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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Teens > Cars > Australia > Freedom (1981/Australia/Umbrella Entertainment/Region Zero/0/PAL)

Freedom (1981/Australia/Umbrella Entertainment/Region Zero/0/PAL)


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



PLEASE NOTE: This DVD can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region Zero/0 PAL format software and can be ordered from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment at the website address provided at the end of the review.



Though we are used to Australian movie stars here, that country has not always had a strong cinema and as efforts were made to build one, the results were everything from Mad Max to many films that never made it to the U.S., even if some of the talent did.  Director Scott Hicks eventually made a name for himself with Shine back in 1996, but his first major impact was 15 years before with Freedom, about a young man (Jon Blake) who is sick of his down-trodden life and wants to do something about it.


Wanting money, happiness and a girlfriend, he works many jobs, including one as a mechanic.  He loves the Porsche 911 and connects it to a happier way of life.  Once he gets a lady friend (Candy Raymond of the Aussie TV hit Number 96, reviewed elsewhere on this site) involved with him, they steal the car and ride away.  It is great until the police decide to chase them and the run is on.


The kind of film that could have been part of the French New Wave or U.S. New Wave of film, the picture is surprisingly likable and despite being some of what we had seen before, the combination of the cast, directing style, energy and little-seen locations make this worth checking out.  It is a shame this one did not make it overseas because it would have fit into the 1980s soundtrack-driven non-musical film cycle well, except this one has more character and holds up at least as well.  All in all, this is worth catching if you like good movies.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 color PAL image looks good but dated, with some good color, but could use a new print struck or some work on the surviving materials, but the cinematography work of Ron Johanson is a plus, holds up well and looks good, edited nicely by Phil Reid.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono also sounds good for its age including the dialogue, but the music could sound better and we wondered if it was recorded in stereo.  The only extras are a trailer for this and four other Umbrella DVDs.



As noted above, you can order this PAL DVD import film exclusively from Umbrella at:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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