Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 13th, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: UK / USA, 1973
Director: Patrick McGoohan
Writer: Jack Good
Adpated From: William Shakespeare’s Othello
Cast: Richie Havens, Lance LeGault, Season Hubley, Tony Joe White, Susan Tyrrell
BluRay released: November 17th, 2015
Approximate running time: 96 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Etiquette Pictures
Region Coding: Region A / Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.98
Synsopsis: While visiting an isolated commune a traveling preacher named Othello falls in love with and marries a woman named Desdemona. This relationship does not sit well with Iago, the leader of commune. From there Iago sets in motion a devious plot to end their love affair and ruin the preachers’ reputation.
Catch My Soul first and only theatrical film directed by Patrick McGoohan who is most remembered for the British television series The Prisoner. Catch My Soul began a musical theatrical play that was co-authored and produced Jack Good. He was also produced and wrote the screenplay for the theatrical film adaption. Another key collaborator on Catch My Soul includes cinematographer Conrad L. Hall who’s other notable credits include, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, American Beauty and Road to Perdition.
When it comes to cinema adaptions one would be hard pressed to name an author that has had their literary works adapted more than William Shakespeare. And though these adaptations have been everything from faithful to modernized adaptions, it is safe to say that when it comes to a film like Catch MY Soul that it is in a category all its own.
Content wise, besides being a musical adaption of Shakespeare’s Othello, this film also goes for a modern day adaptions which sets the events which unfold during the summer of love 1967. Of course to go with the summer of love vibe the cast of characters which populate this adaptions are hippies.
With that being said, the musical side of this adaption takes some time to get used. And the sooner you embrace the music the smoother the narrative flows. Another area of this film that some viewers may find troubling is hearing Shakespeare’s words faithfully recited by hippies. Fortunately the core essence of Shakespeare’s Othello remains intact throughout this adaption.
From a production stand point the positives far outweigh the negatives. With this film’s most durable asset being its striking visuals which are filled with iconic religious imagery. With this film’s finale where Othello has his moment of truth being this film’s stand out moment. Ultimately this is not the type of film that you can’t just watch once and fully appreciate all of its nuances. It is the type of film that slowly grows on you and multiple viewings are required.
Catch My Soul comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. For this release a brand new 2k transfer has been created from the film’s original 35mm camera negative. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels look very good and details look crisp. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release has one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and removable English subtitles have also been included with this release. This audio mix sounds clean, clear, balanced and robust when it needs too.
Extras for this include, promotional still & artwork gallery, a trailer (1 minute 54 seconds), an interview with actor Tony Joe White titled ‘The Deacon Speaks’ (11 minutes 27 seconds), a featurette about cinematographer Conrad L. Hall titled ‘True Soul: The Work of Conrad L. Hall’ (8 minutes 5 seconds) and a ‘Making of’ featurette titled ‘Drink the Wine Eat the Bread: The Making of Catch My Soul’ (20 minutes 5 seconds).
Topics discussed in the extra titled ‘The Deacon Speaks’ include, how he was approached to do the background music for the film and how this eventually lead to him appearing the film, his thoughts on the cast and their performances, working with Conrad L. Hall and why the film had a very limited release theatrically.
The extra titled ‘True Soul: The Work of Conrad L. Hall’ is an interview with Conrad L. Hall’s daughter Naia Hall. Topics discussed in this extra include, how her dad loved shooting in darkness, how he had a strong sense of self, how her dad never spoke of Catch My Soul and how she was impressed by it when she had a chance to see it recently, his friendship with cinematographer Haskell Wexler, how he believed that cinema at its core is all about collaborations and her thoughts on his legacy as a cinematographer.
Topics discussed in the extra titled ‘Drink the Wine Eat the Bread: The Making of Catch My Soul’ include.
Executive producer Charles Fries: how he made the transition from making content for television to making theatrical films, how he first became aware of Catch My Soul when he saw during its original run as a stage play in London, how the film came together quickly, collaborating with Jack Good and why Patrick McGoohan replaced him as this film’s director, this film’s limited theatrical run was due to the religious content in the film and how New Line Cinema’s Bob Shaye go the producers to allow his to release the film in an altered state under the title Santa Fe Satan.
Associate producer Huw Davies: the main location for the film was Santa Fe, casting, how the production at one point fell behind, Patrick McGoohan’s role as the director, Conrad L. Hall’s role in as the cinematographer and his thoughts on the final product.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible covert option and a twenty eight page booklet with a lengthy essay about the film titled ‘Wizardry, Bliss & Pain: The Long Awaited Arrival of Catch My Soul on Home Video’ written by Tom Mayer. Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo release. Overall another extraordinary release from Etiquette Pictures, who continue to recuse from films from obscurity and give them their home video presentations, highly recommend.