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Island of Dr. Moreau [Blu-ray]
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The Doctor Is Insane! Animals become monsters - and a man becomes part animal; Burt Lancaster (Elmer Gantry) and Michael York (Logan's Run) co-star in this sci-fi shocker based on a novel by the great H.G. Wells (The Time Machine). On a tropical Pacific island, the mad Dr. Moreau (Lancaster) has set out to fool Mother Nature, conducting nightmarish genetic experiments that have resulted in Lionmen, Tigermen, Bearmen and other marauding monstrosities. But when a storm at sea washes shipwreck survivor Braddock (York) ashore, the sinister surgeon devises a diabolical plan to dispose of his meddling and uninvited guest. Partially transformed into one of Moreau's monstrosities, Braddock must escape from this tropical hell before the mad surgeon can finish the job... of bringing out the best in him! Two of the film's best features are wonderful direction by Don Taylor (Damien: Omen II) and a galaxy of mutant monsters created by some of the make-up legends behind Planet of the Apes. The stellar supporting cast includes Nigel Davenport (No Blade of Grass), Richard Basehart (The Satan Bug) and the beautiful Barbara Carrera (Never Say Never Again).
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 6.5 x 5.25 x 0.3 inches; 2.4 Ounces
- Item model number : 16322
- Director : Don Taylor
- Media Format : Blu-ray, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 39 minutes
- Release date : June 23, 2015
- Actors : Michael York, Burt Lancaster, Nigel Davenport, Barbara Carrera, Richard Basehart
- Subtitles: : English
- Studio : Kl Studio Classics
- ASIN : B00VHAG434
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #26,487 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This is my favorite adaptation of this story. The excellent cast includes Michael York as Braddock, Nigel Davenport as the caretaker of Moreau's home compound, Barbara Carrera as the beautiful love interest, and Burt Lancaster as the enigmatic Moreau. It also features Richard Basehart (known for his work on the television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) as the beastial Sayer of the Law. While this film does not really stay true to the original novel, which was more about animal cruelty and how the scientific community experimented on living creatures at the time of its writing, this script has more to do with whether or not man has the right to interfere with the evolution of the natural world. With superb acting and makeup effects, it will be one that will be with you long after you see it.
A shipwrecked sailor (Michael York) discovers that the island he's stranded on is populated by a number of strange creatures, an exotic young woman (Barbara Carrera) and an enigmatic doctor (Burt Lancaster) who spends most of his time in his laboratory working on secret experiments. He is aided by an alcoholic assistant (Nigel Davenport) who cracks jokes and delights in not telling what he knows. Eventually York discovers what Lancaster is up to and winds up being experimented on himself.
While not denying the superiority of the 1932 version especially when it comes to style, I have always found it to be enjoying its sadistic elements too much. This version replaces actual surgery with DNA manipulation through injection which is chillingly plausible even more so today than it was back in 1977. This version also has better dialogue and much better acting all around. While Richard Basehart is no Bela Lugosi in terms of presence, he is a more sympathetic and pitiable Sayer of the Law.
The film was shot on location in the Virgin Islands by British cinematographer Gerry Fisher. The sequences of Moreau's "humanimals" in the wild have the feel of a program on Animal Planet. Moreau's compound was built for the movie so that it could be destroyed at the end. Speaking of the finale, the last shot of Barbara Carrera reverting back to her true origins was scrapped for a happy ending. This Blu-Ray contains the original deleted shot (later added for TV showings) as a Bonus Feature only. Too bad.
While the Blu-Ray release is certainly an upgrade over the old MGM Midnite Movies DVD, it isn't the difference between night and day that one reviewer claimed. For those without a Blu-Ray player (and there are still plenty of you) the original release will more than suffice. Like me you may find yourself watching it more than once. A note to animal lovers...despite the stunts shown, no animals were harmed in the making of the film. Final note...great score by composer Laurence Rosenthal.
The movie has a number of great parts. The make up on the man beasts was great. Dr Moreau laid down a set of laws for his man beasts to try to humanize them and those that broke it were punished by being sent to the House of Pain. Plus there’s a twist at the end.
Overall a very nice 1970s science fiction film.
There as a lot of good versions of this story made into movies and TV presentations. This is one of the best with Plenty of star actors from the 1977 era. The camera work is also well done. So you have the feeling that this could happen to you and wonder what you would have done in that situation.
Long before DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)and GMO (genetically modified organism) a Dr. Paul Moreau (Burt Lancaster) did a little diddling of his own on the local fauna. To this island comes an intruder Andrew Braddock (Michael York) the victim of a recent shipwreck. He immediately asks Montgomery (Nigel Davenport), the man who runs the compound, “What kind of animals are on the island?” the answer “All kinds” with a smirk.
Time passes and the secrets of the island are slowly reviled to Andrew and us.
Soon there will be a hot time in the old town tonight. The Dr. hangs around to the end. Have we learned anything about human nature?
Top reviews from other countries
As for this blu ray well, it has zilch by way of bonus features but the picture quality is excellent, crisp sharp and blemish free. Audio is only 2 channel stereo. Lancaster, is to my mind a bit miscast as Moreau and although Yorks character has a name change from Prendick(the book),to Braddock in the film he is good in the role.Nigel Davenport, always good to watch is great as Montgomery. The make up effects for the beastmen is quite good(dated ofcourse).
Overall a good film, now looking its best.
Read the book, see the film, then try the other adaptation featuring Brando and Kilmer made a good few years later.
BEST WELLS ADAPTATIONS?
Island of Lost Souls
The Time Machine, G.Pal
War of The Worlds, G.Pal
First Men In The Moon film and Gatiss tv version
Things To Come.Korda.
I would like to see a release of Food of The Gods soon on blu ray, surely another cult classic
Montgomery runs the house, but is employment of the owner, a certain Dr Moreau(Burt Lancaster), who welcomes Braddock with open arms, offering him the hospitality of his home. There is also a lady called Maria(Barbera Carrera), who Moreau informs Braddock was found abandoned as a baby in New Orleans. Braddock is enjoying the paradise island, but the strange animal noises he hears at night concern him. After seeing Moreau's servant M'Ling, in chains being dragged into an unknown out house, curiosity gets the better of Braddock, and he enters the building. What he finds brings a realisation that Dr Moreau has very good reasons for wanting to stay on an isolated island, as he is very active in conducting terrifying experiments, experiments which seem to have been going very wrong...
I must confess, this is the only film adaptation of H.G Wells story that I have seen. The 1932 version, 'The Island Of Lost Souls' is meant to be the definative version, but you could do a lot worse than visiting this adaptation, as although it doesn't follow the book to the letter, it is a pretty faithful version.
Michael York is very good as the male lead, especially in the scenes where he is struggling to maintain his humanity, Nigel Davenport is good if a little underused as the mercenary Montgomery, but one performance I have seen lambasted in some reviews for this film is Lancaster in the title role. Well, I thought he delivered a pretty good performance, excellently conveying the banality of evil, as Moreau calmly explains his atrocious experiments to Braddock. The creature make-up is pretty good, and theres a wonderful, haunting music score by Lawrence Rosenthal. Add to that some excellent cinematography, and you will find this a very enjoyable viewing experience.
One thing bothers me though. When I watched this on on television over twenty years ago the ending seemed different to the one at the end of the film on the DVD. Either my mind is playing tricks on me, or the ending we have here is more sanitised and ambiguous than the one I had previously seen. If anybody could let me know if there are two versions of the film, with slightly diffrent closures, I would very much appreciate it. 4 out of 5 for the film though as usual for Optimum, there are no extras to speak of on the disc. What matters most of course is that picture/sound quality are excellent.
Unfortunately the film suffers a bit from the studio's decision to cut it down to avoid an R-rating, losing the shock ending in the process (even though the film's poster was built around one character's transformation from human back to animal) and somewhat downplaying the grotesque nature of the creatures, though whether that's intentional or simply down to Don Taylor's direction lacking atmosphere is debatable. On it's own terms it's fine, even if it plays more as an adventure yarn than horror. There's a decent supporting cast - Nigel Davenport, Barbara Carrera, Richard Basehart as the Sayer of the Law and Lancaster's old circus buddy Nick Cravat under creature makeup - surprisingly rich photography from Gerry Fisher that emphasises the deceptively tropical paradise-like look of the island and there's a typically brutal Laurence Rosenthal score, but it's a pity there are no extras on any of the DVD releases (aside from the trailer there was a rather good short film about the production and the animal 'affection training' from its theatrical release that could have been included).