98 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff!
Quatermass finds himself on the scene of an archaeological dig in a London tube station, where a rather unexpected object is found. He soon realises it's a relic from an old colonisation attempt several million years earlier. The invaders are long dead, but a compelling memory still lurks in Hob's Lane...
I first saw this film two decades ago, when I managed to...
Published on 27 May 2007 by Sheffielder
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dual Format but not Double Play
I know others have commented on the fact that the DVD in the Dual Format edition does not contain the extras that are on the Blu-ray, and this raises an interesting question: if StudioCanal aren't going to add anything new to their already available DVD then why issue a Dual Format edition in the first place? Why not just issue a Blu-ray, thus clarifying the fact that...
Published 6 months ago by Buchanan
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98 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff!,
This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] (DVD)Quatermass finds himself on the scene of an archaeological dig in a London tube station, where a rather unexpected object is found. He soon realises it's a relic from an old colonisation attempt several million years earlier. The invaders are long dead, but a compelling memory still lurks in Hob's Lane...
I first saw this film two decades ago, when I managed to record it off the TV, and soon wore out the video by watching it so often. It's a great example of its genre, and still superb today. The scientists are scientific, the army officer annoying, the plot marvellously constructed, and the effects a strange combination of the superb and the slightly ropey - exactly what you want from a classic sci-fi/Hammer adventure of the sixties. There's not a single scene or pseudo-fact out of place, and no extraneously irrelevant love interest getting in the way either. Even the film loop behind the end-titles is unsettling; to this day I can't decide what sort of ending the film has; "good" has triumphed, but at what cost?
All in all, a great film, and well worth watching. Five stars.
51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy,
This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] (DVD)It makes a change to watch a film free of cgi or cliched phrases such 'we've got to get the hell out of here' etc
I love this film and watch it about once a year. The scene in Hobb's lane, when the policeman is telling Quatermass and his assistant about the strange noises and figures, is just excellent, and so spooky.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic sci-fi at a give away price,
This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] (DVD)Having been scared half to death by this in the 70s when it was on late on New Years Eve (and scared completely some time later by the Stone Tapes) this is something that really pre-dates a lot of the later Dr Who (e.g. Pertwee's the Daemons, Troughton's London underground).
A most for any fan of British classic sci-fi
56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Are the Martians!,
This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] (DVD)Erich von Daniken, eat your heart out. Nigel Kneale was way ahead of you. In the Fifties he wrote three superb serials (not series), which Hammer filmed. Quatermass and the Pit is the third and best - arguably the best British science fiction movie, so far. Andrew Keir makes a good Quatermass, sharing the credits with James Donald as Dr Roney. As always with old horror/sf, the effects are a bit ropey, but the strength and intelligence of the story carries the viewer along. I agree with those who say the ending is weak and the original TV version was stronger overall. But it was three hours long! Given the constraints of time and budget, this is pretty damn good. It's one of the few genuinely convincing alien invasion movies, presenting it as a fait accompli and leaving it to us to decide exactly what that much-used and abused term 'humanity' really means. It's also an object lesson in storytelling. I still stand (or possibly sit) amazed at how deftly Kneale interweaves Martians, evolution, Cold War militarism and a ghost story. Young trendy media types, please note. (But of course, you won't.)
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quatermass on Blu-Ray!,
This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD) inc. Olly Moss cover art  (Blu-ray)I must admit that having had previous copies of one of my favourite Hammer films on VHS Video and DVD courtesy of Anchor Bay (this copy also had Quatermass II, another Hammer film) I had to take a risk and purchase this on Blu-Ray.
I sat with fingers crossed, hoping that my purchase would be worth while. After the first ten minutes or so, I breathed a sigh of relief as I was more than pleased with the HD Transfer which is very good indeed. In fact, in some scenes, the clarity was so good, background scenes were more noticeable, especially during the final scenes. The only downside is that the soundtrack is stereo and not 5:1 which would have been nice. Still, it is only a minor quibble, for the stereo soundtrack is more than adequate.
One other quibble is the artwork on the box which has nothing to do with the production whatsoever. Rather silly in fact, it should have been the original artwork first seen during the film's initial release in 1967.
There is no need for me to spell out the plot since it is so well known in any case. I was particularly pleased with the extras, especially the interviews with Julian Glover, Mrs Nigel Kneale who revealed her own personal feelings about the Quatermass productions, and Marcus Hearn, a Hammer historian who gave his own views on Hammer films. There are a few more interviews here worth seeing, and also a trailer.
A very good purchase for any Quatermass and Hammer fan. I have also noticed that Hammer are already re-releasing some of their earlier 1950s/1960s classics on Blu-Ray, and I understand that the 1958 classic Dracula is being released later in the year. I cannot wait for that one!!
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing restoration, glorious transfer.,
This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD) inc. Olly Moss cover art  (Blu-ray)The movie was one of my favourites as a kid, watching it in a late (for my age) night TV show plastered with commercials, in an old black and white TV set. It just gripped me all the same, I still remember how the thrill was slowly but steadily growing inside me as the movie went on. I still think that the pace of the movie is just superb. Now, for the transfer: the best I have seen in a very long time. I never thought a film from the 60' could look this sharp, contrasted, natural...it is just gorgeus. Mind that the original celluloid grains are there, but I just happen to love them, they add more to the purely cinematic experience. There isn't the slightest sign of compression; no DNR has been used, yet the image is extremely detailed, thus showing how artificial looking such digital manipulation is. The sound has been largely improved, with a good spatial distribution and clarity, even bass sounds, for a film this old. If you like this movie, don't hesitate an instant, just go for the blu-ray. You can give the DVD away, you will never want to watch it after the blu-ray.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hammer at it's best...,
This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD) inc. Olly Moss cover art  (Blu-ray)Simply put the restoration on this blu-ray edition is astonishing. It easily continues the excellent run of restoration releases that Optimum have done this year. My only minor gripe. It doesn't have the excellent 5.1 soundtrack that was on the 1998 Elite laserdisc. Bar that it's a must buy.
The running commentary is from the 1998 laserdisc but a lot of the extras on this disc are new.
For any fans of Hammer who are keeping a count of Hammer releases on blu-ray, in the past year we've had
1/ PARANOIAC! (UK 2/ Vampire Circus (USA) 3/The Vampire Lovers (Oz) 4/ The Man who could Cheat Death (USA) but Quatermass is easily the best restoration of the bunch and the one to be used as the standard bearer for future releases.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For my money the best film ever produced by Hammer Studio,
This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] (DVD)Known in the Colonies as "Five Million Years to Earth," this science fiction/horror classic is arguably the best film ever produced by Hammer Studios. "Quatermass and the Pit" quickly gets you hooked, as workers extending the London subway system uncover some ancient skeletons to the delight of Dr. Mathew Roney (James Donald) and his assistant Barbara Judd (Barbara Shelley). By the time Prof. Bernard Quatermass (Andrew Keir) arrives upon the scene, the workers have uncovered an alien spaceship and the strange insect-like creatures that apparently piloted it from another planet. Unfortunately the arrogant Colonel Breen (Julian Glover) dismisses it all as a Nazi hoax, nothing more than a propaganda weapon left over from the war, despite the fact the craft is made from an unknown metal. Quatermass deduces the strange creatures might have been ancient Martians and is worried about all the strange psychic phenomenon associated with this area. But Breen and the ministerial bureaucrats have their way until all hell breaks loose in Hobbs End.
Like the original version of "The Thing From Another World," this is a film where the dialogue and the performances make you forget we are dealing with strange creatures from another planet. In point of fact, "Quatermass and the Pit" uses a bare minimum of special effects to create its thrills and chills. To be fair, the idea of Martians affecting human evolution to institute a surrogate race war is way out there when it comes to explaining what is going on, but such concerns are forgotten when the giant Martian image turns everybody in London mad and all that is left between humanity and the end of civilization are a couple of scientists and a giant crane. I have always believed that this movie was the inspiration for Stephen King's novel "The Tommyknockers," although I have read or heard nothing specifically on the point. This 1967 film was directed by Roy Ward Baker, whose eclectic list of credits includes "A Night to Remember" and "The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires." Baker deserves a lot of credit for the tone of the film, which he maintains even during the final credits as an exhausted Quatermass and Barbara survey the ruins around them. If you do not watch the DVD version of this classic film, then make an effort to get the widescreen VHS version.
I knew that technically this was the third film in the Quatermass series, but "The Quatermass Xperiment" came out in 1955, followed by "Quatermass 2" in 1957. What I did not know until recently was that Hammer was adapting a series of television serials. "Quatermass and the Pit" aired on the BBC in 1958, running 207 minutes and with Andre Morell replacing John Robinson as Quatermass. Apparently this was the most expensive British television production to that point in time and with "The Quatermass Collection" being released on DVD I am hoping to track it down. I am glad that I know all this, because when I finally picked up the DVD of "Quatermass and the Pit" it has pictures from the Hammer film but the names and description are of hte BBC version. For that matter, the DVD actually calls the movie "Quartermass and the Pit." I would be smelling something fishy, but the DVD has the movie letterboxed and plays fine. "Curiouser and curioser," to quote the immortal Alice.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch Blu Ray of a Hammer classic!,
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very creepy,
This review is from: Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] (DVD)I hadn't seen this for a very long time, so to watch it again on a big widescreen TV was a real treat. This is a film that has aged well. Its forty years old now, yet somehow the special effects still seem reasonable. In fact at the end I was quite surprised at just how good the effects still looked.
Andrew Keir does a fine job portraying Quatermass. Keir was a Hammer regular and appeared in many British TV series over the years. His Quatermass is immensley frustrated by the military, who he has to work with most of the time. He and Col Breen (Julian Glover) really loath each other and never miss an opportunity to try and humilate each other. I was slightly less convinced by James Donald's performance as Dr Roney, he was just a little bit stilted.
The story and screenplay by Nigel Kneale is intelligent Sci-fi, which although out-dated now, at least has a plausible side to it. Go back ten or more years earlier and watch a film like "When Worlds Collide" (which is a very good Sci-fi film btw) to see just how silly Sci-fi can get once science catches up. Whilst excavating in a London underground station the workman come across some old skulls and what initially is thought to be an unexploded 2nd world war bomb. This of course is far from the truth...
This isn't quite up there with "Dracula" or "The Devil Rides Out" or a couple of other Hammer classics I could name but its certainly in my top ten and is well worth getting.
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Quatermass And The Pit [DVD] by Roy Ward Baker (DVD - 2006)