Wednesday, May 18, 2022

SON OF SAMSON Blu-ray review...


SON OF SAMSON (1960; 1962 in the US) starring Mark Forest, Chelo Alonso, Virna Silenti, Agelo Zanolli and Frederica Ranchi. Directed by Carlo Campogalliani.

I got the SON OF SAMSON (1960) Blu-ray last Friday and I had the weekend to review it. This release is excellent and should be the model for all future titles. Is it perfect? No but it's close to it.

Right off the bat I'll mention my complaints:

- No extras of the movie
- Audio is sorta weak. I needed to crank it up to the max.
- Only English audio track. No original Italian language option
- This release is not the one release back in 1962 in the US

That's it.

The rest is pretty darn good. Beautiful HD transfer of the first Maciste movie since the silent era. As I suspected, it's identical to the one on Amazon Prime (which was released on the internet before the BD). 

I won't review the movie itself since I've already done this. But even so after watching it fully in HD I feel there are a few things I might change or add to it.

I give this Blu-ray release a 9 out of 10. A must for PEPLUM fans

-------

How does this version differ from other versions?

I watched the movie along with the RETROMEDIA version and the original Italian version, also in HD. I watched these versions on two computer screens. I compared them and see what was different from each other.

TITLE


The opening title on the Blu-ray is the original Italian title. Below is the title to the RETROMEDIA DVD. If you read the info under A SAMUEL SCHNEIDER PRODUCTION, it states: 'special edition copyright retromedia entertainment, inc'. This RETROMEDIA version is a 'reconstructed' opening credit so it's not how the original US release was. It's still images of an old print (that's available on the 50 WARRIORS DVD pack) and color corrected. So, neither the Blu-ray or the RETROMEDIA prints have the actual, complete English opening credits. 




INTRODUCTION NARRATION

The opening narration between the new BD and the old RETROMEDIA copy are different.

- The voice of the narrators are different

- The narration in the new BD is shorter. It starts and ends at different scenes when compared to the RETROMEDIA version

- Queen Smedes is mentioned in the opening narration in the RETROMEDIA version but not in the new BD.

- The time frame of the story is totally different. The narrator on the BD says the time is the fifth century B.C.. On the longer RETROMEDIA narration, the time is the eleventh century B.C..


---------

CUT OR MISSING SCENES

Staying in the tradition of CINEMATIC CONFUSION when it comes to PEPLUM movies, some scenes are cut or missing, with no logic to it all.

As I compared the Italian version with the new BD version, and both of those against the RETROMEDIA version, one can one see how things were meant to be seen. The original Italian version is uncut at 94 minutes. The runtime of the new BD is 88 minutes 41 seconds. The runtime of the RETROMEDIA version is 86 minutes 38 seconds.
 



This scene occurs during the assault by the Persians on a village in Egypt. Above is from the uncut Italian version. Below is from the RETROMEDIA DVD. Oddly enough, this brief moment is not in the new Blu-ray release.



 

This scene is missing from the Kino Lorber Blu-ray and the RETROMEDIA DVD. It's on the Italian copy and it's a brief introductory scene.

 

In the most startling scene of the movie, a male shows to Queen Smedes that sh'e not a male by exposing her breast. This scene is in the Italian version and the new Blu-ray but it's partially cut in the RETROMEDIA DVD. In it, we see her opening her shirt but we don't see her breasts.



This brief scene of Maciste telling the women to 'come' with him is on the uncut Italian copy and the new BD but it's missing from the RETROMEDIA DVD.



Having rescued the women from the Persians, Maciste is now struggling to find water for the thirsty women. This scene of the women begging Maciste for water is only found in the uncut Italian version. 45 seconds were cut.



When a woman finds a waterskin a fight erupts between the thirsty women. Maciste goes to the commotion and see what's going on. This scene is uncut on the Italian version and the RETROMEDIA DVD but the fight between the women is abbreviated in the Blu-ray and the scene of Maciste walking up to the quarrelling women is also missing. The scene starts with Maciste already standing there.

 

A rare comical moment. This is not in the Blu-ray edition nor the RETROMEDIA release.



The discussion in this scene lasts about 18 seconds longer than in the Blu-ray or DVD.



Maciste escapes on horseback is cut from the RETROMEDIA print. It's intact in the other two.



Another discussion that lasts longer in the Italian version than the others.



Maciste heading to see the Pharaoh while the two men talk about him is not on the Blu-ray or the DVD.

 

The women from the village are being gathered outside the temple. The scene is cut in the  RETROMEDIA print. The scene lasts about 15 seconds.



This scene is entirely cut from the Blu-ray or DVD. It last almost 30 seconds in the Italian version.


CLOSING



The ending to the new Blu-ray release is the same as the Italian one. The one below is from the RETROMEDIA copy. 


As I wrote above, why some scenes are missing or have been truncated here and there has no logic to it. Presumably, the new Blu-ray print reflects the available English audio but it doesn't explain why some scenes, like the fight scene between women over water and Maciste moving in to stop them was cut when it's on the DVD release. These scenes might appear trivial but looking at the total scenes cut according to the runtime, over 6 minutes of scenes are missing from the Kino Lorber Blu-ray release. 

The Blu-ray is worth getting but it would have even better if the movie was uncut. 


 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is the entire dub different, or just the opening narration?

PEPLUM TV said...

The entire dub is the same. Only the opening narration is different.

Philippe Bosconi said...

un plaisir de redécouvrir ces péplums en super qualité.

luv chocolate said...

I'm disappointed with the blu ray as you described. Has anyone contacted Kino Lorber about this?

Anonymous said...

It's a very nice transfer and the missing bits don't really add to or detract from the film as a whole. We should be happy that there is such a great looking copy finally available on Blu-ray