Obsession (1976) (Collector’s Edition) (Blu-ray Review)
DIRECTED BY: J. Lee Thompson
STARRING: Brian De Palma
RATED: PG/REGION A/2:35/1080P/NUMBER OF DISCS 1
AVAILABLE FROM Scream Factory
A tenth wedding anniversary celebration ends tragically when Michael Courtland (Cliff Robertson, Charly) discovers that his wife (Geneviève Bujold, Dead Ringers) and nine-year-old daughter have been kidnapped. When an attempt to thwart the captors goes awry, Courtland’s wife and daughter are never recovered. Several years later while vacationing in Florence, Courtland falls in love with a young woman who is an exact double of his dead wife. On the eve of their wedding, the woman disappears and Courtland finds a ransom note … a duplicate of the one found several years earlier.
I consider myself to be a rather big fan of one Brian De Palma, but Obsession might just be a movie of his I’m a little torn on. It is a strange movie at the core of it. One about a man who loses his family in a kidnapping gone wrong only to find a woman years later that looks just like his dead wife (played by the same actor). Then comes some twists and turns along with a twist ending and some other rather questionable stuff. I think the biggest issue with this one could be how slow the movie is. It never does seem to get in a hurry and I think that slower pace hurts this one because the story just isn’t strong enough to keep you hanging on with your undivided attention. All in all, it might be a bit of an odd choice for a Scream Factory release when you have stuff like Shout Select, but I guess its here to just join the ranks of other De Palma movies they’ve released.
I think maybe Obsession has some missteps when it comes to some of the castings as well. While I’d say leading lady Geneviève Bujold does a fine job, if even maybe she does oversell the whole thing a bit. Our leading man, Cliff Robertson seems to have the emotions of two weeks past the expiration date pack of stale bread. That could be another big issue holding this one back, but still, I’d say the twist is an interesting one if nothing else. The movie still looks nice and we have a cool audio commentary that holds lots of nice information but outside of that, I’m not too sure everyone will be digging this one.
– NEW audio commentary with Douglas Keesey, author of Brian De Palma’s Split-Screen: A Life in Film
– NEW Producing Obsession – an interview with producer George Litto
– NEW Editing Obsession – an interview with editor Paul Hirsh
– Obsession Revised – vintage featurette featuring interviews with director Brian De Palma, Cliff Robertson and Genevieve Bujold
– Theatrical Trailer
– Radio Spots
– Still Gallery
– Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature
Quality of Transfer: 90%