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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A proper remaster for Roeg's chilling masterpiece.
Nicolas Roeg's stylish and frightening occult thriller has gained in critical appreciation since it was originally released nearly four decades ago(!), and this extras-laden Blu-Ray set does it justice by gathering together the various supplemental features from earlier home video editions along with newly shot interviews with Donald Sutherland and additional crew...
Published on 30 Jun 2011 by Anthony J. Thorne

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96 of 104 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars still big problems with the SOUND on this release
a 5 star film without doubt BUT like the previous R2 release, this 'special edition' is still plagued with dreadful sound - harsh, trebly, distorted and with absurd amounts of noise reduction. Why Why Why. Roeg fans will want the commentary but there's nothing else new here and for the film, stick with the R1 edition. Sorry to sound like a geek but it makes me so angry,...
Published on 31 Mar 2007 by G. Davies


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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A proper remaster for Roeg's chilling masterpiece., 30 Jun 2011
By 
Anthony J. Thorne (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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Nicolas Roeg's stylish and frightening occult thriller has gained in critical appreciation since it was originally released nearly four decades ago(!), and this extras-laden Blu-Ray set does it justice by gathering together the various supplemental features from earlier home video editions along with newly shot interviews with Donald Sutherland and additional crew members. I doubt anyone will be too disappointed with the extras on this disc. That noted, the audio and visual remaster featured on this Blu-Ray is of particular importance as it offers a significant upgrade in both picture and sound to all earlier home video editions. The colourful picture is noticeably sharper than earlier DVD editions and does a great job of showcasing Roeg's remarkable, often near-hallucinatory imagery. Perhaps even more importantly, the sound is equally improved and eliminates the various distortion issues that plagued earlier DVD releases. DON'T LOOK NOW came out on DVD in both the USA and UK a few years back and various online forums did their best to decide which of the two sounded superior. Sadly, each DVD sounded pretty rotten and did little justice to the film, the dialogue or Pino Donaggio's haunting score. This new Blu-Ray (proudly displaying a cover sticker noting "Picture and Audio Restoration Supervised and Approved by Nic Roeg") fixes those issues entirely and presents the movie in a clearly listenable form for perhaps the first time on home video. It sounds terrific.

DON'T LOOK NOW is a masterpiece and this Blu-Ray provides a definite, welcome upgrade from any DVD edition you might own. Now, could someone do a special edition of Roeg's weird, sexy and stylish EUREKA?
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best British films ever made, 25 July 2002
By 
P. Sanders "prhsuk" (Belfast) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don't Look Now [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
I first saw this film as a teenager on a black and white TV late at night. I didn't know much about the film except that it was a horror film of sorts. I soon found that it was so much more. As the film progressed it got very late, but I knew I couldn't go to bed until it was over. It left me speechless. The direction, the acting, the music, and especially the feeling of escalating dread - what would happen at the end? The ending not only surprised me, but actually made me gasp in shock.
A couple, bereaved after their daughter's death, stay awhile in wintry Venice. Two elderly sisters claim to be in contact with the dead girl, but are they telling the truth, or are they con artists? Add to this a series of strange events and a murderer terrorising the city...
This could have been (and indeed sounds like) a cheap horror flick. The reason "Don't Look Now" is a classic (an overused word, but true in this case) is that we care about the Baxters. Sutherland and Christie are thoroughly believable, especially when they have lines about the occult that could easily be corny. The same is true of Roeg's direction - instead of cheese we get a real sensation of doom. Rather than picture-postcard Venice we have rats, crumbling buildings and a bleakly-coloured maze full of confusion.
We are also left wondering about the supporting cast (even at the end we are not sure of everyone's good character). The two dotty old sisters. The shifty priest. The hotel manager. Even the police detective seems a little suspicious. Visual motifs recur - a child's ball, the red of the dead girl's coat - are they hints from the dead girl to her parents?
Of course the film is famous for its sex scene, and it is justly celebrated. A scene of love-making is inter-cut with shots of the couple dressing for dinner. This is one of the few cases in film where the scene is necessary to the story - the couple have become distant but the meeting with the two sisters may actually have brought them back together. It is also (if this is the right word) tastefully done - a very human scene depicting true love and not just sex.
"Don't Look Now" is a wonderful puzzle - eerie, tragic, human and until the last scenes, maddeningly hard to solve. When all is revealed, you want to go back and start again.
One last point: this is based on a short story by the great Daphne duMaurier. After she saw the film, she sent the director a letter saying how the couple in his film reminded her of a sad couple she once saw in a hotel and imagined why they were so unhappy - the real-life couple who inspired her original story. I think this shows how Roeg has given the film a real believability and humanity.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious, cryptic...use of imagination necessary!, 22 Dec 2005
By 
This review is from: Don't Look Now [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
Don't Look Now is not so much a horror film as a psychological thriller. It stars Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland as husband and wife, John and Laura Baxter, who lose their young daughter in a drowning accident in England. However, the majority of the film takes place against the backdrop of the dilapidated ruins and dark alleyways of Venice where the couple involuntarily meet a pair of mysterious, slightly creepy old English sisters, one of whom is both blind and psychic. She informs Laura that their daughter is trying to communicate with them from beyond the grave and as the film unravels it becomes apparent that the message is more of a warning that something macabre may happen to John.
The film is littered with hints and cryptic symbolism which can be read into on many levels. The use of colour, particularly red, runs through the film, uniting several themes and evoking unspoken ideas about passion, danger, murder and blood.
The pace is fairly slow and some scenes don’t appear to make much sense, however, I believe this has been done on purpose so that the viewer can interpret the film through individual eyes and it is ultimately up to the viewer to decide the sense of the ending.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicholas Roeg's Finest Hour?, 30 Jan 2010
By 
E. A. Redfearn "eredfearn2" (Middlesbrough) - See all my reviews
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This unforgettable classic first seen in 1973 has remained to this day one of the finest efforts from director Nicholas Roeg.

Set in Venice where Laura Baxter(Julie Christie) and her husband John Baxter(Donald Sutherland) has taken a commission to work on church renovations. Slowly recovering from their sad loss of their daughter who had drowned they meet two old sisters, one of whom claims a psychic connection with the dead daughter. John Baxter is sceptical and then becomes concerned when his wife becomes too attached to the sisters believing that her daughter is trying to contact them. Meanwhile, there are a spate of gruesome murders in Venice which leave the local police baffled. Then, one day John sees a boat pass with a funeral party on board and Laura is amongst them. . . . .

I don't want to say any more about the plot, because it does lead to an astonishing ending. It is one of those classic films which has stood the test of time. Wonderfully directed, with fine acting from the leads. The film also includes an extraordinary love scene between husband and wife which is tastefully done, and remains one of the highlights of the film.

My only quibble is that the soundtrack is rather flat, although picture is reasonable bearing in mind that filming in Venice during the winter months means problems with the contrast between light and dark. This does not distract from the story however.

A Cinema Classic.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The figure in the red raincoat . . . . ., 15 Mar 2000
By 
Ben Elliss (Reading, UK) - See all my reviews
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This landmark film is a classic. Partly an examination of grief's effects on a family and partly a psychological horror-thriller, it is engaging until the last seconds. Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland play a distraught couple, travelling around Europe to erase the memory of their daughter's drowning. When they arrive in Venice, however, they find hints that the girl may, in fact, still be alive. The ending of this film outdoes 'Carrie' for shock value - it has the potential to give you nightmares for several weeks after seeing the movie!
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96 of 104 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars still big problems with the SOUND on this release, 31 Mar 2007
By 
G. Davies (London) - See all my reviews
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a 5 star film without doubt BUT like the previous R2 release, this 'special edition' is still plagued with dreadful sound - harsh, trebly, distorted and with absurd amounts of noise reduction. Why Why Why. Roeg fans will want the commentary but there's nothing else new here and for the film, stick with the R1 edition. Sorry to sound like a geek but it makes me so angry, this fantastic film deserves better.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saw trilogy?, 6 Sep 2007
By 
Mr. Colin Rankin "Colin Rankin" (Braintree, essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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'Don't Look Now' is no Saw trilogy.
It is not meant to be a blood and guts silly version of so-called horror.
I find it unbelievable that anyone should compare this masterpiece to Saw.Fundamentally this is one of the most emotionally chilling films ever made....you just need half a brain to watch it.
Yes,it is an old film....I just wish many modern films could do the same...the red riding hood sequence at the end is a stunner because the film simply does not lead you to expect it...not a silly predictable film but a much more cerebral one about parents emotions and fears after the loss of a child.....'Saw'.somebody is having me on!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Roeg masterpiece, 19 April 2006
By 
D. S. Ure "DU67" (Glasgow, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don't Look Now [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
"Don't Look Now" is a terrifying examination of loss and grief. The beginning of the film is almost unbearably painful and the remainder carries a sense of loss, dread, dislocation and doom in every frame. The sound, which has been criticised,adds to the sense of uncertainty and confusion, in my opinion. The famous sex scene, in which Sutherland and Christie were rumoured to have actually had sex on camera, is the most accurate representation of a loving marital sexual relationship I have seen on film. It is also possibly the least gratuitous sex scene I have come across.Their encounter in the hotel room is passionate,erotic and deeply tragic. This is one of my favourite films, maybe the best I have seen, but I still find it difficult to watch as the tragedy of the characters is so deeply moving,and the end feels like a knife in the gut.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's nothing wrong with the soundtrack !, 5 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a brief comment on the warnings about the poor quality of the soundtrack on Don't Look Now.

I'm referring below to the Blu Ray version of this film which was released by Studio Canal on July 4 2011 and I'm writing this for the benefit of those who might be worried that this version might still contain the audio problem referred to by others.

This version of the film has been digitally restored under the supervision and with the approval of the Director Nic Roeg. I can assure those interested that the audio quality of this version is fine, given that it was recorded in mono, and is presented here in mono. There is no hiss or any other sound problem with the audio track and my system is a reasonably sophisticated one. The TV is a 60" Pioneer KRP 600A, the AV amp is a Denon AVR 2809, the Blu Ray disc player is a Denon DVD 2500BT and the speakers are B&W 684s at the front and B&W 686s at the rear. I can assure you that if this problem was still there this set up would pick it up.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death in Venice, 29 July 2002
By 
A. MCGILL (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don't Look Now [DVD] [1973] (DVD)
"One of the best horror films ever made," proclaims the cover quote from The Times. And it is, but only in the way that A Clockwork Orange is a pretty shrewd teen angst drama, or Taxi Driver is the finest movie about public transport since Mutiny On The Buses. Don't Look Now is simply a great film, great because it defies categorization, because it has no precedent. For one thing, it's less a horror film than a ghost story. But where's the ghost? There is a haunting, to be sure, but it's the haunting of a couple, John and Laura Baxter, by the memory of their daughter's accidental drowning. They take a break in grimy, off-season Venice (hardly a shrewd move, it being a drowned city) where the John (Donald Sutherland) oversees some restoration work on a church while Laura (Julie Christie) is befriended by two elderly women who may or may not be clairvoyant and who may or may not offer her a chance to communicate with her dead daughter. John scoffs at her fascination with such mumbo-jumbo, yet seems himself dogged by strange premonitions. Yes, you've guessed it: she isn't psychic at all. He is.
And that's about it. Not much of a premise. And not a lot of plot. But plenty of mood. This may be based on a Daphne Du Maurier story, it may feature two of the finest leads in seventies cinema, but essentially the film is carried by Roeg's otherworldly direction - all distorted lenses, bizarre cross-cutting and non-linear timescales. Roeg's genius, as previously declared in Performance and Walkabout, is his ability to position his films not merely from the point of view of his protagonists, but to place the camera firmly inside their minds. Time, continuity of events, even mere sounds and images become abstractions, all mixed-up through Roeg's wholly unique use of montage. A drop of 'blood' smears across a slide transparency moments before the daughter drowns; a block of masonry gradually falls in slow motion as we cross cut to Sutherland working below in real time; a moment of doubt is cross-cut with a sinister 'reaction' shot of the old women laughing at an unheard joke. Like a poet, Roeg offers no explanation for these images, but then he doesn't need to - their beauty is that we understand them on a purely instinctive, intuitive level. A case in point is the celebrated sex scene, which shocks not because it is supposedly explicit (in fact, clever editing and suggestive angles means that we see much less than we think we see) but because Roeg intercuts it with shots of the couple dressing for dinner. Suddenly what could have been the obligatory gratuitous nude scene (Christie was then a major sex symbol, and Sutherland had his fans too) becomes a disturbingly intimate insight into their relationship and the effect their daughter's death has had. It's too painful, too raw, to be titillating.
This kind of montaging occurs throughout the film, indeed by juxtaposing unrelated shots and scenes, Roeg is almost telling a story that isn't there (surely the 'blood' was just a coincidence; how could the women really have been laughing at Sutherland?). Oh, there's a mystery too - is the small red-coated figure Sutherland glimpses really his daughter returned from the dead? - but even that is tenuous, possibly imagined (like the ambiguous mystery in Antonioni's Blow Up, Coppola's The Conversation or Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut), a maguffin to facilitate Roeg's examination of loss, guilt and denial. Like Blue Velvet or 2001, Don't Look Now is a rare, brilliant example of cinema being used to tell a story that would be unfeasible in any other medium (the film is markedly different to Du Maurier's original story). But then this impressionistic approach has always been the true legacy of British cinema (see Michael Powell, Ken Russell, Lindsay Anderson, Donald Cammell, Danny Boyle, early Richard Lester, even early Ridley Scott, not to mention honorary Brits like Losey and Kubrick), not gangster movies, period dramas or genteel rom-coms. And no-one, but no-one, pushed the envelope further than Roeg. Hopefully with this DVD reissue, people will look now (ouch!) and give this genius the credit he deserves.
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Don't Look Now  (Digitally Restored) [DVD] [1973]
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