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    Loot (1970)

    Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 97 mins . M15+ . PAL


    1970 was a strange year. Judging by this British film, it was still holding many aspects of the í60s to ransom. Free love, awful haircuts and androgynous clothing are everywhere, plus bags of that favourite British humour device; the double entendre. And for those who havenít got enough yet, thereís the much lower breeding of the Carry On type of titty joke that is just nauseating 30 odd years on.

    Two real losers rob a bank (naked no less). They work next door in the funeral home and transfer the money into one of them - Halís - motherís coffin intending to slip it past police. They succeed, but the cops are onto them and they must hide both the money and the corpse in Halís fatherís boarding house/hotel. However, the cops are still coming and itíll take some quick thinking and real bungling by the police to let them get away with their crime.

    "I am a woman! Only half the human race can say that without fear of contradiction!"

    So too it goes for the creators of this rather silly English adventure. Based on the stageplay by Joe Orton, the film fails where stage succeeds. On stage we give the players a certain freedom because theyíre in a closed environment, thereby restricting their range of movement. A film, however, has free run to use cuts and edits and effective retakes, and so, naturally, a director wants to use all the stuff at his or her disposal to create the best final product. And this is where this film (which would no doubt work fairly well onstage in that fictional halfworld of lesser realities and over the top performances) falls down severely. What works on stage does not necessarily transfer to film so readily. Unfortunately.

    This isnít a good film, although the players appear to have done their best with the material at hand. The story is ludicrous and the bizarre free love mentioned earlier seems to translate into some weird non-sexually specific oddness that just confuses the viewer (or attempts to enforce the dangers of youthful free love if youíre some old English fuddy-duddy).

    1970 was a strange year.


    While the print seems fairly useable thereís been little attempt to clean it successfully, resulting in film artefacts throughout. These occur quite heavily around the reel changes on the original celluloid and there are even moments of film wobble at these points. At 50:07 there is some severe fading of the print and, again, this occurs at a reel change. The picture is crisp enough and the colours even and bright, but blacks fluctuate between a deeper grey and natural black. Flesh tones are typically pallid for an English film and shadow detail is not really present for the duration. On top of that the film is delivered in good old fashioned 4:3 on this DVD 5. Woo.


    Standard Dolby Digital mono for a budget release which features nice clear dialogue, if at times it is delivered quite low. The music on the other hand is quite loud, creating some awkward moments between the two and the volume control. Being based on a stage show, a lot of the narrative is delivered in lyrics and these sound like theyíve been written by a seven year-old. Honestly, they are so obvious as to have you easily predicting the final rhyme in a stanza of four lines.

    Stock sound effects fill out the film and we also get some occasional static popping around those reel markers mentioned earlier. This is certainly a very lacklustre sound delivery here, but when mixed with the overall disc quality, it suits I suppose.


    Static menus deliver us the options of choosing a chapter or watching the film. The rest of the extras are even now kicking the roof of their coffins to no avail because they ainít getting out.


    Maybe if you were in this film it might interest you enough to buy, but I dunno. The story is thin, the characters empty and about the only redeeming quality is in the authentic costumes of the time. The transfer is quite average and budget produced and is nothing to write home about by any means.

    Overall very yawn inducing and uninteresting, with the only real appeal being in the hope someone is going to get naked soon (which they donít).

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=3807
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      And I quote...
    "This British travesty from 1970 is delivered in a very lacklustre budget transfer of little redeeming quality."
    - Jules Faber
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Teac DVD-990
    • TV:
          AKAI CT-T29S32S 68cm
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Subwoofer:
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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    "Is it art or is it pornography? Who cares? Both are good."

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    "Performances are fine, but the flimsy sets, the crappy props and the undisguisable late 70s hairdos are just too much."

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    "While not amongst some of Sellersí more confident roles, this one is still up there amidst the more subtle of themÖ"

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