From Cinelicious Pics and Leslie Stevens (creator of the Outer Limits) comes Private Property, a tale that was lost for over 50 years. Thankfully with the help of UCLA Film and Television Archive restoration of the found elements could be restored by a 4k scan.
Warren Oats and Corey Allen star as Boots and Duke, two drifters with homicidal tendencies and their road trip across California. After threatening a gas station clerk over orange soda the pair hitch a ride with an appliance salesman to follow the car of a woman Boots was attracted to, hoping to get him a girlfriend. For a 1960’s low budget movie there is a great concept at work here. It’s a dark and interesting study of human nature, desire and the measures people go to get what they want.
The story itself is very simple and straightforward. It is the actors performances and the wonderful camera work by Ted McCord (Sound of Music, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, East of Eden) that makes this film interesting. There is so much emphasis put on body language and reading between the lines . This is basically a psychological thriller with elements of neo-noir sprinkled around. If you are a fan of either of those genres then you will find a lot to like here.
Audio and Visuals:
For being a low budget film over 50 years old, Private Property looks and sounds very nice. The restoration work is really well done. The film comes to us in the original aspect ratio of 1.67:1 on a 25 gig Blu-ray disc and a DVD. As I mentioned before the previously lost film elements were restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive and scanned in at 4k resolution. My opinion is that this restoration is the quality you would expect for a film from this era. The sharpness, clarity and black and white gradation are the best they have probably ever been.
As far as the audio goes there is only English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0. and English SDH subtitles are included. I did not notice any audio anomalies or hissing sounds in the background. The dialog came through clearly. Obviously this is not going to match up with a modern action film in using your surround sound but for the kind of film it is and the era it was released I don’t see how anyone could expect more than what is offered here. It’s a solid release.
*Note – this is a region free release!
18 minute video interview with Alexander Singer (still photographer/technical consultant for the film as well as early Kubrick) where he mentions the pleasure of working on the film, the techniques used and some of the themes presented.
U.S. Theatrical Trailer
Illustrated leaflet featuring the essay Ten Properties of Private Property from writer and film noir historian Don Malcolm.
Private Property Final Thoughts:
The ending sort of fizzles and the film itself is a little uneven and rough around the edges. With that being said I thoroughly enjoyed watching the film. I am so happy that companies like Cinelicious Pics are releasing these lost gems for us to watch and own in our collections. If you hate black and white movies this won’t change your opinion. However, if you have any interest in black and white film or psychological character studies then I do not hesitate to recommend this movie. You can pick it up here at Amazon.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.