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6 Degrees Entertainment

'The Ceremony'
(Laurence Harvey, Sarah Miles, Robert Walker Jr., John Ireland, Ross Martin, et al / DVD / NR / 2011 / MGM)

Overview: The brother of a man sentenced for committing murder during a bank robbery plans his brother's escape on the condition his brother's girl dates him instead.

DVD Verdict: If you didn't know this was a Spain/US production, you'd think it was a timeless fable: there are so few localized contexts. The supporting actors delineate themselves sharply, but Laurence Harvey steals the show, as always, with his intensity (check out his work in Tamiko, a neurotic romance set in Japan), and compounds this by directing with intensity: the camera is always zooming into people's faces from above, below, and sideways.

It's dizzying. That said, the movie's worth seeing. Indeed, when I saw this in the sixties it really made me realize the breadth of acting ability of Ross Martin. I had only seen him in roles of the comedic sidekick prior to this role. His believability as the evil commandant was astounding.

All praise to early 60's B&W films and how Warner Bros./MGM have brought them back to life in these new Collections. This is a Full Screen presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.