Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 24th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: UK, 1980
Director: David Wickes
Writers: Michael Billington, David Wickes
Cast: David Essex, Beau Bridges, Cristina Raines, Clarke Peters, Harry H. Corbett, Diane Keen, Lee Montague, Sheila White, Patrick Ryecart
DVD released: November 23rd, 2010
Approximate running time: 111 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis:A down on his luck motorcycle racer is given a second chance. When he inherits a prototype bike that his recently deceased brother was working on.Silver Dream Racer was directed by David Wickes, a filmmaker who primarily worked on television productions. The cinematographer on Silver Dream Racer was Paul Beeson, who’s other notable credits include Die, Monster, Die!, Moon Zero Two, Crescendo and Star Crash. The score for the film was composed by its star David Essex a British pop star, who is most known for song’s like ‘Rock On’ and ‘Gonna Make You a Star’. When this film was originally released in the U.S., the original bleak ending was altered to a more upbeat conclusion.
Content wise this film follows your basic set up that has become all too common with sports themed films. A down on their luck character, who overcomes great odds on the way to the top. Also the plot has the obligatory love interest, who aides the protagonist in their quest in becoming the best and the all to familiar rival character, who not only competes with the protagonist on the race track. They are both drawn to the same woman. Rounding out this cast of characters is a wise cracking sidekick, who gives this film its comic relief.
Even though this film puts its best foot forward. When it comes to the characters that populate this film. The cliched story and stereotypical characters make it difficult to connect with the majority of the characters. To this film’s credit there is a good balance between more character driven moments and motorcycle racing sequences. The one area where this film most excels are the motorcycle racing sequences. And for the most part they are pulled off rather well. Of course there are a few cringe worthy rear projection shots that just stand out.
A lot of the film rides on the shoulders of its lead actor David Essex (Stardust). Who thankfully gives a well rounded performance that draws you in and makes the film’s bleak ending all the more impactful. Another performance of note is Beau Bridges (Norma Rae), in the role of a rival racer. He makes a formidable foe for David Essex’s character Nick Freeman.
Scorpion Releasing presents Silver Dream Racer in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 scope aspect ratio. This is a strong looking transfer that has nicely saturated colors and details look sharp throughout. There are no problems with compression or edge enhancement and the image remains stable throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. The audio sounds clean, clear and balanced throughout. With the scenes involving racing benefiting most from this audio mix.
Extras for this release include the alternate U.S. ending (4 minutes 27 seconds – anamorphic widescreen). Overall Silver Dream Racer gets a well rounded audio / video presentation from Scorpion Releasing.