The best adaptation of a Richard Matheson novel to date (on DVD and VOD)

Artistic Note: Red StarRed StarRed Starhalf a red stargray star(3.5/5)


In 1968, a town is victim of a pandemic and its inhabitants show all the signs of a vampire, and Dr. Morgan sets out to eliminate some of them each day before returning home at nightfall. Surrounded by these vampires who want to execute him, Morgan encounters a healthy dog…

• Original title: The Last Man on Earth
• Media tested: DVD
• Genre: drama, science fiction
• Year: 1964
• Direction: Ubaldo B. Ragona and Sidney Salkow
• Starring: Vincent Price, Franca Bettoia, Emma Danieli, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Umberto Raho, Christi Courtland, Tony Corevi, Hector Ribotta
• Duration: 1 hour 23 minutes 12
• Video format: 16:9
• Cinema format: 2.35/1 (Totalscope)
• Subtitle: French
• Soundtrack: Dolby Digital 2.0 monophonic English
• Bonuses: none
• Publisher: Artus Films

Interpretation of art

Filmed entirely in Italy (Rome, Lazio), I’m a legend I Am Legend (1954) is the first film adaptation of Richard Metso’s novel, which revisits the vampire myth by imagining a pandemic that will wipe out humanity except for a certain Robert Neville, who is immune. Originally planned to be directed by Fritz Lang at Hammer Films in 1957, this classic of science fiction would be adapted for the screen several times. A survivor (1971), with Charlton Heston and I’m a legend (2007), starring Will Smith. Of the three filmed versions, I’m a legend (1964), is the most faithful and ultimately the most compelling film thanks to its brilliant black-and-white cinematography, starring Vincent Price, and a partial writing collaboration with Richard Matheson himself (satisfyingly, it will be included in the credits under the assumed title. ). In this visually inspiring film Night of the Living Dead (1968), the actor portrays a lonely and extreme scientist (renamed Robert Morgan) trying to survive. While his concern for perfection is exemplary, he insisted on manipulating real actors when, for example, transporting corpses, his gothic play goes beyond the novel’s character design. However, Richard Matheson was not convinced by Vincent Price’s interpretation and Charlton Heston considered the film to be of poor quality. I’m a legend (1964) has become a cult film among fans of the genre and easily surpasses other versions. An Italian-American co-production, the film was directed by two directors, Ublado Ragona, known above all for his documentaries, and Sidney Salkow, who specializes in B-series. Compared to the novel, the film takes some narrative liberties, turns. turns vampires into zombies, avoids the complexities of a relationship with Ben Courtman (played by Giacomo Rossi-Stuart), changes the narrative with Ruth Collins (Franca Bettoia), and radically changes the ending (no suicide pills brought by Ruth). And while there still isn’t an ideal film version of the novel (Richard Matheson cited George Miller-directed Harrison Ford as the perfect combination), I’m a legend (1964), despite its production for the economy, remains a fine gem of science fiction fueled by the implicit reflection of threat and its pandemic theme during the Cold War of the 60s. it’s the age of Covid! This re-release – the previous version is from 2011 – is therefore a nice gift for movie buffs, but we regret the choice of very average definition DVD support, whereas American blu-ray is available from summer 2021…

DVD I am a legend

Technical Commentary

Image : SD copy, varying depending on shots but correct for DVD medium, limited sharpness, homogenous silver texture (filmed on 35mm), fairly clean copy but not free of white spots and scratches, good contrast excluding ripples (opening shots ) ), light blacks, nuanced whites, well-layered grays

His : monophonic English 2.0 mix, clear voice and dialogue despite imperfect post-sync, no distortion, very good dynamics in action scenes, no major glitches or unwanted background noise

Our opinion

Image: Red StarRed StarRed Starhalf a red stargray star(3.5/5)
Sound mix: blue starblue starblue starhalf blue stargray star(3.5/5)
Bonuses: gray stargray stargray stargray stargray star(0/5)
Packaging: blue starblue starhalf blue stargray stargray star(2.5/5)

IMDb :

The DVD is available on Amazon

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