‘Sands of the Kalahari’ comes to American Region free Blu-ray with a very good looking 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer, framed in the widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
The image is far better than I was expecting from Olive Films. This might sound prejudiced against smaller labels, but many don’t spend as much as the big boys on their transfers and clean ups. In this case, the film looks as if it has come from a very good source print with little or no damage on display. Most of the film takes place in well lit exteriors and it positively glows with rich colour. Skin tones reflect the heat of the desert and we get beautiful shots of the sand, courtesy of Erwin Hillier’s widescreen photography. The picture is also pleasingly sharp and filmic with surprisingly little grain for a movie from the mid 60’s. Contrast is generally pleasing throughout and only in very few shots did I feel that blacks weren’t quite as deep as they might have been. A hint at the age of the film stock is given during some cave interiors where there is a slight lack of shadow detail and a variation in contrast towards the edge of the frame.
You do notice the difference in quality between stock library footage, as well as Second Unit material compared to the Main Unit stuff, but that’s down to the source and nothing to do with the transfer. All in all, this is a very good looking Blu-ray.
The audio on ‘Sands of the Kalahari’ comes in an LPCM 2.0 track which carries the original cleaned up mono. Obviously, it can’t be compared with a modern day blockbuster but this is a perfectly workmanlike soundtrack with no age related hiss, snap, crackle or pop to ruin it. Dialogue is clear and crisp throughout while Johnny Dankworth’s swinging 60’s score is treated with some respect although it seems like an odd companion for the picture at times. There are no really standout moments in the mix, but nothing really terrible to mention either.
Zip, Nada, Null - not a jot.
This is a bare bones, movie only release.
The rarely seen ‘Sands of the Kalahari’ comes to American Region free Blu-ray with a very good looking 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer, framed in the widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio. For a not too big title from 1965, the image is surprisingly good – coming from a clean source with strong colour and contrast with a sharp picture throughout.
The LPCM 2.0 audio track carries the cleaned up original mono sound and we’re given nice clear dialogue throughout with no age related issues to mention.
There are no extras on this bare bones release but its the movie that really counts.
Stanley Baker, Stuart Whitman, Susannah York, Theodore Bikel, Harry Andrews and Nigel Davenport attempt to survive the dangers of the Kalahari after their chartered plane is forced down by a cloud of flying locusts. A good, old fashioned night at the movies.
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