WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review


Reviewed In Issue 32 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon, Irene Worth, Henry Jones

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 3
Sound Rating: 1.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Warner Home Video
(Catalog Number): 11256
(MPAA Rating): PG13
(Retail Price): $29.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 116
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1982
(LD Release Date): 5/98
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Sidney Lumet
(Screenplay/Written By): Jay Presson Allen
(Music): Johnny Mandel
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Tony Walton
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): John J. Fitzstephens
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Jay Presson Allen
(Producers): Burtt Harris

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Academy Standard Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.95:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Mono Sound
(Theatrical Sound): Optical Mono
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital): No
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround): No
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
After receiving a masterpiece of a play called Deathtrap from a former student (Christopher Reeve), a highly successful Broadway playwright (Michael Caine) with a serious case of writer’s block schemes to make the play his own. With the aid of his high-strung wife (Dyan Cannon), he concocts a scheme to steal the play, murder the author and produce the play as his own. He succeeds—or does he? An engaging “who’ll-do-it” based on the stage play by Ira Levin.

LaserDisc Picture:
The picture is sharp and detailed with good shadow delineation and contrast. Occasionally, the picture appears slightly overenhanced. Colors are fully saturated with generally accurate fleshtones, rich and warm colors and deep, solid blacks. Sometimes the appearance is plugged up and wanting in natural clarity in interiors and darker scenes, while exteriors are nicely rendered. There is slight noise apparent, but no distracting artifacts. Overall, this is a generally pleasing visual experience that is only wanting in greater clarity and definition. The picture is slightly overmatted at 1.95:1.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack is undistinguished monaural that sounds strident and harsh, and lacking in natural warmth.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): No
(Aggressive System Surround): No
(Intense 25Hz Bass): No
(Deep Bass Challenging): No
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): No
(Aggressive Split Surround): No
(Center Back Surround Imaging): No
(Directionalized Dialogue): No
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition:
DVD To LaserDisc Comparison: