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Billed as "the motion picture with something to offend everyone," THE LOVED ONE ($20) is the epitome of truth in advertising. THE LOVED ONE mercilessly takes pot shots at suicide, the mortuary business, religion, Hollywood, sex, obesity and the military. Even more than forty years after its release, this film is, without question, offensive and its black humor remains something of an acquired taste. The plot of THE LOVED ONE follow the loony adventures of a young Brit, who comes to Lalaland to visit an uncle working in the film business, only to get caught up in the cutthroat death industry in pursuit of a pretty young woman. The first rate cast of THE LOVED ONE features Robert Morse, Jonathan Winters, Anjanette Comer, John Gielgud, Milton Berle, Liberace, Dana Andrews, James Coburn, Roddy McDowell, Robert Morley, Paul Williams, Lionel Stander, Tab Hunter and Rod Steiger.

Warner Home Video has made THE LOVED ONE available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. This is actually a pretty nice looking black and white presentation. The image on the DVD is fairly sharp and pretty nicely defined. Some softness creeps up here and there, but for the Blacks appear pure, as do the whites. Contrast is really quite good, with the picture producing a rich and varied grayscale. The cleanly authored DVD keeps all signs of digital compression artifacts well concealed.

THE LOVED ONE comes with a solid Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack. Most of the background hiss and noise have been cleaned up in the mastering process, leaving the film with a fairly smooth sonic quality. Voices are well recorded and the dialogue is easy to understand, although sometimes things sound a bit looped. Fidelity has the expected limitations for a film of this vintage, but the sound isnít harsh or brittle sounding. No other language tracks are provided, but English, French and Spanish subtitles have been included.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which feature access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a couple of extras. The primary extra is a fifteen-minute featurette entitled Trying To Offend Everyone, which includes new interviews with members of the cast and crew. A Theatrical Trailer closes out the extras.

Darkly comic and still offensive after all these years, THE LOVED ONE is a film that may not be to every taste, but reviewer likes it quite a bit. Warnerís DVD presentation is solid and is certain to please fans.



The Loved One (1965)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2006 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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