Tragedy of batrachian proportions,
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This review is from: Labirinto (Il) (DVD)
The Golem Video 2012 release of The Maze, from 1953. The dvd has the choice of both English and Italian language, English being the original language of course fits the actors correctly as regards dubbing; the film plays by default in italian but can easily be altered to english. There are no subtitles in any language, there is the possibility of scene selection but otherwise no extras, unlike the more expensive Spanish release.
Quality of audio, well this is a good solid mono, more than ample volume. The picture is slightly soft, compared to a crisp 35mm, but the contrast is about right, making the blacks black and the whites don't bleach or bleed. It's a moody castle with mist, so shadowy focusing is frequent. The softness does tend to make it all a touch flatter than it might otherwise be, as though focus is marginally less than necessary. However it is definitely more than adequate and above that of a vhs copy. The cover states 1.37:1 ratio which im not sure, as the composition seems a little cramped at the edges, not overly but not perfect. The dvd seems to try to play it as widescreen which it certainly is not, so reconfiguring to the correct aspect was required.
As to the film, the synopsis is on the net and the finale is open to question. Do you laugh or do you find the gothic creepiness undercut by the ending? Personally i thought the film was occasionally over-lit like many fifties films, and yet gothic set design and shadowed corners saved the day. It is atmospheric and slow building. The final reveal i actually rather liked, hardly gruesome or horrible, rather tragic & more full-blown than perhaps someone might convey the material in later years. In this regard the whole film, with the added slightly muted ambience, looks older than it actually is. The 3D effects are negligible in a few choice bats, a woman being swung about and of course that - no i won't say it! If you suspend disbelief sufficiently this is a solid little creepo with a weird after taste. Suitable for all ages...and i mean, all....