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4.5 out of 5 stars
Ice Station Zebra [Blu-ray] [1968] [US Import]
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2012
I remember this from when i was growing up - watching it on tv with my Dad on a saturday afternoon matinee and it never fails to entertain. Ok the effects and soundstage footage are a bit wobbly but hey this film is now over 40 years old.I was a big Mclean fan growing up and 'Zebra' always was one of those films which had me scratching my head due to the labyrinthine plot which never fully made sense but it didn't stop me enjoying it. The bluray continue this enjoyment - the transfer is pristine and the soundtrack has one of those classic themes which stays with you. The disc even contains the overture, intermission and entre'acte which would have been seen in the cinema at the time and which now sadly are missing from the cinema going experience. I have given four stars only because of the lack of extras on the disc
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Ice Station Zebra is a sorely underrated, often forgotten classic cold war thriller. It is very much a period piece in subject, tone and look but that just adds to the appeal. Rock Hudson is great as the sub commander trying to keep the rescue/covert mission on track while more questionable, shady characters join the crew all with hidden agendas and reasons to suspect everyone else. The excellent Ernest Borgnine and Jim Brown form part of this suspecting group but best among them is Patrick McGoohan who keeps a thin veneer of calm civility but occasionally shows he is a wound up powerhouse who will not be stopped form completing his mission. It is quite long and sags in a couple of places but this is made up for with a trek across the ice-pack (you know someone is going to fall in a ravine!) and thrilling sabotaging of the torpedo tubes(that water has to be freezing!). The 70 mm cinematography looks beautiful and sweeping rousing soundtrack is so good that you will be humming for days after. It is the sort of boys own adventure that they don't seem to make anymore.. more so by the fact that it has an entr'acte and and intermission! Because of this intermission and the length it is almost two films for the price of one - the first half a submarine film and then an arctic rescue thriller.
There are obviously better submarine/spy/cold war thriller films out there but rarely will you get one filled with such good actors all chewing up the scenery.
The perfect wet sunday afternoon movie - for the boys!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
From the initial credits we see that this film will have something to do with satellites, the soviets and the U.S.
Looks like an accident has happened at the North Pole (Ice station Zebra). The U.S. with Brittan, and the soviets are rushing to the rescue. Both are hampered by a snow storm. The U.S. has sent a submarine to the rescue. However it looks like something covert is afoot. The submarine is being packed with marines and an unscrupulous acting character. What is the secret? Will the sub even make it to the pole? And if so what will they find? Why are the soviets so keen in helping?
Because critical scenes take place in the snow our characters are color coded:
Brown furry top with brown trousers = David Jones (Patrick McGoohan)
All blue = Cmdr. Ferriday (Rock Hudson)
Brown practically furless with black and white bands = Boris Vaslov (Ernest Borgnine)
Orange and yellow = sub crew
All white with m16's = marines
All white with AK's = soviets
* You may have guest that it is a mans movie with all men *
This story as adapted for the movies could make a pretty good stage play as the real action is the bantering and posturing during a face to face confrontation. Another movie adaptation from the author (Alistair MacLean) is "The Guns of Navarone" (1961).
The original music for this film also stands on its own; you may want to buy the sound track.

The Bedford Incident
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2013
This is a US version but plays perfectly on UK players. Excellent picture struck from 70mm original. Much improved sound. highly recommended.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 18 June 2006
Is the it greatest ever made? Of course not. But it's one of my all-time favourites, and I suspect I've seen it more times than any other. And I still enjoy every minute. It doesn't have a great deal to do with the original novel in plot structure, but for all that, it's pretty solid, and tightly scripted. Very much a film that one would imagine would appeal primarily to the male of our species; there's not a female in sight. Yet, it's so good, so well written, so well filmed and so well performed it transends the usual stereotypes, and ends up being watched and enjoyed by many people who just enjoy a good story, irrespective of their sex, age, or anything else for that matter.

The acting is of a very high standard indeed. Borgnine is as good as you would hope for from a man of his outstanding ability. Hudson puts in possibly his finest performance, and McGoohan is his usual self in a role that he made his own in the 1960s in Danger Man and The Prisoner. The suporting cast is first-rate too; these people clearly took pride in their art.

The direction is particularly compelling. It remains spectacularly well shot, and lit, with real imagination. Some of the effects show their age a little bit (not as much, or as frequently as you might imagine though), and it's a pity that the model MiG 21s that are in one shot are suddenly replaced in the next by a real flyby of F4 Phantoms, but I'm nit-picking. The sound is good too -nice subtle effects, and an emphasis on dialoge clarity. The music is amazing -it's a very good score, well performed.

Overall, the DVD is a very good effort too. Packaging is standard, but that's OK with me -it works. The visual transfer is one of the best I've seen from the period, surpassed only by the treatment afforded Kubrick's masterpieces. Not the slightest hint of any digital problems, and everything is crystal sharp and very clean, with near perfect colour. The audio is if anything even better. The original Overture and Intermission have been inserted so as to allow the full cinematic score to be applied. There's been some remixing going on into surround from the original multi-track master tapes, which adds another dimension to the proceedings, though the original stereo mix is also retained. There are a few extras, I rarely bother, but a couple are nice to have I suppose. Overall, a classic example of how to reissue a film properly. Why can't they do it this well all the time?

If you're thinking of buying this film, do so.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2010
With such an assembly of actors and a director who knew his stuff, I honestly expected more from a film taken from a great book, but sadly it didn't do the book or the cast justice.

Where was the exciting fire aboard the submarine after the rescue? It had gone. Instead we had a company of Russian troops being parachuted down to confront a company of US Marines who had been carried on the submarine to the Ice Station (neither the Russian or the American troops had been in the book) and to me it seemed the show-down between the two sides was as frustrating as the storyline; great potential but nothing really happened - it was like opening a huge box of a present and finding a tiny uninteresting object inside.

It would have been better to dispense with the pointless confrontation between the two armies and concentrate on the story of why secret agents from the UK and Soviet Union were there anyway. What about the characters of the Ice Station? Almost ignored and passed over, they were just names, yet Ernest Borgnine and Patrick McGoohan knew each by name, and as these two guys were spies it stood to reason the blokes on the Ice Station were also spies or at least in cahoots, and would have known something.

Too much made of making it like a Cold War stand off and not enough injected into it of a man hunt between the protagonist and antagonist. We had a brief flash at the end but by then I'd lost interest and couldn't care who was what or what happened to them.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2003
I just finished watching this film 5 minutes ago, and I feel compelled to comment on this fantastic movie due to the impact it had upon me. Needless to say, if this film was available on DVD, I would be the first to buy it. The movie follows a sabotaged US submarine carrying a British (Patrick McGoohan) and Russian agent. One of these passengers, the viewer is forced into suspecting, is the saboteur and traitor trying to obtain the boby-trapped capsule containing a microfilm that all of the major superpowers desire. The movie maintains the viewers interest throughout, while perhaps not keeping the viewer on the edge of his/her seat. Moreover this film keeps the audience firmly interested in the transfixing storyline, concluding in a Sixth Senthesque twist finale exposing the Russian spy. While the bulk of the film is not action packed, the ongoing mystery is rivetting, and the final scene is as tense as any thriller/chiller available today exsacerbated by the Russian-American military stand-off on the ice plains near the north pole. Worth buying simply to see the ever cold and covert character portrayed by McGoohan in this and other shows, especially the unbreakable Number 6 in "The Prisoner"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2011
If you're a fan of submarine films here's a must have for the collection. Some great sequences and interesting under the ice photography. It's worth buying the film just to see the always excellent Patrick McGoohan and his table thumping 'Get me there' outburst. It's a well made film with a plausible (to me anyway) dialogue. There are the embarrassing crappy planes at the end of the film but it doesn't spoil the movie. Boys movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2011
Classic adventure based on a novel by Alistair Maclean. A stellar cast, non-stop action and intrigue and marvelous visuals and sets - the star of which is the tilting submarine inards. One bit always annoys me - the stock footage of Phantom jets pretending to be Migs but its a petty gripe about what is one of my favourite films.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2013
This is such a great film and with some of the best actors of the 1960s.

On blu ray.. Stunning and no CGI in sight, great films such as this should be on blu ray. Just ordered charge of the light brigade on blu ray. Another 60s classic and I can't wait!!!.
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