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Category:    Home > Reviews > Crime Thrilller > Deadfall (1968/DVD-Video)

Deadfall (DVD-Video)


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



Bryan Forbes is one of the great British gentleman directors, a man who always took chances and tried to find interesting and unusual material to make.  His 1968 Michael Caine thriller Deadfall is one of those.  A strange love triangle develops when two old thieves eventually work together to steal valuable jewelry from a safe.  Richard (Eric Portman) is married to the beautiful Fe (Giovanna Ralli) in an unhappy marriage with no love since he is gay, but Richard and Henry (Caine) team up under strained circumstances because the loot is too valuable to pass up.


Of course, Caine is in great form with a decent cast and Forbes screenplay is smart, paced slowly with intelligence and an eerie suspense develops as a result.  Though the film is not perfect, it is always interesting and takes place in the world of the real, mature and moneyed enough to keep watching.  There are a few more surprises and composer John Barry even shows up in the film as a conductor.  A challenge for audiences, the film is worth catching.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.66 X 1 image is not bad, shows some age, but has some good color and is nicely shot by Gerry Turpin, who was a major Cinematographer for the black and white Diana Rigg episodes of The Avengers (1965) and later shot Oh! What A Lovely War, Young Winston and the great Mystery classic The Last Of Sheila.  His work here is up there with his best.  I also like the opening credits’ design.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is a little better than the mono, as Barry’s score and the theme song are in real stereo, though they sound even better in the supplement.  Dolby 2.0 Mono is also here, but it is lower in volume, though in all, every fan should be pleased.


Extras include a great 20-minutes-long featurette on composer John Barry dubbed The John Barry Touch, the original theatrical trailer and a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track featuring the isolated music score and sound effects.  Early on, we reviewed the Limited Edition CD soundtrack from Film Score Monthly’s FSM label, one of their first (www.filmscoremonthly.com) you can read more about at:





Copies are still left and have some bonus tracks not featured on this DVD.  To compare the sound a few years later to the isolated track here is a close one, but audiophiles will still want the CD.  However, with that said, this is one of the best such Dolby DVD tracks we have heard to date.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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