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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Drama > Repulsion (basic)

Repulsion (1965/Entertainment Programs Edition DVD)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Film: B+



NOTE: Since this review, Criterion has issued the film on Blu-ray and you can read more about that edition at this link:






After the international success of Knife In The Water in 1962, many wondered what Roman Polanski would do as a follow-up.  The answer was Repulsion, the 1965 sexual thriller that made Catherine Deneuve an international star and proved Ian Hendry was right to leave British television (he left Police Surgeon, the series that more or less became The Avengers after an actor’s strike).  It also made Polanski one of the world’s most exciting and important directors.


While Knife In The Water has been issued in a nice version on DVD by Criterion, Repulsion has been all over the place without a definitive release.  Some are pricey and probably too pricey, but if you are curious and do not want to spend more than needed to see it, Koch is distributing this Entertainment Programs basic edition from an older analog transfer that is watchable and is pretty complete.


The picture is full frame, though the film was likely not, though it was not scope.  Gilbert Taylor, B.S.C., shot this in black and white the same year he shot another monochrome classic: Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove (out in two special editions both worth getting from Columbia).  This does not look as good as either copy used in those editions, but you do get a hint of how good this would look in a good 35mm print a few times.  It is very average otherwise, lacking detail and down a few generations.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is a bit better, with the English dialogue clear.  The score by Chico Hamilton (orchestrated by Gabor Szabo) holds up well, even in a copy a few generations down.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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