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Lord Nicholas Dorset and his beautiful wife Britt live entirely beyond their means, while their timid bank manager Mr Graham has long envied his customers' wealth. Having devised an apparently foolproof plan to rob his own bank, Mr Graham decides that Nicholas and Britt's desperate financial situation makes them his ideal accomplices.
For more about Perfect Friday and the Perfect Friday Blu-ray release, see Perfect Friday Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on July 22, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Stanley Baker, Ursula Andress, David Warner, Patience Collier, T.P. McKenna, Joan Benham
Director: Peter Hall
» See full cast & crew
Perfect Friday Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, July 22, 2013
Peter Hall's "Perfect Friday" (1970) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Network. The supplemental features on the disc include an original German trailer for the film; collection of posters, VHS covers, production stills, and lobby cards; second feature soundtrack with alternate score; and press material PDF. In English, with optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
I can think of at least two directors that must have seen Peter Hall's Perfect Friday and felt inspired to direct similar films. The first is Stephen Frears whose stylish crime thriller The Grifters earned multiple Oscar nominations in 1991. In it a rather naive but ambitious con artist, his equally skilled mistress and his mother begin competing with each other while their lives slowly spin out of control. It is a wonderful, very entertaining film that many believe is Frears' best work. The second director is Spaniard Miguel Bardem. In 2004, Bardem directed the equally impressive crime thriller Incautos a.k.a Swindled about a young but very experienced con artist, an old-timer with a great legacy, and his ex-mistress who is dying to prove that she can be just as good as the man who once wanted to marry her.
In Perfect Friday there are also three characters that have something to prove. Mr. Graham (Stanley Baker, Accident, Lizard in a Woman's Skin) is a manager in a bank somewhere in London who is convinced that he has devised the perfect plan to get rich and retire in a foreign country with beautiful beaches. But to steal the money from the bank Mr. Graham needs two accomplices. This is where the stunningly beautiful Lady Britt Dorset (Ursula Andress, The 10th Victim, Red Sun) and her extravagant husband Lord Nicholas Dorset enter the picture. Both desperately need money to continue living beyond their means, but only Lady Dorset is brave enough to state the obvious. To see how good Lady Dorset's acting skills are, Mr. Graham allows her to convince him to give her a generous loan when she visits his office. Then he allows her to seduce him. Then he asks her to approach Lord Dorset and see if he would be willing to join them, without telling her that he has already spoken with Lord Dorset and requested that he does exactly the same thing – ask Lady Dorset if she would be interested in having a role in Mr. Graham's plan.
When the testing games are over, Mr. Graham, Lady Dorset and Lord Dorset begin preparing for their roles. The perfect robbery is to take place on a Friday.
Hall's film does not break any new boundaries, but there are some excellent twists in it that are timed very well. The exchanges between the three partners are also very entertaining. During the first half, in particular, where they test each other, there are some terrific one-liners.
The film's greatest strength, however, is its style. Hall and his team obviously had a small budget to work with, but the carefully chosen locations and simple camera movement give the film a very stylish retro look. Andress also looks delicious. The different outfits she wears are pure class. There are a couple of scenes where she can also be seen without them.
In addition to John Dankworth's original soundtrack, Network's Blu-ray release also features an alternate soundtrack. The original soundtrack has a contemporary '70s flavor which has plenty in common with the soundtrack Dankworth's composed for Joseph Losey's comedy Modesty Blaise. The alternate soundtrack uses wonderful chamber music. Surprisingly, both seem most appropriate for this film.
Perfect Friday was lensed by cinematographer Alan Hume (Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, Runaway Train).
Perfect Friday Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.66:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Peter Hall's Perfect Friday arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Network.
There are a couple of very small vertical lines (see screencapture #14) and a few tiny scratches that pop up here and there, but the overall quality of the high-definition transfer is very good. Detail and depth are very pleasing. The many close-ups as well as the few outdoor sequences look quite wonderful (see screencaptures #1 and 16). Contrast levels are also stable. Colors are stable and well saturated, never looking artificially boosted. Furthermore, there are no traces of problematic degraining corrections. Sharpening adjustments have not been performed either. Unsurprisingly, the film has a stable and very pleasing organic look. Lastly, there are no serious transition or stability issues. All in all, this is indeed a surprisingly strong presentation of Perfect Friday which makes viewing this film quite a pleasant experience. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
Perfect Friday Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray release: English/Original Feature Soundtrack LPCM 2.0 and English/Second Alternative Soundtrack LPCM 2.0. For the record, Network have provided optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature.
The two tracks appear to have been remastered as depth and clarity are very good. There is no heavy background hiss either. Dynamic intensity is fairly similar on both, but the music is very different. The original track has a contemporary '70s flavor, while the second track uses wonderful chamber music. Interestingly enough, both seem most appropriate. The dialog is clean, stable, and very easy to follow. Also, there are no audio dropouts or distortions to report in this review.
Perfect Friday Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Perfect Friday Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I sincerely hope that going forward British distributors Network will start bringing more of the films they license to Blu-ray. They always select very unique and usually very entertaining films that look great in high-definition. The latest addition to their Blu-ray catalog is Peter Hall's Perfect Friday, a simple but very sexy crime caper with a great cast. Fans of Ursula Andress should not miss this film because she really looks stunning in it. RECOMMENDED.
Perfect Friday Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Perfect Friday Blu-ray - March 1, 2013
British distributors NetworkDVD have revealed that they are planning to bring to Blu-ray director Peter Hall's Crime Comedy (1970), starring Ursula Andress, Stanley Baker, and David Warner. The preliminary release date set by the distributors is May 20th.
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