Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 6th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: UK / West Germany, 1974
Director: Ken Hughes
Writers: Barry Levinson, Jonathan Lynn
Cast: James Coburn, Lee Grant, Harry Andrews, Ian Hendry, Michael Jayston, Christiane Krüger, Keenan Wynn
DVD released: February 23rd, 2010
Approximate running time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: A economics professor is about to be appointed to a influential position working with the president of the United States of America. Not wanting anyone or anything to derail him. Before he is formally appointed to the position. He devices an intricate plan to eliminate four people who know too much about him.
The Internecine Project was directed by Ken Hughes (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). He also co-directed the 1967 version of Casino Royale. The screenplay for The Internecine Project was co-written by Jonathan Lynn, who would makes the transition later in his career to director. Some of his more notable films as a director include Clue, My Cousin Vinny and Greedy. The cinematographer on The Internecine Project was Geoffrey Unsworth, whose diverse filmography includes films like Becket, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Goodbye Gemini, Cabaret, Zardoz, Royal Flash, Superman, Superman II and Tess. The extremely effective score for The Internecine Project was composed by Roy Budd (Get Carter).
At the core of the plot is a story about government corruption. The plot is quickly laid out. The film kicks into high gear once the film gets to the section where the professor who has concocted a way to eliminate four people who know too much him. The film’s standout moment is a when a woman is murdered in the shower. This scene has an underlying sadistic tone to it that is driven home by the killers’ acknowledged hatred for women. The one area where this film excels the most is its exceptional cast, especially James Coburn who spends the bulk of his performance in one room, sitting at a desk. If any area where this film suffers. It does feel dated. Ultimately The Internecine Project is a riveting thriller that does a superb job building tension to a fever pitch by time the film’s reaches its unforgettable conclusion.
Scorpion Releasing presents The Internecine Project in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s original aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. There is print debris that varies in degree throughout, with it being very mild the majority of the time it appears. Colors, flesh tones and black levels all fare well throughout. There are no problems with compression and details generally look crisp throughout.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. The audio is in good shape with dialog always clear and there are no problems with background noise or any other audio defects.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minutes 42 second – anamorphic widescreen), a seven minute audio interview with James Coburn’s daughter Lisa and a interview with actress Lee Grant (2 minutes 43 second – 1.33:1 ‘full frame’ aspect ratio). The audio interview with Lisa Coburn and Lee Grant offer up a few interesting stories and insights about this project. The main extra included with this release is an interview with screenwriter Jonathan Lynn titled “Decoding the Project: a Conversation with Jonathan Lynn” (29 minutes 16 second – anamorphic widescreen). Topics discussed include writing the screenplay, director Ken Hughes, changes to the screenplay he wrote, Mort W. Elkind novel “Internecine” which the screenplay was based on, the cast, other projects that he worked on like Clue, a re-make of Alfred Hitchcock’s Suspicion, Breaking Glass and Wild Target, thoughts on updating / remaking The Internecine Project and being type cast as a comedy writer / director. Rounding out the extras are trailers for Voyager, The Last Grenade, Power Play, The Farmer, The Girl in Blue, Say Hello to Yesterday, Skateboard, Silent Scream and Goodbye Gemini. Overall The Internecine Project gets a strong DVD release from Scorpion Releasing that is highlighted by the by the informative and insightful interview with screenwriter Jonathan Lynn.