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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Road To Blu
Fans of HRTC the wait is over. The Blu-ray is finally here and the picture and sound is the best we could hope for. The picture quality looks great for it's age and the sound is pretty good too. It does have English subtitles and it's region free. No extras except for a trailer. I'm very happy with this Blu and I think you'll be too.
Published 9 months ago by ZZrider

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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Marred by a chinese print...
What a pity.
What a shame.
I bought this movie because I had the tape recorded in the US from Cinemax and I remembered this movie as a funny adventure and a highly entertaining picture.

I had hoped, since it is transferred on DVD, to receive the letterboxed or at least the full widescreen edition of it.

Nope. No such luck. It starts in...
Published on 17 Nov 2009 by Patrick Selitrenny


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Road To Blu, 5 Nov 2013
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This review is from: High Road To China (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
Fans of HRTC the wait is over. The Blu-ray is finally here and the picture and sound is the best we could hope for. The picture quality looks great for it's age and the sound is pretty good too. It does have English subtitles and it's region free. No extras except for a trailer. I'm very happy with this Blu and I think you'll be too.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Marred by a chinese print..., 17 Nov 2009
By 
Patrick Selitrenny (Switzerland a.k.a. Helvetia Felix) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: High Road to China [DVD] (DVD)
What a pity.
What a shame.
I bought this movie because I had the tape recorded in the US from Cinemax and I remembered this movie as a funny adventure and a highly entertaining picture.

I had hoped, since it is transferred on DVD, to receive the letterboxed or at least the full widescreen edition of it.

Nope. No such luck. It starts in widescreen (due probably to the titles) and lands up to be a Pan & Scan version of the movie.

The length is correct, at slightly over 100 minutes, but the first ten minutes are ruined by an underground persistent noise, which I can only suspect is due to the copy they used to perform the digital transfer (no, it is not transferred from a tape, at least this is good news).

The quality of the image though is not as bad as one may suspect. It is not terrific, but it is decent for such a movie.

Yet, I would wish that even this movie were picked up by someone serious and committed enough to find a pristine Widescreen copy of the same and able to clean it up in both sound and color and then re-distribute it conveniently.

But since this was a so-called independent movie, I suspect we will have to wait years before this happens.
Golden Harvest does not exist any longer, and I would not know who owns the actual rights to the movie.
But who ever does, should actually care more about his or her ownership and do something about it, instead of sitting around and doing nothing.

Movies are an artistic heritage for all the world to share, and especially with tiny gems like this one, they should be treated with much more deserved respect.

Buy it if you don't already own the VHS tape. If you do, sit on it, it is better.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An undemanding old-fashioned but middling rather than high adventure, 11 Jan 2009
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: High Road to China [DVD] (DVD)
NB: For some reason known only to themselves, Amazon have unhelpfully lumped the reviews for various versions and formats of this film together - something they'll only change of enough people email their help pages to complain. This review refers to Hen's Tooth's US Region A-locked Blu-ray release and the Swedish DVD release.

One of Hong Kong studio Golden Harvest's attempts to break into the international market but filmed almost entirely in Yugoslavia, which never looks remotely like anywhere but Yugoslavia, and originally intended as a Roger Moore vehicle before being given to Tom Selleck as a consolation prize for missing out on Indiana Jones, formulaic old-fashioned romantic adventure High Road to China is not a great film, but it's not a terrible one either. Bess Armstrong is the 1920s flapper whose trust fund is threatened when her father's villainous business partner Robert Morley tries to get the old man declared legally dead after disappearing in Afghanistan three years earlier so he can inherit the company. Deciding to find him herself, she hires Tom Selleck's drunken womanising former WW1 ace who now makes his living giving `flying lessons' to bored housewives to get her there before the deadline is up, and from the way they hate each other at first sight you know exactly where it's going from there.

Where Eagles Dare director Brian G. Hutton made the film as a `favor' because of his previous experience working in Yugoslavia on Kelly's Heroes, and it shows in work that is more solidly professional than inspired. It gets off to a somewhat awkwardly perfunctory start that just feels like it's going through the motions, but while it doesn't exactly hit the heights it does get a lot better as it goes along until it settles down to being a forgettably enjoyable enough time-filler. The pitstops along the way, including their capture by Shouty Shouty Brian Blessed's tribal warlord, a dogfight with Wolf Kahler's German ace and a less than spectacular battle in a besieged Chinese city, tend to lack panache but are diverting enough even if the ending just fizzles out. John Barry's score is certainly pleasant enough but far too laid back to add much oomph to a film that definitely needs it. Pleasantly old-fashioned, but it could have been much more.

There's been some criticism of Hen's Tooth's Region A-locked widescreen Blu-ray, but a lot of that comes down to the origination: this was never a particularly good looking film even when it was new, Ronnie Taylor's cinematography at times suffering from that muted and diffused look that plagued many late 70s films and was only just going out of style in the early 80s. As a result some of the early scenes in particular alternate between a very slight gauze look and pin sharp as the film cuts between the first unit work and Peter Allwork's pin-sharp aerial photography, which at times doesn't gain much from Blu-ray but is probably as good as it'll ever look on home video. It's more of a problem in the early part of the film, but while the image never really gets a lot of bite it does improve greatly as the quest gets under way, and thankfully the master hasn't suffered from edge enhancement or DNR in the kind of attempt to cover up the problems on the original negative that usually only ends up replacing them with new and worse ones. The mono soundtrack is for the most part decent, though the end credits suffer from a bit of reverb when the score hits the high notes. The only extra is the original trailer, minus original captions or credits.

The Swedish PAL DVD isn't great, but offers an acceptable transfer with English soundtrack and with removeable Swedish subtitles. The only extras are trailers for The Deer Hunter, Highlander and The Third Twin but not the main feature itself.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Weekend Afternoon Film!, 1 Jun 2007
By 
Birmingham Book Reader (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: High Road to China [DVD] (DVD)
High Road to China is a great film. I really enjoyed the chemistry between Tom Selleck and Bess Armstrong. Good flying pictures. Good story, well worth watching.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Road for Enjoyment, 9 Dec 2010
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This review is from: High Road to China [DVD] (DVD)
Il will not waste time on very technical aspects. I had this movie (1983) on a French VHS which is now dead. So I really enjoyed it (PAL DVD, 2), even without French subtitle. Pictures, on a brand large New TV HD : pleasant landscapes, fines faces : all right, nothing disagreeable. Good scenario, with humour, action, pleasant characters, very sensitive jeu (acting) of Bess Armstrong, a lovely little thing...so lovely and in so dangerous situations ... courageous and so and so ... with this Big Man of Tom Selleck who don't care enough (!)...from Afghanistan to Nepal and China ...with wars ... and even not an incredible happy end !
A MOVIE, an excellent and pleasant one, to be seen, and can be seen again (and again), with real pleasure. Enjoy it !
NB : TIME ; not 90 minutes , but 105 or 106 minutes (credit titles included) : a good thing, and, apparently, the original version (cf. old French VHS : on the box : 106'). I also got an Italian version (cop. 2008, Monaco International) : Italian title, giving 2 options : English or Italian, but always without Italian subtitle nor English one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good all-round adventure film, 26 April 2014
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This review is from: High Road To China [DVD] (DVD)
I used to have this on VHS many years ago and sort of lost sight of it until I recently heard the wonderful John Barry theme music. It was jus as I remember and would recommend it to anyone who likes this genre
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...You Dirty Rotten Rat!" - High Road To China on BLU RAY, 23 April 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: High Road To China (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
Before there was George Clooney - there was Tom Selleck - as personable an actor as you could get. Women loved him and guys admired him.

And I can remember seeing "High Road To China" at the cinema on release in 1983 and the audience warming wholeheartedly to its old-fashioned story of daring-do - a ripping yarn set in the 1920's with a handsome/rugged male lead (Tom Selleck) and a ballsy/brainy moll in distress (the lovely Bess Armstrong). All that and a score from John Barry that made the flying sequences feel lush and huge. I vividly recall Brian Hutton's movie being great 'fun' - a sort of poor man's Raiders/Indiana Jones and re-watching it on BLU RAY only confirms that. And remarkably it hasn't really aged a jot either...

Miss Eve Tozer is a pretty society brat (Bess Armstrong) - the headstrong daughter of Bradley Tozer (Wilford Brimley). She spends money like water and her evenings doing the Charleston in the men's clubs with adoring officers waiting to light her cigarette. But then her faithful manservant Charlie Shane advises her that Mister Bentik (Robert Morley) - the partner in her absent fathers company - will be able to get all the assets (and therefore all the money) if he can legally declare her Dad dead in 12 days. But her father is in Afghanistan and Eve will need a plane to get there...possibly even a reliable hand at the throttle...

Enter war-hero and ace fighter pilot Patrick O'Malley who just so happens to own two biplanes (Lorraine and Dorothy) and is both drunk and broke. O'Malley not only needs the hair of the dog to wake him up - but money to keep him and his trusty mechanic Struts (Jack Weston) in the liquid lunches they've become accustomed to. So after much haggling and brat refusal - Eve hires them for $60,000 - and off the motley crew set for Fort Kipling inside Afghanistan to seek her father.

Along the way - they almost get Eve sold into slavery to a Sheik who keeps telling women to shut-up (a very funny Brian Blessed) - pick up a sultry lady passenger who helps them escape a war on the British (the gorgeous Cassandra Gava as Alessa) while the headstrong duo of Eve and O'Malley continue to have shouting matches on the ground and in the air everywhere they go. Until the gang has to finally fly into Xinjiang in China where they find her Dad setting explosives in a small but worthy battle (he's become a General to lowly Chinese peasants defending their hillside town against a merciless warlord)...

The will-they won't-they fighting between Selleck and the pint-sized Armstrong is done well (title above) - and not only do they have chemistry on screen - there's a very genuine likeability about both of them. Jack Weston, Brian Blessed, Robert Morley and Wilford Brimley (as Eve's father) provide a lot of the laughs in-between the set pieces. And there's convincing battle sequences, aerial photography and battle-of-the-sexes jokes galore. Great fun really...

The BLU RAY picture quality is a very mixed bag - from gorgeous to awful and back again almost all of the time. It's defaulted to Full Aspect so it fills the entire scene (no lines top or bottom) and overall - I'd still have to say that it looks great despite its age. There's a slight haze on many scenes to give it that oldie look - and when it gets to the Robert Morley sequences back in his English Mansion as Bentik - the grain and fuzz swells are many (even if the humour is great). But then you're hit with a shot beside the two planes in a field where it looks absolutely gorgeous. Even in the tents at night when Eve is being sold as a slave to Suleman Khan (Brian Blessed) - the picture is very, very clean. But when they finally do get to China - there's a scene where Eve looks over at a sleeping O'Malley - it's awful one moment - uber clean the next - back to middling. The picture quality flits all over the place. But again (and I must stress this) 'overall' the BLU RAY is a very a worthy upgrade if you love the film. It's just that with a bit of a clean up - a bit of digital TLC - it could have been fabulous.

I found the AUDIO to be most disappointing of all - it's rubbish frankly. Right from the clean opening credits - the soundtrack feels like its been tagged on - or recorded in a very small bucket. There's no real oomph of any kind - which is a shame because John Barry's work here is typically beautiful and panoramic too. English is the lone subtitle and there are no extras - slim pickings I'm afraid.

Is "High Road To China" worth buying on BLU RAY - overall - I'd still say yes. It's unlikely that we'll see the film look any better.

Sure it's a shame they didn't get the Lewis Guns out for a full-on restoration - but it's still a cracker of a movie and worth taking a punt on...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High Road To China DVD Region 1, 1 Nov 2012
By 
Mr. Steven Clark (Heathfield,England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Take the high road to adventure with Tom Selleck and Bess Armstrong in this freewheeling action-comedy set in the roaring twenties. Selleck stars as Patrick O'Malley, a boozing, washed-up aviator who meets his match when he's hired by a high-strung heiress to find her long lost father. They make their way eastwood in O'Malley's WW1 biplane, surviving narrow escapes, last second rescues, and combat with warlords along the way. But nothing tops the ongoing battle they have with each other - the one which leads inevitably to romance.

AS far as the DVD picture is concerned it's the best i have seen, colours and clarity are good.. I had a so called original release from Dutch Film works and that looked like a pirate copy with bad picture and sound interference. This version has Dolby 2.0 Mono sound, clear throughout the film. Picture is 1.78.1 Anamorphic. Subtitles English. Bonus features Trailer.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hokum But Fun Hokum, 21 May 2014
By 
Mike Blake (Deepest Debyshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: High Road to China [ 1983 ] (DVD)
Rattles along like an Indian Jones adventure... which it was clearly meant to be emulating, and indeed Sellick was first choice for the role which made Ford a super-star. Excellent finale in the form of a battle between 'the people' and a Chinese Warlord. Fun interlude on the NWF and wild tribesmen (the leader played by Brian Blessed of full OTT roar mode). Shame the actual DVD was so poor - low colur saturation and projector noise. But hey, I paid less than the cost of a pint for it, including p&p!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bad quality transfer, 20 May 2014
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This review is from: High Road to China [ 1983 ] (DVD)
Careful which version you buy - The Danish DVD transfer is a poor copy, almost VHS quality. There's a nasty amount of background noise, the colours are drained, and it's only a 4:3 asect ratio transfer.
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High Road To China (Blu-ray)
High Road To China (Blu-ray) by Brian G. Hutton (Blu-ray - 2013)
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