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Moonfleet Blu-ray Review

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“Moonfleet” is minor Fritz Lang.

No, “Moonfleet” is not a sci-fi space opera. Instead, it’s a 1757 set drama based on the novel by J. Meade Falkner. The story concerns a young boy (John) who ventures to the town of Moonfleet after his mother passes away. He’s searching for a former acquaintance of his mother’s- a wealthy gentleman by the name of Jeremy who will allegedly take care of him. The shady Jeremy seems uninterested in doing so initially, but he eventually grows fond of the child. While I won’t go too far into spoiler territory, I will say the bulk of the plot involves smuggling, a buried diamond, and Jeremy getting in trouble for illegal deeds.

1955’s “Moonfleet” sounds exciting on paper, but it’s certainly lacking in excitement in the finished product. Both the original story and this rather obscure Fritz Lang directed film version feel like a “Treasure Island” wannabe in terms of story structure, plot and setting. In fact, you’re better off watching 1950’s “Treasure Island” movie or reading the novel overall. The problem with “Moonfleet” is that it’s sluggish, clunky and bogged down by dry character and family drama. Only in the end does the movie come alive with the treasure and “on the run” story elements, but by then it’s too late.

“Moonfleet” is, however, anchored by two stellar performances from Stewart Granger and the always reliable George Sanders. Stewart Granger in particular carries the movie on his back as the cocky, pompous, and promiscuous Jeremy who lives on the edge. Granger has such a great screen presence and does everything in his power to elevate the movie as much as humanly possible.

Other highlights here include a memorable Miklos Rozsa score, fantastic location shooting and wonderful production values (the sets and costumes are first rate).

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.55:1 1080p. How does it look? Presented in Cinemascope and Eastman Color, this hi-def transfer offers up rich colors but it’s a bit too fuzzy for my liking.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A soft but adequate enough 2.0 track.

The lone extra is a “Moonfleet” trailer.

September 16, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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