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Ice Station Zebra [DVD] [1968]

4.4 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

Price: £18.47
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Product details

  • Actors: Ernest Borgnine, Jim Brown, Rock Hudson, Patrick McGoohan
  • Directors: John Sturges
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Italian, French, Dutch, Arabic
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.20:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 2 May 2005
  • Run Time: 143 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007SMDT6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,812 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The blu ray is a US import but its region free so it plays fine here in the UK , no problem at all. The movie was originally shot on super panavision 70 which is a film format roughly twice the size of regular 35mm film stock so the detail and resolution are astounding, I own the DVD version of this film and the quality of that image is excellent but the transfer here on the Blu ray takes the image quality to a whole new level, its quite simply stunningly sharp and pristine, the detail is incredible, Im assuming the transfer to blu ray has been taken from original negative material which has obviously survived in pristine condition, if you are a fan of this movie the blu ray is definitely worth having. Recommended.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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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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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I liked it but the star is NOT Ernest Borgnine, though he is as always very good. The star is Rock Hudson at his most masculine, but the actor who steals the entire film is of course Patrick MacGoohan who steals every film in which he acts. Remember that awful nonsense of 'Braveheart'? Patrick plays Edward I and everyone else, especially that Australian/American Gibson disappears when MacGoohan appears.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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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I was disappointed by this 1968 adaptation of Alistair MacLean's spy novel. There were many changes made to the original material and most of them were, for my personal taste, completely useless and very, very stupid which resulted in serious damage caused to the cohesion and logics of the story. Below, more of my personal impressions, with some LIMITED SPOILERS.

A satellite re-enters the atmosphere and ejects a capsule which parachutes to the Arctic. Very soon after Commander James Ferraday (Rock Hudson), captain of the U.S. nuclear attack submarine USS "Tigerfish" (SSN-509), stationed at Holy Loch, Scotland, is ordered to make sail to the Arctic (small precision here – in real life there never was a US submarine named "Tigerfish"). His mission is to rescue the personnel of Drift Ice Station Zebra, a British civilian scientific weather station moving with the ice pack. However, as he welcomes on board a British intelligence agent "Mr. Jones" (Patrick McGoohan), a whole platoon of heavily armed US Marines under Captain Anders (Jim Brown) and Boris Vaslov (Ernest Borgnine), a Russian defector who is a colleague of "Mr. Jones", it becomes quickly obvious that the mission is actually a cover for a more dangerous, highly classified assignment. And then the film begins.

This could have been a very good spy/action thriller.
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