DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
HD DVD / Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Sponsored Links
Search: For:
Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Weapon (Blu-ray)
Weapon (Blu-ray)
Olive Films // Unrated // January 20, 2015 // Region A
List Price: $29.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted January 25, 2015 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Movie:

Directed by Val Guest, a director probably best remembered for the films he made for Hammer Studios than anything else (and some of those were damn good films!), 1957's The Weapon was made for Pelican, picked up in North America by Republic. Hal E. Chester, he of Curse Of The Demon and a whole lot of Joe Palooka stories, worked on the script with Fred Freiberger. The film now debuts on Blu-ray from Olive Films and it's an interesting one, a film very much worth revisiting for a few different reasons.

The film follows the story of a boy named Erik Jenner (Jon Whiteley) who is out playing with a friend one day. They find a pistol in the remains of a building bombed out in the Second World War some time ago and as boys are apt to do, they play with it. Erik, unaware that the gun is loaded, shoots his friend down and kills him. Terrified of what consequences may lurk around the corner for him, he runs away from home, much to the dismay of his mother, Elsa (Lizbeth Scott), and heads out into the streets to fend for himself.

The cops move in to check out what's happened and it turns out that the ballistics tests connect the gun to an unsolved murder that took place ten years ago. An American named Mark Andrews (Steve Cochran) comes in to assist on the case and to not only find out what happened to the gun, but to Erik as well. Andrews' search brings him deeper and deeper into the seedy side of London's criminal underground where it seems everyone is out to take advantage of everyone else. Erik won't be able to survive on the streets forever, and Andrews is running out of timeā€¦

If you think of this one as a mix between The Third Man and The Little Fugitive you'd be on the right track. The setting used on Carol Reed's 1949 classic is similar to the setting used here in Guest's film and both pictures share an important similarity in that they each, in different ways, use the seedy underbelly of the city in very important ways (London in The Weapon and Vienna in The Third Man). The city becomes as much a character in the film as any of the humans that populate it and the way that the bombed out husks of buildings and rundown cityscapes are portrayed throughout the film give it a definite time capsule quality. At the same time, the similarities to 1953's The Little Fugitive, directed by Ray Ashley and Morris Engel, are more thematic in nature (the earlier film takes place in Coney Island) but hard to ignore as they both deal with a kid on the run assumed he'll be brought up on murder `charges.

The performances are admirable here, pretty much across the board. It's easy for bad child actors to bring down an otherwise solid film but thankfully young Jon Whiteley is convincing in his part and he handles the material well. We buy him in the role without any reservations. Top billed Steve Cochran plays the tough, gruff fish out of water with enough style to make you take notice but with sufficient earthiness that his take on things suits the character as written. He and the lovely Lizbeth Scott, excellent here as the understandably concerned mother, have some interesting on screen chemistry together. If they don't light up the screen with burning passion, they do make a good team. Supporting work from Herbert Marshall and Nicole Maurey are fairly good as well. There story itself relies a bit too much on circumstance for its own good and because of this, it never reaches greatness, but it moves at a good pace and both the acting and the cinematography/location photography go a long way towards letting us look past some of the more innocuous aspects of the plot. A masterpiece? No, but absolutely worth seeing.

The Blu-ray:

Video:

The Weapon looks very nice on Blu-ray in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 1.78.1. As is the norm with Olive's releases, there are plenty of small scratches on the image from start to finish, indicating that the film hasn't been given a proper full blown restoration but overall this is a good looking picture. There's a nice amount of natural looking film grain present that results in a very natural looking film-like presentation without the picture ever looking too deteriorated or dirty because of it. Contrast is strong, no issues there and no problems with whites blooming at all. The print damage that does appear is minor. Texture is good and black levels are strong, with very average shadow detail for an older picture made on a modest budget. All in all, the image quality here is quite good.

Sound:

The only audio option on the disc is a DTS-HD Mono track in the film's original English language, no alternate language or subtitle options or offered. The audio is clean and clear and easy to follow, the dialogue easily discernible and the score sounds fine. There are no issues here with hiss or distortion and the levels are properly balanced throughout the movie. Range is obviously limited by the age and format of the source material, so expect some flatness throughout the movie, but overall the movie sounds decent enough.

Extras:

There are no extras on the disc outside of a static menu offering chapter selection.

Final Thoughts:

The Weapon is just as interesting for its footage of a post-war England than it is for its story, but the visuals and the narrative combine nicely here to make for a pretty compelling watch. The film is briskly paced and well acted and the Blu-ray, despite its barebones nature, looks and sounds quite nice. As such, the disc comes recommended.

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

Find the lowest price for 'Weapon (Blu-ray)'
Popular Reviews
1. Swing Time
2. Day of the Outlaw
3. Fatso
4. Murder!
5. Midnight Lace
6. The Front Page
7. Missing Link Blu-ray
8. 4D Man
9. Thunder Bay
10. A Blonde In Love


Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use