This has long been a Holy Grail title for me. Never released on DVD in the United States (or 95% of the rest of the world, for that matter) all I had was a crappy VHS of the edited version, which was so haphazardly created that at times the cuts seemed as though they were made with a chainsaw. Seriously, you could see and HEAR the snips!
Long story short, we have the full length 150 minute film (as was shown on MGM-HD a couple of years ago) looking absolutely splendid. After a rough prologue and opening credits, the film suddenly becomes shockingly clear, with the kind of vibrancy one rarely gets from even the largest, most expensive of productions. The negative must have been stored properly all of these years, which is surprising given the film's history.
I've only had a chance to watch the first 40 or so minutes, but dammit, I had to get online and say something. I did detect some DNR in a few shots so I'll have to get back to you all on that. I wasn't yanked out of the picture so that usually means if there is any filtering, it's not extreme.
The sound is not as impressive as the picture, but what can you expect from mono? It would have been wonderful had the studio given us a remix on top of the original soundtrack, but alas, the budget just wasn't there (clearly since there are no extras, other than some photos). I'm a purist and I usually prefer the old 'original' mixes for most films, but that's due to how lazy and disrespectful 5.1 remixes can be. When done right, they enhance a film. Check out Christopher Nolan's THE FOLLOWING or Criterion's recent IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE Blu-Ray. SHOUT AT THE DEVIL is chock full of action that would have been serviced by some expansion into the surrounds. Not to mention Maurice Jarre's terrific score would likely sound amazing in surround. Oh well.
This is a BD/DVD release so the price is higher than I'd like, but still... There are limited buyers for such titles. I say go for it. It's a terrificly entertaining film.
Here is one review...