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Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] [1958]

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

2 new from £69.95 7 used from £7.88 2 collectible from £43.99

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Product details

  • Actors: André Morell, Cec Linder, Anthony Bushell, John Stratton, Christine Finn
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Revelation
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Aug. 2000
  • Run Time: 178 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004VVRW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,873 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

All six episodes from the classic British TV sci-fi series, penned by Nigel Kneale. Professor Bernard Quatermass' curiosity is aroused when ancient bones and a strange pod are dug up on a Knightsbridge building site. Closer inspection reveals the pod to be made of an unfeasibly strong material and to contain unidentifiable creatures inside it. Could this discovery begin to explain the string of disturbing events that have taken place in the area over the centuries, as well as the wave of sinister occurences that are now engulfing the entire city? This was in fact the third in the Quatermass series, and has been re-formatted for video and DVD release.


We have met the enemy, and it is us: when a Martian spacecraft with a terrifying link to the origins of humanity is unearthed beneath a London tube station, only the esteemed Professor Bernard Quatermass (a very British--and possibly mad--precursor to Mulder and Scully) can save London's suddenly murderous population from itself. One of the most intelligently paranoid science fiction films ever produced, this pessimistic masterpiece functions as a dark flip side to the relatively optimistic alien-induced evolution theory presented in the later 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nigel Kneale's brilliant script (which posits a surprisingly plausible, otherworldly rationale for the existence of the supernatural) was later appropriated by acknowledged fan John Carpenter for his underrated Prince of Darkness. A must-see for horror and science-fiction aficionados. --Andrew Wright,

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The DVD version looks bright and sharp, although sound may not be up to scratch, although one should bear in mind that it is after all 44 years old! I remember watching this on Television during the winter of 1958/1959 and been sat on the edge of my seat throughout. Being in black and white, it has retained a wonderful atmosphere unlike the colour version made in 1967. From the time the first skull is found, until the famous scene when Hob is hovering over London in flames, the drama never lets up. My only complain about the DVD version is however, it lacks extras. With a little more thought, BBC could have re-issueded a full version with end of episode cliffhangers. Moreover, a second disc could have been provided with the "making of" perhaps, or even scenes from the first two Quatermass series where certain episodes have been lost. It could have been so much better. Lack of imagination by the BBC production team. Still, a good buy.
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Format: DVD
Much has been written of Kneale's groundbreaking TV series, and its celluloid counterpart. The plot, involving the forces unleashed in the wake of the discovery of an alien ship at an archaeological dig, has been well documented. The themes are what sell this production: racism and magic versus reason. Although broadcast live in 1958/9 by the BBC, there are generous amounts of pre-filmed location sequences throughout the 178 minute running time. The director, Rudolph Cartier, really pushes the resources he has and keeps things moving: similarly, Kneales script is fluid, witty and exciting. All this contributes to a great sense of atmosphere. Cartier selects his cast well: most notable are Andre Morrell as Quatermass ( the best, along with John Mills, in the role, because he portrays not only a scientist but a warm, believable, humorous man) and Cec Linder (Felix Leiter in Goldfinger) as Matthew Roney. Linder's droll, laconic performance, and Canadian tones, combined with Cartier's clever use of cinema actors with subtle reputations enable the "Pit" to storm ahead of its contemporaries. This DVD release, by Revelation Films, comes from the compilation master loaned by the BBC for their previous VHS release. For all that, the quality of both picture and sound is superb, and markedly superior to my old tape version. Although edited from episodic to movie format, little is missing bar short scenes in episodes one and five. There are no extras on the disc bar chapter access but the running time and quality of the material make this an essential buy for both those interested in science fiction or TV drama.
Five stars for content, four for the DVD release
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By A Customer on 9 Sept. 2000
Format: DVD
This TV series was way ahead of it's time when it was made, mainly due to the late producer and director Rudolf Cartier, who throughout his career in television, pushed contemporary technology and actors to their limits. Quatermass and the Pit is even more remarkable, as it was screened live and was transfered to film as it went out, yet it doesn't have a static and hurried feel to it like you would expect from a live broadcast drama. In fact, it looks much better than some later serials from the sixties, when it became compulsary to film dramas before they were broadcast as is done today.
I won't give away the plot, but it is a well written sci-fi script that questions the very nature of human evolution. It was so successful, it was remade by hammer films in 1967.
The DVD features no extra features, which isn't exactly anything to be happy about, but I don't think anything that could be used as extras survives anyway. The picture and sound quality can be quite poor at times, but this is IN NO WAY a reflection of the DVD transfer. Quite the opposite in fact, as the transfer holds up quite well considering the age and nature of the master prints. The picture is quite grainy. Sound has quite a lot of hiss, but again, it is the age of the masters and not the quality of the DVD. I would have rated this DVD as 5 stars if it had been mastered in its original 6 episode format as opposed to a compilation edit and restored using the original film-inserts that still exist, but since these only take up several minutes of a 3 hour program, they are not missed too badly.
All in all, if you are a fan of classic sci-fi and are looking for a good durable format as opposed to extras, you should not be disappointed.
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Format: DVD
I first watched this during the winter of 1958-1959 and it had me on the edge of my seat throughout. BBC must be congragulated for this re-release, but it is spoiled by not having the end of episode cliffhangers which would have enhanced it throughout. Still, maybe another re-release might be in the air. Although it has a dated look with mono sound, the atmosphere never lets up. The visit by Quatermass and the policeman to the ruined house is a gem! Also who could forget the corporal who saw a ghost walk through the wall; the discovery of long dead Martians in the missile; the drill operator running through the streets of London trying to escape Martian memories, and the final scenes of the Devil hovering over a ruined London. A classic indeed!
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