PictureUniversal has provided a theatrically correct 1.85:1 aspect anamorphically enhanced for widescreen TV's with an average bitrate of 8Mbps, which puts in on par with Superbit titles. For a film made in 1963, the image is in a word 'outstanding'. The colours are bright and clear, even if the pallet is rather drab and blacks are deep and true. Detail level does vary a little from pin sharp to just soft, not helped by a smattering of film grain and the odd speck of print damage; however this is very rare and perfectly in tune with the age of the film. I've seen more modern films look far worse. Digitally there are no artefacts, nor edge enhancement, the quality no doubt being achieved by the high bitrate which barely wavers from 8Mbps. Universal have used all the disc space for the picture and it shows, so although the very minor problems take from the top score, they should be congratulated for such a near flawless picture.
SoundThe audio, on the other hand, is nothing more than a purely functional mono signal. Of course the film, by nature, doesn't need a full surround mix, however a little surround might have gone a long way to increasing the ambiance of the picture. As it is everything is clear and audible, with no distortion or hiss even when turned up. Inherent to the mono signal there is little bass to shout about, everything sitting quite happily in the mid range. One plus point, this disc has been given multiple language dubs and subtitle options.
ExtrasThis is a budget release and as such is bereft of extras
VerdictBudget releases like this will live and die on a person's perception of the film, since there are no extras, no amount of quality control with picture and sound will alter that. Personally, for that is what a review is about, the film did not sit amongst my all time greats, I found it a decent enough watch, technically a quality picture with passable sound, but I'm unlikely to ever watch it again, thus my own verdict score may differ wildly from someone that adores it.
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