shorter, earlier, similar The Big Switch (1968) as an extra in two cuts.

 

Violence stars Michael Latimer (A Man For All Seasons) as Moon, a man who wants money and women, even if it means getting through gangsters and more to get it. However, this troubleshooter is more of a subversive than anyone he encounters suspects and he moves along in the tradition of The Saint/Simon Templar as a troubleshooter more out for himself than you might expect. The film is hard-hitting and can be very cold, but that is what makes it work. The screenplay by Brian Comport (The Asphyx, Girly) totally understands the genres it takes on and there is also a twist in Moons character that makes this different than most such films in that cycle of the time, but it is one of the best of them. Derek Francis, Luan Peters and Patrick Jordan are among the supporting cast.

 

The Big Switch (aka Strip Poker) has a tough playboy (Sebastian Breaks) framed for the murder of his girlfriend, loosing his job at the same time and getting beat up by thugs who are likely behind more of this that they let on. Both cuts work and though maybe considered almost a grindhouse film by some, it is better than that thanks to Walker (who also wrote it), some memorable locations, twists and a cast that also includes Jack Allen, Derek Aylward, Patrick Allen, Douglas Blackwell, Gilly Grant and Virginia Wetherell. It is rougher and dirtier than Man Of Violence, but that is a good thing in this case.

 

 

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image (centered in the 1.78 X 1 HD frame, of course) has been restored by BFI from original 35mm negative materials for the main feature and the bonus versions of the second film, both looking very good for their age and are now among the best examples of EastmanColor of the time on Blu-ray, outdoing just about every previous example. Being British, the color is a little different and maybe a little darker, but you can tell the type of film used all the way through and it looks good.

 

Though the materials can show their age, there are also demo shots throughout and Director of Photography Norman G. Langley (who later gave British TV shows like The Sweeney and The Professionals their distinct look) gives both films a colorful, yet gritty look and feel in the tradition of genre films of the time like Get Carter. Once again, BFIs restoration efforts have paid off.

 

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image on The Big Switch holds up almost as well and has two cinematographers as Director of Photography: Brian Tufano (Trainspotting, Dreamscape) and Richard Scott (apparently the additional footage), yet the two cohere well enough where applicable and the Tufano footage (budget notwithstanding) holds up very well. Hes always had the talent and it shows here.

 

The PCM 2.0 48/24 Mono is not bad for its age, likely coming from optical monophonic elements, but can sometimes sound good and other times sound more compressed than expected. Some of this is from the budgetary restrictions, others from the age of the original source materials. It is clean, but be a little careful of volume switching just in case.

 

Extras include a booklet with text that includes technical information, stills and poster art with essays by Cathi Unsworth, David McGillivray on Walkers earlier film The Big Switch, Julian Petley and Walker himself on making this film and The Big Switch. As noted above, the disc includes his fine film The Big Switch at 68 minutes and a longer export cut of 77 minutes, plus alternative Moon title-card and original theatrical trailers for both films.

 

 

You can order this Blu-ray at this link:

 

http://filmstore.bfi.org.uk/acatalog/info_13697.html

 

 

- Nicholas Sheffo


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