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Label:
Name: TWILIGHT TIME
Number: TWILIGHT257-BR

THE 3 WORLDS OF GULLIVER (1960) (SPECIAL PROMOTION) (BLU-RAY)
Starring:  Gregoire Aslan, Jo Morrow, June Thorburn, Lee Patterson, Basil Sydney, Peter Bull, Kerwin Matthews
Directed By:  Jack Sher
Composed By:  Bernard Herrmann

“Quite a bit of technical skill has been employed in filming the hero’s experiences in the lands of the minuscule Lilliputians and the gigantic Brobdingnagians…a children’s film that treats a classic without condescension or burlesque.” – Eugene Archer, The New York Times

“Special visual effects expert Ray Harryhausen, whose Superdynamation process makes the motion-pictured Gulliver plausible and workable, rates a low bow for his painstaking, productive efforts.” – Variety

The phenomenal team of special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen, composer Bernard Herrmann, and director Jack Sher bring their gifts to bear on The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960), a spritely adaptation of Jonathan Swift’s acerbic satire, Gulliver’s Travels. Satire gives way here, however, to the fantastical tale of a doctor (Kerwin Mathews) and his stowaway fiancée (June Thorburn) who adventure first to Lilliput – a land populated by four-inch-tall schemers – and then to Brobdingnag, where giants prove no more politic.

LANGUAGE: English
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.66:1 & 1.78:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1960 / Color
99 MINUTES
NOT RATED

Special Features: Isolated Score Track / Audio Commentary by Film Historians Randall Cook, C. Courtney Joyner, and Steven C. Smith / The Making of The 3 Worlds of Gulliver / The Harryhausen Chronicles / This Is Dynamation! / Original Theatrical Trailer

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units

  
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Reviews and Comments: (4)
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Posted by Robert Spreitzer on December 7, 2016 4:59 PM
Pre-ordered and excited about having this on blu-ray. Does anyone have any information on the transfer?

Posted by John Gentile on December 15, 2016 10:29 AM
Has the street date changed from 12/13?

Posted by Bruce Hebblewhite on January 5, 2017 5:50 AM
My copy arrived today. I've just dipped into it and am impressed by the picture quality. One niggle, though. The listing on this website suggests an isolated score track, as does the back cover. However, it is actually a score AND EFFECTS track, which is a little disappointing. Not a huge deal in my case, as I have the Cloud Nine CD of the OST recording (45 min 11 sec). A pity that wasn't available to TT, though.

One correction in TT's favour - the "normal" soundtrack is actually in 2.0 DTS-HD MA (dual mono), rather than 1.0 DTS-HD MA, which means I don't have to settle for getting it just through the centre channel of my speaker set-up or alternatively play about with my amp settings to redistribute it to other speakers.

Posted by Mark Turner on January 4, 2018 1:08 PM
Growing up in the sixties I was one of those early fans of Ray Harryhausen films. I remember the first one I saw was JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS followed by MYTERIOUS ISLAND. I found the special effects in both to be fascinating and read what I could on how they were done. They were movies that captured my imagination and spurred me on to learn about Jules Verne and Greek mythology. Somehow THE THREE WORLDS OF GULLIVER eluded me and I looked forward to finally getting the chance to watch it.

Based on the GULLIVER’S TRAVELS by Jonathan Swift, the film uses only a portion of the novel here, the visits to Lilliput and Brobdingnag. Those familiar with the book will know that it was a political satire of the time that has been watered down over the years via first a cartoon version and lastly by a terrible Jack Black film. I’m sad to say this film doesn’t do it much better.

Gulliver is a doctor who wants to marry his girlfriend Elizabeth. But he refuses to do so until he can financially support her. With this in mind he leaves England for the high seas. To his chagrin Elizabeth has snuck on board as well. During a storm Gulliver is washed overboard and comes to on the shores of a country called Lilliput.

This may not seem odd except that the people of Lilliput stand about 6 inches tall compared to Gulliver. Mistaking him for an enemy they tie him down to the beach. He soon wins their favor and in return for help building a boat aids them when he can. But problems arise when they want him to defeat their enemies, the inhabitants of Blefuscu. It seems the two islands are at war over which end of an egg should be broken before it is eaten, the small or large end. Gulliver tows away the navy of Blefuscu thinking that will end things but the Lilliputian king wants them destroyed. Before leaving Gulliver must find a way to bring peace to the two countries.

He does eventually leave and ends up washed ashore once again, this time on the island of Brobdingnag. This time the reverse is true, Gulliver is now 6 inches tall compared to the inhabitants here. Fortunately Elizabeth was stranded here and the pair are reunited. But an envious court alchemist warns the king that Gulliver must be a witch. Gulliver is pitted in battle against a crocodile that seems giant to him. Their idyllic life threatened Gulliver and Elizabeth must find a way off the island before they are tossed aside or killed for witchcraft.

In watching the film the story of Gulliver as told in the novel is obviously too intricate to bring forth from the written word to the screen. The subtle nuance of the story is lost in the over the top production values given the costuming and acting among the characters of both islands. It just doesn’t work. Kerwin Matthews who had appeared in the earlier Harryhausen film THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD seems more bored than anything here.

But the most disappointing thing is the special effects used here. I realize that CGI was far in the future when this film was made but the matting process used makes one image seem slightly soft and out of focus while the other is clear. And the most loved thing that Harryhausen did, the stop motion animation of his films, is used sparingly here with just a short sequence of a squirrel that wanders off with Gulliver and the aforementioned crocodile.

In reading the background on the film in the enclosed booklet the reason for these problems is apparent. Columbia had been working on the film prior to Harryhausen and his team being brought in rather than this being a project he worked on start to finish. It may not have been a case of his heart not being completely in it but the difference between this film and those classics he left behind is obvious.

The best part of this package from Twilight Time is the extras, something they don’t normally include much of. This time around we get an isolated score and effects track, an audio commentary track featuring film historians Randall Cook, C. Courtney Joyner and Steven C. Smith, THE MAKING OF THE 3 WORLDS OF GULLIVER short, THE HARRYHAUSEN CHRONICLES a short documentary on Harryhausen, THIS IS DYNAMATION! a short describing the process of stop motion animation Harryhausen used and the original theatrical trailer. The quality of the picture here is the usual top notch for any and all Twilight Time releases and once again is limited to just 3,000 copies. If you must have every Harryhausen film in your collection then you should make sure one of those copies is yours.

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