10/25/2014  
Zombie Hood VOD & Limited Edition DVD Oct 21An Evergreen Christmas on DVD Nov 4Good People on DVD & Blu-ray Oct 28Beethoven's Treasure Tail on DVD & Blu-ray Oct 28Plastic on DVD Oct 28Dear Secret Santa on DVD Nov 4The Girl Hunters (Limited Edition) on DVD & Blu-ray Oct 21

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Cream bassist Jack Bruce dies...
Zombie Hood VOD & Limited Edition DVD Oct 21...
An Evergreen Christmas on DVD Nov 4...
'Birdman': Inarritu's fine showbiz satire of ex-superhe...
Good People on DVD & Blu-ray Oct 28...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

RR Rich Rosell

LES VAMPIRES (BLU-RAY)...
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE (BLU-RAY)...
EXORCISMUS...
THE DEVIL'S ROCK...
THE NESTING...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Lost Command (1966)

Countess de Clairefons: Raspeguy is a peasant. The army must resume its traditions. He should resign.
Esclavier: You might as well tell him to shoot himself. In the tradition.

- Michelle Morgan, Alain Delon

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: September 26, 2002

Stars: Anthony Quinn, Alain Delon, George Segal, Michele Morgan, Maurice Ronet, Claudia Cardinale
Other Stars: Gregoire Aslan, Jean Servais
Director: Mark Robson

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (war violence and atrocities, sensuality)
Run Time: 02h:09m:25s
Release Date: June 25, 2002
UPC: 043396077393
Genre: war


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C A-A-B D+

DVD Review

Coming to Lost Command without any previous knowledge, I was expecting a garden variety war film, with bonding under fire, personal honor, yadda yadda yadda. While there's some of that here (enough, no doubt to satisfy the diehard fans of the war genre clichés), the picture also contains an unexpected depth. In particular, with historic hindsight, it seems to offer a prescient view of America's global military interventions since the time the film was produced.

At the disastrous fall of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 Indochina, Lt. Col. Pierre Raspeguy (Anthony Quinn) holds his French troops together against brutal odds and through prison camp internment. Upon return to France on the armistice, he is relieved of command for failing to follow the orders of the inept General Melies (Jean Servais). But his romance with Countess de Clairefons (Michelle Morgan) and the reports of historian Capt. Esclavier (Alain Delon) get him a new command of a paratrooper regiment in Algeria. Once there, he finds himself under General Melies again, and must also face the devolution of his military tradition into being a tool of the local politicians. At the same time, he must come to terms with the fact one of his Indochina comrades, Lt. Mahidi (George Segal), is now the leader of the Algerian guerrillas fighting for independence.

Whether it was intentional at the time or not, the picture provides a picture of the military in transition, from trench battles in foreign lands to guerrilla warfare and political intrigue against enemies that often seem invisible and untraceable. The ability of the Algerian rebels to blend into the countryside and any small hole in the desert should sound familiar after the often-frustrated American campaign in Afghanistan. The stresses apparent under such difficulties make the discipline of command unravel at the seams, as is exemplified by Captain Boisfeuras (Maurice Ronet). He is a charming and roguish fellow, but in duress he is capable of brutality, torture and even massacre. One wonders if the Rahlem massacre depicted here was all that different from the circumstances that provoked My Lai a few years later in Vietnam. This is pure speculation, but if this film had been required viewing at the Pentagon in 1966, things might have gone differently in Vietnam.

The cast is adequate at best. Quinn basically does a one-note "tough guy with honor" routine. Never do we get an explanation as to why Raspeguy, a Basque peasant, is in the French military, or what motivates him. Segal is unrecognizable as Mahidi, but again his performance is fairly shallow; we don't see him struggle with his past with the men that he's killing, making one wonder why the point was made. Michelle Morgan is completely uninteresting, and the romance with Quinn is utterly perfunctory. It seems to be an "in the script" moment. Claudia Cardinale provides some sauciness as Mahidi's medical student sister-turned-prostitute under the chaos of the Algerian civil war, but she and Ronet seem to be the only members of the cast putting any effort at all into the proceedings. The battle sequences are well staged, but since they are mostly just anonymous extras getting gunned down they have little impact. Most of the style points come from the majestic score provided by maëstro Franz Waxman.

As a result, this film gets the unusual ranking (for me anyway) of a substance score much higher than the style grade. Not particularly accomplished, it nonetheless touches on some important issues and manages to provoke thought about the role of the military in the post-WWII era.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The anamorphic widescreen presentation looks extremely good. There's plenty of detail, with even the dark day-for-night sequences being quite legible. Color is naturalistic without being oversaturated. In short, it looks appropriate for a movie mostly about desert warfare. Occasional speckling is the only notable defect on the source print.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Although the audio is billed as Dolby Surround, there's practically nothing to be heard in the surrounds. The front soundstage is quite limited and suspiciously sounds like mono during most of the running time. Dialogue is clear and free of hiss and noise. Battle sounds are mediocre, without any chest-thumping bass as one has come to expect in modern films, but it was probably never there to begin with, so no points are lost on that score.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Guns of Navarone
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The sole extras are an anamorphic widescreen trailer for the main film and a nonanamorphic 2.35:1 trailer for The Guns of Navarone. Both are in somewhat speckled but decent condition. Chaptering is the standard 28 chapters used by Columbia.

Extras Grade: D+

 

Final Comments

Quinn and company rather stumble through the decline and fall of the French Empire, managing to anticipate many of the issues of the American military in the years since. Not particularly well done, Lost Command manages to satisfy the war buff as well as provide food for thought. The feature is supported by a nice new transfer, but little in the way of extras.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

music, cream, jack bruce, eric clapton, ginger baker, sunshine of your love, holiday, movie, birdman, michael keaton, edward norton, alejandro ganzalez inarritu, babel, 21 grams, biutiful, emma stone, zach galifianakis, comedy-drama, crime, thriller, celebrity, renee zellweger, kathie lee gifford, nicole wallace, surgery question, comedy, drama, foo fighters, wrigley field show, chicago, sonic highways, hbo series, movies, box office, mystery, documentary, fury, world war ii, brad pitt, logan lerman, shia lebeouf, jon bernthal, michael pena, war, warner bros, 10 super hero movies, jason mormoa, aquaman, ezra miller, the flash, batman v superman: dawn of justice, television, internet, cbs all access, $5.99, hbo, web-delivered television, oscars, neil patrick harris, host, the academy of motion pictures arts and sciences, tonys emmys, abc, elizabeth pena, mario-francisco robles, la bamba, down and out in beverly hills, blue steel, modern family, matador, out of the woods, good morning america, 1989, jack antonoff, bleachers, yamaha dx7, minimoog voyager, superhero, robert downey jr., captain america 3, marvel studios, chris evans, syfy, incorporated, matt damon, ben affleck, the middle man, american horror story, fifth season, fx, freak show, jessica lange, sarah paulson, american music awards 2014, iggy azalea, john legend, katy perry, pharrell williams, lorde, surveillance

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store