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Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] [1958]

André Morell , Cec Linder    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004VVRW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,638 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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,

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.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quatermass Saves The World! 5 July 2002
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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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nervous disposition 23 Mar 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I first saw this live on television when I was 14yrs old. In those days viewers were warned that 'the following programme is not suitable for children or persons of a nervous disposition'.
How right they were, I was terrified!
By to-days standards this is a little slow, but the tension builds up nicely and there are some good scenes. What impressed me was the man being attacked by cups and plates from an all-night coffee stall, and the ground rippling under his fingers as he seeks sanctuary in a church. The grainy B&W film stock that was used by the BBC gives a documentary quality to the film which last about three hours. The only thing that prevents me from giving this 5-stars is that Andre Morell plays Quatermass in a very unsympathetic way.
This is a very good film, the mechanical/opical FX are convincing and best of all it has a strong story-line.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage BBC -worth a look 44 years on 10 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I remember rushing home from work on Monday night's in the mid fifties to keep up with Quatermass and the Pit. Such was the impact of this series that it provoked much discussion in the workplace the next day, Forty-four years on and it has lost little of its suspense, with first class B and W camerawork and excellent sound effects which still send a chill down the spine. Nigel Kneale created some great science fiction and semi-horror productions for TV but this was one of the best, A great privilege to get hands on this video which is definitely a collectors item
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars TV ahead of its time. 9 Sep 2000
By A Customer
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My brother likes it.
I bought this dvd as a gift for my brother, he likes this sort of stuff and is very pleased with it.
Published 17 months ago by J. Swales
5.0 out of 5 stars The Creeps
I remember "The Pit" and the almost deserted streets during the broadcasts. Even the local police found a weak excuse to visit a local pub during the broadcasts. Read more
Published 21 months ago by James Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars Quatermass And The Pit.
This is the original BBC series and the best. It has stood the test of time well and is a lot better than the 1960's film, set in a cardboard tube station. Read more
Published 23 months ago by A Randall
5.0 out of 5 stars The Scariest Thing Of It's Time
For those of a certain age, `Quatermass & The Pit' became an almost infamous term back in the 1950's. Nigel Kneale's six-part serial was broadcast live on evening primetime. Read more
Published on 31 Jan 2012 by Seatinthestalls
5.0 out of 5 stars If you do not have this movie, hop to it.
This is a story about Martian hybrids that came to colonize earth five million years ago. One of their ships went off course and ended up in the mud. Read more
Published on 31 May 2010 by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Not hi-fi sci-fi, but very original.
Brings back memories of the weekly slot which I watched over fifty yars ago. Pity that the original "Mars" from the Planets' suite as the opening music has been changed for... Read more
Published on 23 Feb 2009 by Phil
5.0 out of 5 stars Most intelligent sci fi movie ever
I saw this on BBC TV when it was first broadcast and was thrilled. Many decades later I am still enthralled by this story as portrayed in B&W in 450 line resolution. Read more
Published on 7 Oct 2008 by Pragmatist
5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless
Like another reviewer, I only have the VHS tape. However, does anybody else remember the Goons' version, when, on finding a 1 million year old skeleton in a London Underground... Read more
Published on 21 April 2008 by Bill Peter
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pit
Classic 50's British TV; I was 8 years old at the time and my parents let me stay up to see it. It is still as watchable today despite the obvious deficiencies of picture quality. Read more
Published on 2 Mar 2005 by Bill H
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Stuff
This is gripping stuff, and all the better as most of it was performed live. The only gripes I'd have with this release are that the original six TV episodes have been spliced... Read more
Published on 24 Oct 2003
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