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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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on 5 May 2017
Poor quality dvd....story great but picture blurred and constant background sound...stated `Condition: Used - Very Good - Buy with confidence from a huge UK seller, all items despatched next day directly from the UK. All items are quality guaranteed`...good job it was cheap!
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on 18 December 2010
I was very happy to get, recently, under the title High Road to China, the DVD of this (U.S.) motion picture 1983: please, see my review under this very title. But, with this previous package, I got only Dutch subtitle, not very useful for me, a Frenchman. So, surely in love with Bess Armstrong and her fine acting, and hoping to understand a few missing words (hearing), I turned towards the Italian product,(Cop. 2008, Monaco International) : Avventurieri ai confini del mondo. Fine product, bright colour, excellent sound...but only English Version or Italian Version, without any subtitle : no Italian Subtitle, a (bad) surprise.
Examining closely the two boxes (boîtiers), I read : time : 90 minuten/minuti. But, by the watch, the real time is always 105 or 106 minutes, credit titles included. So, with both the Dutch and Italian editions, no shorted versions, but, apparently, the original one. It's a pleasure. Screen : 4/3, so called full screen. Very pleasant to look at on a large HD TV, not, I suppose, on a small one : we always want more !
No idea yet of the Italian spoken version : I was just after this other DVD for the (announced) italian subtitle. No matter : I have now two excellent English versions and after the death of my old French VHS, Les Aventuriers du bout du monde, it's a kind of compensation, and a security.
Sure, it's a movie you can see and see again, along the years, with always great pleasure : action, landscapes, excellent acting, intelligent scenario and humour ...and love !
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on 13 June 2017
Picture a little blured , but still very watchable. Loved this film when it came out in 1983. Keeps you glued for nearly two hours , what more can I say.
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on 18 April 2017
A good adventure film with a touch of romance.
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on 27 March 2017
doing the happy dance, I've worn out my VCR version, so this is great
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on 27 May 2017
very, very good story and scenary
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 30 April 2015
I love this film, and what I love the most is the music it is just beautiful, it was done by the late john barry, the music was that good it stuck in my mind for days.

The film is a great adventure, and has some funny moments along the way, this film is about a young spoiled women who has to hire a plane to find her father, before someone gets their hands on his fortune, so with not much choice and time running out she hires a ragged and hung over pilot(tom selleck) this is when the fun and adventure begin with them flying over six continents with everyone trying to kill them.

I was a bit disappointed with the Blu-ray release, the picture quality was just ok, plus there was no special features on the disc. But still I am very happy to get rid of my old VHS release, and proudly put this in my collection.
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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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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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on 17 November 2009
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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