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Last Grenade, The 
Written by: on February 5th, 2010

Theatrical Release Date: UK, 1970
Director: Gordon Flemyng
Writers: Kenneth Ware, James Mitchell, John Sherlock
Cast: Stanley Baker, Alex Cord, Honor Blackman, Richard Attenborough, Rafer Johnson, Andrew Keir, Ray Brooks, Julian Glover, John Thaw

DVD released: February 23rd, 2010
Approximate running time: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95

Synopsis: A group of former soldiers are given the task of taking down a renegade solider who once served with them.

The screenplay for The Last Grenade was adapted from John Sherlock’s novel “The Ordeal of Major Grigsby”. The cinematographer The Last Grenade was Alan Hume and his diverse filmography includes film’s like The Kiss of the Vampire, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors, Not Now Darling, The Legend of Hell House, Games Girls Play, Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, Supergirl, a trio of James Bond films (For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill) and The Avengers T.V. series. The score for The Last Grenade was composed by John Dankworth who is most remembered for composing the theme for The Avengers T.V. series. Some of his notable film scores include Darling, Fathom and a quartet of film’s directed by Joseph Losey (Modesty Blaise, The Criminal, The Servant, Accident).

The film’s opening sequence, an ambush that lays the foundation for everything that follows. Sets the bar high early on. Unfortunately after this scene, the film quickly loses is way as it tries to make its mind up if it is going to be a melodrama or a exploitation film. Just about the only area in which this film works is it action set pieces like the aforementioned opening ambush and a scene where a dead man’s corpse is booby trapped with explosives. The film’s finale reveals the meaning behind the title of this film. One of the more unusual aspects of this film is a love affair that occurs between Major Harry Grigsby, the in charge of the group of soldiers hired to kill their former comrade and the wife of a General who Harry reports too.

The cast features several well known actors like Stanley Baker (Zulu), in the role of Major Harry Grigsby, Richard Attenborough (The Great Escape), in the role of General Charles Whiteley and Honor Blackman (Goldfinger, The Avengers), in the role of the General’s wife who falls in love with Harry. The film’s most satisfying  performance comes from Alex Cord (A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die), in the role of Kip Thompson the renegade solider behind the ambush which opens the film. Ultimately The Last Grenade is a mediocre film that quickly gets lost in its convoluted story.

The DVD:

Scorpion Releasing presents The Last Grenade in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. Outside of some minor instances of print damage. This is a strong looking transfers that has healthy looking flesh tones, black levels fare well, colors are nicely saturated and details look generally crisp throughout. There are no problems with compression and edge enhancement is kept in check.

This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. There is a mild (yet noticeable) hum / background noise that varies in degree throughout the mix. The audio while never dynamic is clear enough to understand dialog.

Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen – 2 minutes 41 seconds) and trailers for Voyager, Power Play, The Farmer and The Internecine Project. Overall The Last Grenade gets a well rounded audio / video presentation from Scorpion Releasing.

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