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Customer Review

18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, poor print, 9 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: Khartoum [DVD] (DVD)
I love this movie, but what I don't like is paying for a UK DVD and finding the quality of the MGM Region 2 PAL disc is poor. It's not from a restored print so there are flickering lines (scratches), dust and other foreign objects, and so on. It's also rather soft and lacking in detail. What makes this really infuriating is that the Region 3 NTSC DVD you can get in S.E. Asia looks *absolutely fantastic*. Once again the UK/European arm of a major studio greedily and lazily offers its customers 2nd best, even though a high quality version already exists. The NTSC rip I downloaded from pirate bay at no cost is better quality than the PAL DVD I just paid for. I wish that was unusual but it's normal for us suckers here in the UK. The studios apparently don't like bittorrent, but not enough that they'll stop insulting *paying* customers with 3rd rate offerings. Guess where I'm going for my next MGM classic movie.

Khartoum the movie has an exciting story, extraordinary historical characters played by a star cast, great performances, good photography and locations. It's worth 4 or 5 stars. MGM's PAL DVD is not, being something of an insult to everyone from the performers through to the people who buy and watch the DVD. If you have low expectations or a small TV screen and cataracts this DVD might appear fine, otherwise look elsewhere and try to get hold of the NTSC version.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Apr 2013 04:39:25 BDT
wait for the blu ray release. it is a good movie..

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Apr 2013 18:56:59 BDT
A Blu-Ray disc might one day exist, or it might not. In the meantime I wanted to watch Khartoum in good quality so I bought a Region 1 NTSC DVD from the US. It's much better than the UK PAL version; the picture is of very high quality and sound is good.

Posted on 20 Jul 2013 20:30:52 BDT
Simon Treves says:
Couldn't disagree more: the R2 PAL DVD is an exceptionally good print of a fine movie, in the right aspect ratio, and with Frank Cordell's Overture and Entr'acte. And all for a budget price too.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jul 2013 21:30:07 BDT
If that's the case then I can only assume a different version, though I can't find any sign of a newer version having become available.

Since writing the review I have bought the US NTSC DVD of this film. Both have the same 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Both versions have the same overture and entr'acte. Both have the 2 channel audio track. There is the expected small difference in length which is not due to content but because PAL DVDs play back at 25 fps while NTSC DVDs play at 23.976.

To illustrate my comments about the picture quality I've made a screenshot from each version. The image from the PAL DVD is really dirty with lots of lines and debris. This is even worse with a moving image because the ever changing array of crud and damage also appears to flicker as it comes and goes. These images are uncompressed full size captures.

PAL: http://imageshack.us/f/22/hct6.png/
NTSC: http://imageshack.us/f/163/elij.png/

I completely stand by my criticisms of the picture quality of the PAL DVD.
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