Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 14th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: UK, 1971
Director: Ralph Thomas
Writer: Terence Feely
Cast: Joan Collins, Tom Bell, Denholm Elliott, Laurence Naismith
DVD released: February 22nd, 2011
Approximate running time: 91 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: When a scientific experiment goes awry. A scientist finds himself in a parallel reality that slightly resembles his own reality. Bewildered at first, he soldiers on when he develops feelings for a woman in this parallel reality. Unfortunately this new found love affair is running on borrowed time. The woman he has fallen madly in love with. Has a heart condition. That eventually takes her life. Not wanting to give up his chance at happiness. The scientist is determined to return to his own reality and find this woman there.
Quest For Love was directed by Ralph Thomas, who is most known for his adaptations of author Simon Sparrow’s series of ‘Doctor’ novels. Many of these films featured actor Dirk Bogarde (Death in Venice, The Night Porter) in the lead role. Terence Feely’s screenplay for the film was adapted from John Wyndham’s short story ‘Random Quest’. Other notable adaptations of John Wyndham include The Day of the Triffids and Village of the Dammed, from his novel ‘The Midwich Cuckoos’. Quest For Love’s overly romantic score was composed by Eric Rogers, who is known most for his collaborations for the Carry On film series.
The two most enduring assets this film has are it’s interesting premise and how the film puts the viewer in the protagonists frame of mind. Unfortunately there are few areas in which this film does not gel. Most notably it’s inability to decided whether it wants to be a Sci-Fi film or a romantic drama. And while combining these two genres may seem like an unlikely pair. It is not so much the melding of these two distinctively different genres that does not work. It is the way in which they are presented that they end up clashing with each other. Pretty much once the film shifts towards the more romantic aspects of the plot. The Sci-Fi elements get barred in the melodrama. Making it difficult to connect with the Sci-Fi aspects of the plot when they do re-emerge intermittently throughout the film.
From a production stand point this film is well put together. The cinematography suites the story at hand and the pacing gives the evolving love story enough room to bloom. Performance the cast are all more than adequate in their respective roles. With the standout performance coming from Joan Collins (Tales From the Crypt) in the dual role of the protagonists love interest Ottilie / Tracy Fletcher. Like many I was most familiar with Joan Collins for the bitchy characters that she had come to personify later in her career. It was refreshing seeing her in a role. That contrasted the type of roles that I had predominantly associated her with. Out of the Joan Collins film / T.V. roles that I have seen. The one that most resembles her performance in Quest For Love. Would be her appearance in the T.V. series Star Trek for the episode ‘The City on the Edge of Forever’. On the other hand. I was underwhelmed by Tom Bell’s (Royal Flash) performance in the role of Colin Trafford, the film’s protagonist. Overall Quest For Love is a feature film that plays out like an episode of The Twilight Zone.
Scorpion Releasing presents Quest For Love in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. The opening credits look like they have been sourced from a lesser quality source. The remainder of the film’s transfer fares much better. Colors and flesh tones look accurate. Even though details generally look crisp. There are several instances where the image looks overly soft. There are no problems with compression. And edge enhancement varies in degree throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. The audio tends to sound flat. Dialog is clear enough to follow. And the only part of the audio mix that sounds remotely robust. Is the film’s score.
Extras for this are limited to the following trailers, Voyager, Were the Boys Are, Changes, Say Hello to Yesterday, The Girl in Blue, Sweet William and Nothing But the Night. Overall Quest For Love gets a good audio / video presentation from Scorpion Releasing.