Review: Endless Night
Blu-ray: Endless Night (1972)
Adapted from Agatha Christie’s novel of the same name, Endless Night stars Hywel Bennett as Michael Rogers; a young man who bounces from job to job, but has a long held dream of owning a picturesque piece of land called ‘Gypsy’s Acre’.
While working as a chauffeur, Michael meets Ellie Thomson (Hayley Mills) and the two fall in love. However, both Michael and Ellie have secrets that are eventually exposed and change both of their lives forever.
Often publicised as a horror movie, Endless Night is an amalgam of horror/thriller/romance/mystery, all wrapped in an unsettling score by Bernard Herrmann, while the cinematography by Harry Waxman elevates the beauty of the English countryside and highlights why Michael is desperate to achieve his dream of acquiring Gypsy’s Acre.
Both leads put in solid performances, while Britt Ekland is very good as Ellie’s companion Greta.
What at first seems like a simple narrative, soon begins to twist and turn as secrets are revealed and characters true motivations are slowly uncovered. Then, just when you think that you’ve got it all worked out, the proverbial rug is once again pulled from underneath you, leaving you wondering how everything is finally going to be resolved.
Endless Night is a well constructed and thought provoking movie, that had it been made by Alfred Hitchcock would probably be more revered than it is, but it sits as a fitting final film from director Sidney Gilliat.
A new restoration from a 4k scan means that this is the best it has ever looked and really helps accentuate the wonderful vistas on display. Add to this the usual array of great special features on an Indicator release, and once again there is another title that you find on your ‘to buy’ list.
INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:
- New restoration from a 4K scan
- Original mono audio
- The BEHP Interview with Sidney Gilliat(1990, 100 mins): archival audio recording, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project, featuring the accomplished writer and director in conversation with Roy Fowler and Taffy Haines
- The John Player Lecture with Bernard Herrmann (1972, 53 mins): the renowned composer in conversation at London’s National Film Theatre
- A Full House (2020, 8 mins): interview with celebrated actor Hayley Mills
- Endless Notes (2020, 13 mins): composer and musician Howard Blake recalls working with Herrmann
- Emotional Turbulence (2020, 16 mins): appreciation of Herrmann’s late career by author and historian Neil Sinyard
- Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
- Original theatrical trailer
- New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Limited edition exclusive 36-page booklet with a new essay by Anne Billson, Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat on Endless Night, an archival interview with Gilliat, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
- UK premiere on Blu-ray
- Limited edition of 3,000 copies
Release date: 24 February 2020
Review by Dave from a disc kindly supplied by Powerhouse Films.
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