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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 27 May 2007
Quatermass finds himself on the scene of an archaeological dig in a London tube station, where a rather unexpected object is found. He soon realises it's a relic from an old colonisation attempt several million years earlier. The invaders are long dead, but a compelling memory still lurks in Hob's Lane...

I first saw this film two decades ago, when I managed to record it off the TV, and soon wore out the video by watching it so often. It's a great example of its genre, and still superb today. The scientists are scientific, the army officer annoying, the plot marvellously constructed, and the effects a strange combination of the superb and the slightly ropey - exactly what you want from a classic sci-fi/Hammer adventure of the sixties. There's not a single scene or pseudo-fact out of place, and no extraneously irrelevant love interest getting in the way either. Even the film loop behind the end-titles is unsettling; to this day I can't decide what sort of ending the film has; "good" has triumphed, but at what cost?

All in all, a great film, and well worth watching. Five stars.
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on 22 September 2007
It makes a change to watch a film free of cgi or cliched phrases such 'we've got to get the hell out of here' etc
I love this film and watch it about once a year. The scene in Hobb's lane, when the policeman is telling Quatermass and his assistant about the strange noises and figures, is just excellent, and so spooky.
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on 14 October 2011
Simply put the restoration on this blu-ray edition is astonishing. It easily continues the excellent run of restoration releases that Optimum have done this year. My only minor gripe. It doesn't have the excellent 5.1 soundtrack that was on the 1998 Elite laserdisc. Bar that it's a must buy.
The running commentary is from the 1998 laserdisc but a lot of the extras on this disc are new.
For any fans of Hammer who are keeping a count of Hammer releases on blu-ray, in the past year we've had
1/ PARANOIAC! (UK 2/ Vampire Circus (USA) 3/The Vampire Lovers (Oz) 4/ The Man who could Cheat Death (USA) but Quatermass is easily the best restoration of the bunch and the one to be used as the standard bearer for future releases.

Roger Shore
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on 14 July 2007
Erich von Daniken, eat your heart out. Nigel Kneale was way ahead of you. In the Fifties he wrote three superb serials (not series), which Hammer filmed. Quatermass and the Pit is the third and best - arguably the best British science fiction movie, so far. Andrew Keir makes a good Quatermass, sharing the credits with James Donald as Dr Roney. As always with old horror/sf, the effects are a bit ropey, but the strength and intelligence of the story carries the viewer along. I agree with those who say the ending is weak and the original TV version was stronger overall. But it was three hours long! Given the constraints of time and budget, this is pretty damn good. It's one of the few genuinely convincing alien invasion movies, presenting it as a fait accompli and leaving it to us to decide exactly what that much-used and abused term 'humanity' really means. It's also an object lesson in storytelling. I still stand (or possibly sit) amazed at how deftly Kneale interweaves Martians, evolution, Cold War militarism and a ghost story. Young trendy media types, please note. (But of course, you won't.)
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on 22 October 2011
The movie was one of my favourites as a kid, watching it in a late (for my age) night TV show plastered with commercials, in an old black and white TV set. It just gripped me all the same, I still remember how the thrill was slowly but steadily growing inside me as the movie went on. I still think that the pace of the movie is just superb. Now, for the transfer: the best I have seen in a very long time. I never thought a film from the 60' could look this sharp, contrasted, natural...it is just gorgeus. Mind that the original celluloid grains are there, but I just happen to love them, they add more to the purely cinematic experience. There isn't the slightest sign of compression; no DNR has been used, yet the image is extremely detailed, thus showing how artificial looking such digital manipulation is. The sound has been largely improved, with a good spatial distribution and clarity, even bass sounds, for a film this old. If you like this movie, don't hesitate an instant, just go for the blu-ray. You can give the DVD away, you will never want to watch it after the blu-ray.
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VINE VOICEon 4 September 2012
I must admit that having had previous copies of one of my favourite Hammer films on VHS Video and DVD courtesy of Anchor Bay (this copy also had Quatermass II, another Hammer film) I had to take a risk and purchase this on Blu-Ray.

I sat with fingers crossed, hoping that my purchase would be worth while. After the first ten minutes or so, I breathed a sigh of relief as I was more than pleased with the HD Transfer which is very good indeed. In fact, in some scenes, the clarity was so good, background scenes were more noticeable, especially during the final scenes. The only downside is that the soundtrack is stereo and not 5:1 which would have been nice. Still, it is only a minor quibble, for the stereo soundtrack is more than adequate.

One other quibble is the artwork on the box which has nothing to do with the production whatsoever. Rather silly in fact, it should have been the original artwork first seen during the film's initial release in 1967.

There is no need for me to spell out the plot since it is so well known in any case. I was particularly pleased with the extras, especially the interviews with Julian Glover, Mrs Nigel Kneale who revealed her own personal feelings about the Quatermass productions, and Marcus Hearn, a Hammer historian who gave his own views on Hammer films. There are a few more interviews here worth seeing, and also a trailer.

A very good purchase for any Quatermass and Hammer fan. I have also noticed that Hammer are already re-releasing some of their earlier 1950s/1960s classics on Blu-Ray, and I understand that the 1958 classic Dracula is being released later in the year. I cannot wait for that one!!
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VINE VOICEon 2 October 2008
Having been scared half to death by this in the 70s when it was on late on New Years Eve (and scared completely some time later by the Stone Tapes) this is something that really pre-dates a lot of the later Dr Who (e.g. Pertwee's the Daemons, Troughton's London underground).

A most for any fan of British classic sci-fi
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 October 2007
I hadn't seen this for a very long time, so to watch it again on a big widescreen TV was a real treat. This is a film that has aged well. Its forty years old now, yet somehow the special effects still seem reasonable. In fact at the end I was quite surprised at just how good the effects still looked.

Andrew Keir does a fine job portraying Quatermass. Keir was a Hammer regular and appeared in many British TV series over the years. His Quatermass is immensley frustrated by the military, who he has to work with most of the time. He and Col Breen (Julian Glover) really loath each other and never miss an opportunity to try and humilate each other. I was slightly less convinced by James Donald's performance as Dr Roney, he was just a little bit stilted.

The story and screenplay by Nigel Kneale is intelligent Sci-fi, which although out-dated now, at least has a plausible side to it. Go back ten or more years earlier and watch a film like "When Worlds Collide" (which is a very good Sci-fi film btw) to see just how silly Sci-fi can get once science catches up. Whilst excavating in a London underground station the workman come across some old skulls and what initially is thought to be an unexploded 2nd world war bomb. This of course is far from the truth...

This isn't quite up there with "Dracula" or "The Devil Rides Out" or a couple of other Hammer classics I could name but its certainly in my top ten and is well worth getting.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 October 2011
This movie will always hold a special place in my heart, partly because as a boy many years ago it introduced me to the wonderful horror/sci-fi world of Nigel Kneale. Andrew Keir is well cast here, and has always been my favourite Bernard Quatermass. The role fits him like the proverbial glove, a quality performance.

Following the discovery of a mysterious craft in Hobbs End underground railway station, which may have connections to a series of strange and unexplained 'incidents' in the area that date back over the centuries, Quatermass's theories as to the origins of the object and it's strange contents are met with a mix of scepticism and scorn by government and military officials alike. The excellent cast includes the likes of Edwin Richfield and Julian Glover, who's unreceptive and stubborn Colonel Breen is a real pain in the neck for the determined Quatermass, with only anthropologist James Donald and his assistant Barbara Shelley standing alongside him.

Directed at a good pace by Roy Ward Baker, the movie nicely ratchets up the tension with a number of creepy and atmospheric moments along the way, before the story reaches it's dramatic climax. Although perhaps when viewed through modern eyes, some of the the special effects may look cheap and of their time, this in no way detracts from this enjoyable movie, as the intelligent script and good performances ensure that the movie holds the attention throughout. I own all the TV/movie adaptions of the various Quatermass stories, and although I adore them all, this one still remains my favourite - excellent movie, and another very entertaining excursion into the sci-fi genre by Hammer Film studios.

The picture quality on this widescreen Optimum release is good, as is the stereo sound. The only extra is a trailer. There are no subtitles.
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on 30 August 2011
Comparing with the original BBC production (which had most of Britain behind their sofas when first shown) I would say it compares favourably. On the plus side, the acting was less wooden especialy in colonel Breen and it omitted the embarassing final denoument which I beleive the bbc script editor was unhappy about. On the downside the special effects scene showing the purging of the hives didn't actualy make clear what was happening and looks crude by modern standards. Also, the original footage used of the blitz showing London burning was something that would have cost millions to reproduce and was brilliantly effective in the original but wisely a cheap immitation wasn't attemted in the Hammer version. Watch the original first to get a balanced veiw. A complex plot that deserves cosideration. Well worth watching and the plot and writing puts a lot of high budget American sci fi films to shame.
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