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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Blu Ray
Great edition of this classic Hammer shocker. The Blu Ray is perfect to discover Paranoiac.
Oliver Reed is on the cover, but it's just a way of selling the BD. Janette Scott is the real hero here, though Oliver Reed really delivers in those ambiguous roles he was famous for.
Too bad there wasn't any bonus related to the movie.
But sound and image are...
Published on 28 Sept. 2010 by Francis

versus
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Law of decreasing yields
No need to repeat what other enthusiasts have efficiently conveyed: the transfer is absolutely beautiful, a joy to watch and hear: crisp picture, GREAT contrasts, magnificent soundtrack: a great Blu-ray release, even if it would have been great to have at least a commentary.
My problem is the movie: "Paranoiac!" was the third B&W thriller written by Jimmy Sangster in...
Published on 3 Mar. 2013 by Autonome


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Blu Ray, 28 Sept. 2010
By 
Francis (Brosville, Normandie) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Paranoiac [Blu-ray] [1963] (Blu-ray)
Great edition of this classic Hammer shocker. The Blu Ray is perfect to discover Paranoiac.
Oliver Reed is on the cover, but it's just a way of selling the BD. Janette Scott is the real hero here, though Oliver Reed really delivers in those ambiguous roles he was famous for.
Too bad there wasn't any bonus related to the movie.
But sound and image are perfect. the High Definition transfer is a really marvel! You'll be really picky if you find any cuts, scratches or marks related to the year he was made. What I like is that the contrast levels are respested, so is the structure of the grain. The movie was shot in 1962, and I hate when the Blu rays try to erase these facts (like the Predator edition). Finding the grain's struture is also part of the movie , and part of the charm.
Highly recommended.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another 'lost' Hammer classic rescued from obscurity, 27 July 2010
By 
Mr. Jonathon T. Beckett "vampire lover" (Dracula's Crypt) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paranoiac [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
Eight years after her parents died in a plane crash and her brother Anthony apparently commited suicide, Eleanor Ashby(Janette Scott) starts fearing for her sanity after she starts to experience visions of her dead brother. Her brother Simon, along with her Aunt Harriet, both seem keen to proclaim her as mad, but then after attempting to commit suicide herself, Eleanor is rescued by a man who takes her back to the house. It's Tony who has returned to claim his inheritance. Is this stranger who he claims to be, and why has his return caused Simon so much grief?
Hammer are remembered very much for their Gothic horrors, with both their Dracula and Frankenstein series of films rightly regarded as classics of the British horror film. However, they also produced a series of very fine psychological thrillers, tinged with horror, in the 1960's and 70's. This, one of the cream of the crop, here gets a very welcome DVD release, after virtually dissapearing from our television screens. Central to its success is Oliver Reed's terrific performance as the cunning, volatile Simon, and it's no suprise that Hammer cast him in many of their films in the early 60's. Other performances of note include Sheila Burrell as the icy Aunt Harriet, and John Bonney as oily solicitor Keith Kossett. The only dissapointment is Lilianne Brousse who is a bit wooden as dodgy nurse Francoise. The Hammer psycholgical thrillers usually found variations on two main plot-lines, the hint of insanity in the family, and the 'drive the heiress mad' storyline. This film combines both and has much more to add. There are also a couple of real standout scenes, one involving Reed playing the organ in the basement of the house, accompanied by a mysterious masked individual, and there's also a terrific scene in the pub involving a drunken Simon and a set of darts. Of course, the film looks beautiful, with Freddie Francis in the director's chair, and this is just another example of the interesting, varied British horrors he directed over the years, other notable efforts being 'The Creeping Flesh', 'Mumsy,Nanny,Sonny and Girly' and 'Dr Terror's House Of Horrors'.
All in all, a very welcome release, and one that gives hope that other Hammer's not yet available on Region 2, such as Captain Clegg and Curse Of The Werewolf, may soon see the light of day. Full marks to Eureka for releasing this anyway. 5 out of 5
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb transfer, 27 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Paranoiac [Blu-ray] [1963] (Blu-ray)
Wow !! We can only hope all the Hammer horror classics look this great - No DNR ,no sharpening, detail galore . Oliver Reed turns in a sinister performance. Eureka has done High Def proud.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paranoiac: A paranoid. Of, relating to, or resembling paranoia., 2 May 2012
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Paranoiac [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
Paranoiac is directed by Freddie Francis and loosely adapted to screenplay by Jimmy Sangster from Josephine Tey's novel Brat Farrar. It stars oliver Reed, Janette Scott, Sheila Burrell and Alexander Davion. Music is by Elisabeth Lutyens and cinematography by Arthur Grant.

The Ashby family has been blighted by tragedy. 11 years previously the parents were killed in an accident and their younger son, Tony, was so grief stricken he committed suicide by leaping off of a nearby cliff into the sea below. However, Anthony's body was never found. The remaining siblings, Eleanor (Scott) & Simon (Reed) have been raised at the family mansion by their aunt Harriet (Burrell), and neither of them have grown into stable adults. So when an adult comes into their lives claiming to be Tony it further opens up neurotic wounds and dark family secrets.

Skeleton in the closet.

Hammer Films tag onto the coat tails of Hitchcock's Psycho with this slick and moody psychological thriller. The studio would become synonymous with reinventing the creature feature sub-genre of horror that encompassed the likes of Dracula & Frankenstein. What often gets overlooked is that in the 60s they were producing some excellent thrillers, little seen gems that didn't even get home format releases in Britain until over 40 years later! Paranoiac is one such gem, it forms part of the thriller splinter involving someone either going insane or being driven so by unscrupulous bastards.

Paranoiac thrives on slow burn pacing and atmospheric black and white photography, and features a roll call of characters who are either up to no good or are clearly skew-whiff in the head! Perfectly filmed out of the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset, England, where the jagged cliff faces match the fragmented state of minds of the principal players, it's a film that benefits greatly from the acting on show. Reed is an oily drunk and a bully, Scott expertly portrays a timid gal clinging onto to her last bit of sanity and Burrell puts a shifty cynicism into mollycoddling Aunt Harriet. Pleasant surprise here is Davion as the man claiming to be Tony, not a well known name but he does a great job in a tricky role, with cards held close to the chest he handles a big shift in the character's fortunes with a smoothness that's most impacting.

It's no Psycho (what is?) and it has some minor flaws in the writing, such as an incestuous thread that is never expanded on, but this is still a moody little cracker of a thriller. Slow burn for sure, but always holding the attention right up to the deliverance of a joyously macabre finale. 7.5/10
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Start of HD Hammer, 29 July 2010
By 
R. Shore (Belfast, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paranoiac [Blu-ray] [1963] (Blu-ray)
This is the first time any Hammer Horror film has been released on any Home HD format. If this typical of what's in store for future releases I can't wait for the next one. Excellent picture and sound quality with no obvious digital noise reduction. A rightly regarded lost gem. I won't spoil the film by talking about any of it's plot. Just sit back and enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the Vein of Taste of Fear- but done much better., 29 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Paranoiac [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
Before I start, what a terrible DVD cover- completely gives away a major key plot and it's right in your face. Who thinks up these things?

Onto the film, which is excellent- though the intensity drops a little in the last quarter of an hour. I'm not giving any plot details away, in a film that contains some nice plot twists. All actors concerned do a fantastic job, and the script is very much A grade.

A special mention must go to the supremely talented Ollie Reed- who is outstanding here. John Bonney and Lilane Brasse offer ample support, and though this is a classic psychological thriller, Paranoiac contains a genuine jump scene to rival anything Hammer produced horror wise.

A great movie.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sinister classic spins a gruesome web, 27 Sept. 2010
By 
technoguy "jack" (Rugby) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Paranoiac [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
When you realize this is the screen directing debut of Freddie Francis,the excellent cinematographer(Saturday Night and Sunday Morning,Room at the Top,The Innocents) and scripted by Jimmy Sangster(who also did Maniac and Scream of Fear)from a gothic novel,as part of the Hammer stable,this is one of their excellent post-Psycho psychological thrillers in black and white,with the young,magnetic Ollie Reed, you know you are in for a great time.It's part of the genre of let's-drive-the-heiress-mad to gain the whole inheritance scenarios.Eleanor(Scott) is the emotional,beautiful,vulnerable sister who glimpses a figure who seems like her deceased brother Tony,at the church memorial service for her late parents.He commited suicide 7 years previously.Her brother Simon Ashby(Reed),wastrel, uses this to prove she's mentally unbalanced and not worthy of the inheritance.Simon is a brutish alcoholic,over-spending on money he hasn't yet got.Eleanor doubts her sanity and tries to kill herself.She is saved by Tony(Davion),the supposedly dead brother.He claims there was no suicide,just a disappearance.He has returned,just in time to claim the family inheritance.Simon and auntie Harriet(Burrell), put him to the test with the corrupt family lawyer,asking him questions which he passes.Simon and Harriet still know he's not Tony,but an impostor.The style is between manor-house gothic and modernity.Hammer's corner of Englishness.

Reed is at his magnificent best,sardonically charming yet also explosive and unpredictable,given over to scenes of heavy drinking and plotting to kill the impostor.There are Hitchcockian cliff-top scenes out of Rebecca.This is all reinforced by Lutyens music.'Tony' finds himself falling in love with Scott and admits that he's an impostor. There are hints of madness in the family,incest,murder.Eleanour's hysteria on falling in love with supposedbrother and Harriet's relationship with Simon,play on the incest theme.Davion restores Scott to sanity and flushes out the real madness of Simon(organ playing in the cellar to his murdered brother's skeleton) and crazy aunt Harriet, setting the place ablaze after dressing up in a grotesque mask and attacking Davion with a hook.There are some great plot twists,Francis building the suspense well with genuinely frightening sequences and good pace.Sangster's script is plotted along conventional,gothic,melodramatic lines.Oliver Reed holds the whole film together,swinging between Byronic/Heathcliffian sexuality and Norman Bates-style madness.The film has a Psycho-type denouement. Editing is sharp,snappy and to-the point.This film with its sumptuous cinematography is the best in its genre.Reed makes one wonder why he never became the best actor in England,but his off-screen persona stole that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars paranoic, 12 Sept. 2011
By 
Rodney Mitchell (suffolk uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paranoiac [DVD] [1963] (DVD)
brilliant, i had been checking amazons database for ages waiting for its release. oliver reed is terrific as the spoilt mentally deranged man hiding a terrible secret. In fact all the cast perform well not in the least jannette scott as reeds naive sister. typical hammer production, in black and white but still great entertainment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hammer Classic, 1 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Paranoiac [Blu-ray] [1963] (Blu-ray)
An excellent print of an excellent movie and one which no Hammer Film enthusiast should be without. Starring Oliver Reed in his prime this great murder mystery is another must.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT RELEASE., 28 May 2013
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This review is from: Paranoiac [Blu-ray] [1963] (Blu-ray)
A superb release of this often overlooked hammer, great picture and sound quality, with the much missed oliver reed giving a show stealing performance. A must for hammer fans.
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Paranoiac [Blu-ray] [1963]
Paranoiac [Blu-ray] [1963] by Freddie Francis (Blu-ray - 2010)
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