Wednesday, April 22, 2009

DVD review: DOC SAVAGE

A month ago, I mentioned that one of my guilty pleasures is the 1975 George Pal movie Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, and that it’s now available on DVD from Warner Brothers through The Warner Archive Collection. This is an on-demand service, and the DVDs are bare-bones but “studio quality.” The price may seem a tad high, but if you really love something, what’s twenty bucks, fer crissakes?

Anyway, I ordered my copy and promised at the time that I’d report back on the DVD.

Well, it is bare-bones. The packaging is minimal, but the DVD comes in a keep-case. As for the disk itself, it includes a promo for the Warner Archive Collection, the original movie trailer, and the film. I’m delighted. The trailer is in pretty crappy shape, full of blobs, hairs, bumps, etc. That’s no surprise. But the movie looks great to me. It’s presented in widescreen, and the print seems very clean and sharp, even on my 46-inch flatscreen. Now, I watched the movie on my Blu-ray player, and that’s supposed to amp up the picture quality a bit, so that may have something to do with it. But regardless, the print looks terrific.

As for the film itself, Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze remains a prize. While awaiting the arrival of the DVD, I re-read the first Doc Savage novel, written by Lester Dent in 1932. This is the story that the movie adapts. And you know something? Even with all the campiness, the movie is awfully faithful to its source material. Ron Ely still seems to me the perfect Doc, and the rest of the cast is spot-on, too.

So, Doc Savage buffs. If you’ve never before seen this little gem, take advantage of this. Buy the movie and treasure it. Last summer, I learned at Comic-Con that a new Doc Savage movie is planned. But in the meantime, this is the real deal.

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7 Comments:

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