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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Medical > Drama > Murder > WWII > Genocide > Teens > Comedy > The Carey Treatment (1972/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/The Counterfeit Traitor (1962/Paramount/Via Vision/Imprint Region Free Import Blu-ray)/Licorice Pizza (2021/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)

The Carey Treatment (1972/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/The Counterfeit Traitor (1962/Paramount/Via Vision/Imprint Region Free Import Blu-ray)/Licorice Pizza (2021/Universal Blu-ray w/DVD)

Picture: B/B-/B & C Sound: B-/B-/B & C+ Extras: C-/B/C+ Films: C+/B-/B-

PLEASE NOTE: The Counterfeit Traitor Import, Region Free Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Imprint/Via Vision Entertainment in Australia, while The Carey Treatment is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. Both can be ordered from the links below.

We'll start with a film based on a thriller by Michael Crichton, though from a series of books he published under another name. Blake Edwards' The Carey Treatment (1972) is a thriller with James Coburn as the doctor of the title, arriving at a Boston hospital run by a partly stuff doctor (the ever-great Dan O'Herlihy) to work and from his entrance, he's going to be a different kind of doctor. This quickly becomes a plus when the head doctor's daughter turns up dead form an illegal abortion.

Of course, this was a pre-Roe vs. Wade film, a ruling no one knew was on the horizon, but an unsafe abortion could have still happened afterwards if someone was trying to hide something, so an innocent, good doctor at the hospital (character actor legend James Hong) is accused of murder and Carey is pretty sure there is something much more sinister going on. We also get a near romance Carey has with Jennifer O'Neill, which never rings false or is ill-fitting with the film.

Unfortunately, producing studio MGM kept interfering with the film and not only did it hurt the final release of the film, it made Edwards furious and he later made his film S.O.B. as a comical commentary on the experience. Still, I love the cast, the look of the film and it shows that Edwards could handle more than just comedies. Even with all its issues and down points, it has dated surprisingly well (abortion rights notwithstanding) is still worth a look.

George Seaton's The Counterfeit Traitor (1962) was a big production for its time, with Paramount Pictures spending serious money to shoot in several locations when this was still highly uncommon, save for very expensive roadshow and large-frame movie epics, but they had a huge star on their hands with William Holden and went all the way with this tale set during the early 1940s in the center of WWII Europe where he plays a man getting big money oil contracts with the Nazis.

At first, he just sees it as business, but he quickly learns of the genocide, torture and terror they are really up to. Instead of bailing out, he decides to become an agent for the Allies while still doing business with the Nazis, et al, but this will be very dangerous and for its time, the film is very graphic and blunt about what this means in all of its horror and ugliness. Lilli Palmer is great as the religious woman he starts to fall for as she risks her life against the Nazis and Hugh Griffith is the sometimes annoying allied contact he has to deal with in all this.

The film did business, but when it was discovered the writer who wrote the book and said this was all true turned out to be making up more of his story than he should have, the film got lost in the shuffle of films that were not as remembered as they deserve to be. I had not seen this for decades and was surprised how many moments I remembered and how good much of this was, enthralling enough for the over two hours it runs, a movie made by intelligent adults for intelligent adults. That's rare today, especially with such a big budget these days.

Paramount has been licensing gems like this to Via Vision/Imprint Region Free for a while and film fans worldwide have been thrilled at the choices. I can see why. This is among many film that a long overdue for rediscovery and this also has some great extras (see below) so if you are a serious film fan, you should go out of your way for The Counterfeit Traitor and expect to be impressed!

Last but not least, Paul Thomas Anderson's Licorice Pizza (2021) has the underrated, underappreciated filmmaker going back to the 1970s, this time the earlier half in the San Fernando Valley, telling of the unlikely love story between would-be actor Gary Valentine (Copper Hoffman) and Alana Kane (Alana Haim) as he is underage and she is can be cynical, being older and all by about a decade. A slice of life comedy that recreates its period with ease, it takes us to some offbeat places similarly good films set in the time period over the last few decades missed.

Gary is also a schemer, always on the lookout for any opportunity that will make him money and get his name out there. However, it is also a highly observant character study of all its characters and the time it takes place in, rightly indicating that some of their behaviors are definitely a product of their time and could have only happened in a period of such innovation and positive, energetic mainstream culture. The characters do not necessarily realize this, as they do, but that all works well.

Unfortunately, some scenes do not work as well as others and Bradley Cooper's appearance as real life hairstylist (and soon to be controversial movie producer and Barbra Streisand boyfriend) Jon Peters might be a little over the top. Sean Penn and Tom Waits also turn up briefly in amusing turns, but they are only so significant.

Running about two hours, it was still worth seeing and is enough of an experience to recommend it, not being totally off like Punch Drunk Love, but it is not up there with his best films either. With that said, it is still one of 2021's best films and is worth your time. Just give it some time to start up.

Now for playback performance. All three films were shot on 35mm film.
The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on Treatment is restored, as shot with anamorphic Panavision scope lenses and processed in MetroColor. This looks as good as it ever has and its DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is as good as this film will ever sound, so outside of a mint film print, this is the best way to see the film.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Traitor can show the age of the materials used in some scratches (especially in the opening credits) and specs here and there, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film and its slightly dark look is the way the film has always appeared to me, as developed in French labs, which have that tendency. Then the film was issued in dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor prints. The lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 upgrade is not bad and fares better than the also-included PCM 2.0 Mono.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Pizza is just fine, but the film has a slight yellow/orange side to it that comes from an internegative and/or styling intended by Anderson to indicate the early 1970s period. Either way, it looks good, was shot in real anamorphic Panavision on Kodak Vision 3 color movie film stocks and I can imagine 70mm prints and 4K presentations were even better. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is also top rate with an amazing choice of hit songs from the time, plus dialogue and sound effects are recorded, mastered and mixed very well. The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on the DVD version is softer than expected, as is the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on it, so that disc is just included here for convenience at best.

Extras include Original Theatrical Trailers on all films except Pizza, which comes with a limited edition mini-poster and Digital Copy, while its discs include Camera Tests, Fat Bernie's Commercials, The Handman Scene and Behind The Scenes. Traitor also adds a terrific, brand new Feature Length Audio Commentary track by Lee Pfeiffer, publisher of Cinema Retro Magazine, with film historian Paul Scrabo (2022) adding to their excellent track record of such tracks with updated information and all kinds of details and observations of the film on and off the screen like the best commentary tracks do, William Holden: The Golden Boy (1989 documentary,) a Photo Gallery and a Limited Edition slipcase on the first 1500 copies with solid, unique artwork.

To order The Counterfeit Traitor, go here to order directly, along with other great exclusives, at:


...and to order The Carey Treatment Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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