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  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • English: Dolby Digital Mono

    The Tamarind Seed

    Magna/Magna . R4 . COLOR . 119 mins . M15+ . PAL


    While on vacation in Barbados to get over her recent affair with a married man, Judith (Julie Andrews) meets Feodor (Omar Sharif). Spending the rest of their vacation getting to know each other better, through the persistence of Feodor, their romance begins to grow. It transpires that Feodor is a Colonel in the KGB, which creates problems due to the fact that Judith is a secretary for the British Home Office. Their vacation ends and they arrange to meet again in London. With both the Home Office and the Russians following their every move, the romance soon escalates into international intrigue.

    Although released in 1974, this film seems a lot older. Stereotypes abound, with Russian spies complete with big bushy eyebrows and British upper class former Cambridge scholars swanning around as if they take their orders from the Queen directly. Add to this homophobia and sexism and you are sure to find something to offend. Omar Sharif is a great actor, but he just doesn’t pull off playing a Russian KGB Colonel, even though his colleagues at the KGB call him “comrade” a lot. Julie Andrews is well suited in her role as Judith, but it’s hardly a stretch for her to play a well-spoken, very English, prim and proper lady is it? She doesn’t sing in this one though and for that I am sure many will be grateful. Anthony Quayle is intensely annoying as Jack Loder, the head of MI6. He says “bloody” a lot and seems to be one step ahead of everyone all the time, quite impressive considering he comes across as quite stupid. With the amount of spies following the couple all the time, the only thing missing was a man hiding behind a newspaper.

    Considered by some as a screen classic (it says so on the case), this film is a little dragged out. Although it runs for almost two hours, not a lot seems to happen - the two leading characters don’t even kiss until over an hour into the film. This film looks terrific with great direction from Blake Edwards, but is lacking in depth of story. Had it been made as possibly just a romance it might have worked better, but the overdoing of the spies and defection theme just doesn’t work.


    Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and not 16x9 enhanced (even though it boasts that it is on the cover), this transfer is surprisingly good. Picture is sharp and shadow detail is excellent. Colours are very true in skin tones and scenery and blacks are deep. There are minor film artefacts in the form of white flecks, but these are quite rare considering the age of the film. The source used was a very good copy indeed.


    The only soundtrack available is Dolby Digital mono. Although at least stereo sound would have been nice, the mono does do the job well in this dialogue driven film. Synchronisation is a little off at times, but is generally good. Music used to build up scenes can be quite annoying but it isn’t a constant so it is acceptable. Subtitles are supplied in English only and are true to the dialogue.


    Hardly extras, but there is scene selection and English subtitles.


    Personally I found this film to be quite boring (did you guess?). Fans of this genre may enjoy it, but it just seemed to me as if they should have chosen to do a romance film or a spy thriller and not try to combine the two. Julie Andrews is very good but Omar Sharif, although a fine actor, is misplaced in this role. Fans of Julie Andrews will enjoy her in this, but there is little else to make it appealing.

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      And I quote...
    "Time for an imagination test. First you have to picture Omar Sharif as a Russian KGB Colonel and then Julie Andrews not as an English nanny..."
    - Adrian Turvey
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