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Death Watch [Blu-ray] [1980]

Romy Schneider , Harvey Keitel , Bertrand Tavernier    Suitable for 15 years and over   Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: £11.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Death Watch [Blu-ray] [1980] + Cesar & Rosalie  [1972] [Blu-ray]
Price For Both: £26.60

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Product details

  • Actors: Romy Schneider, Harvey Keitel, Harry Dean Stanton, Max Von Sydow
  • Directors: Bertrand Tavernier
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Park Circus
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Nov 2012
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007H6M940
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,618 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Before Big Brother there was Death Watch.

Media mogul Vincent Ferriman (Harry Dean Stanton) wants to create the most popular reality television show ever. He cajoles journalist Roddy (Harvey Keitel) into having cameras implanted in his eyes and sets him on the trail of terminally ill Katherine Mortenhoe (Romy Schneider), but this unwitting celebrity has other ideas.

Shot in Glasgow in 1979/80, Bertrand Tavernier s prescient cult sci-fi noir has been completely digitally restored and is ripe for rediscovery.

Extras include extended interviews, rarely seen production still shots and much more.

Awards and Accreditations:

Nominated for Golden Bear at 1980 Berlin Film Festival.

Nominated for 5 Césars in 1981, including Best Cinematography, Editing, Music Written for a Film, Sound and Writing Original or Adaptation.

Romy Schneider won Best Performance in a Foreign Film at 1982 Sant Jordi Awards.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good film, but... 4 Jan 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The most frustrating thing is that when you succeed to lay your hands on a really good movie, it apears to be without English subtitles!What a letdown! For me English is not a mother tongue and there are many movie lovers who fall under the category of HOH (Hard Of Hearing).So why they should be deprived of a quality viewing?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Sci-Fi from Travernier 11 Jan 2014
Ignore the complaints about the picture quality from other reviewers none of which I understand I thought the print was fantastic. The film itself is something quite wondrous. Scotland and Glasgow are beautifully shot by a master film maker. It paints the future which is pretty much like it is now. Watch it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good movie, average picture quality 6 Sep 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The movie itself wanders a little. It could have done with a bit more editing. But overall it's a good movie.

There is moderate use of DNR throughout most of the movie, however, towards the end it looks much more natural, with pleasant film grain becoming visible for the first time. The DNR is not Predator-level over-the-top, however, it does give the image a slightly waxy and fuzzy look. On a small TV you won't notice, but through a projector the image does look flawed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbingly prescient 20 Sep 2014
Harvey Keitel’s hard-bitten journalist Roddy is somehow persuaded to have miniature cameras fitted into his eyes by Harry Dean Stanton’s media mogul Vincent Ferriman in a subtly dystopian Glasgow somewhere in the near future. When Roddy comes into contact with the terminally ill Katherine, to whom Ferriman has paid £500,000 to be the ‘star’ of his new Death Watch television reality show, he begins to soften, and the pair embark upon a strange kind of odyssey – with Katherine gradually crumbling: emotionally and physically, and Roddy fighting the urge to come clean and admit that he is not the sympathetic stranger he seems to her to be.
Bertrand Tavernier directs this low-budget film with economy and grace, and the ideas raised here can be seen to be rather ahead of their time, when the film is watched in the context of a society weaned on a diet of Big Brother and its many siblings.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Death is the new pornography" 15 Nov 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
In a desolate Glasgow of a possible future Scotland, ambitious tv executive Vincent(Harry dean Stanton)persuades one of his senior reporters Roddy(Harvey Keitel) to agree to the implanting of a camera behind his right eye to follow around and film the impending death of terminally ill Katherine (Romy Schneider)for prime time show Death Watch.However the victim is none too compliant and goes on the run.

Made in 1979 and based on a book by David Compton,Death Watch is a fairly sharp attack on media intrusion and manipulation and eerily prophesises the advent of the reality show format of Big Brother et al.Keitel and Schneider are ok but Dean Stanton in almost a lead role for him is suitably reptilian and slimy as the greasy pole negociator who has only a fleeting sense of compassion for the victim while keeping his gaze firmly on the ratings - "we had a 71% share last night and even bigger in Germany"

Veteran filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier holds it all together quite well but his somewhat aloof presentation of the subject matter keeps our emotions at arms length and hence our sympathies for Katherine's plight and persecution are not what they might be.

Max Von Sydow turns up at the end as Katherine's ex and a slim Robbie Coltrane has a bit as company Chaffeur.

Park Circus 2:39:1 transfer is pretty impressive for the most part.Interiors are sharp and surprisingly the exteriors are lush, clear, even pin sharp in places(especially in street scenes-pavements and the buses's colour schemes are vibrantly rendered) and are as striking as I've seen on a blu ray transfer.For some reason there is some grain in the last 20 minutes but overall an impressive presentation of a long neglected cult item.
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