Blu-ray Review: THE NEW CENTURIONS

THE NEW CENTURIONS was directed by Richard Fleischer from a screenplay by Stirling Silliphant and stars George C. Scott, Stacy Keach, Jane Alexander, Scott Wilson, Rosalind Cash, Erik Estrada and Clifton James. The score is by Quincy Jones.

The estimable Richard Fleischer (Fantastic Voyage, The Boston Strangler) directs Stirling Silliphant’s adaptation of Joseph Wambaugh’s compulsive bestseller, The New Centurions, focusing on a group of rookie cops who make their way from the LAPD police academy to the city’s very mean streets. George C. Scott stars as a wise but embittered veteran along with Stacy Keach, Scott Wilson, Jane Alexander, and Rosalind Cash.

This 1972 cop drama follows Roy Fehler (Stacy Keach), Gus Plebesly (Scott Wilson) and Sergio Duran (Erik Estrada), three rookies who are fresh out of the police academy that get assigned to an east Los Angeles precinct. The main focus stays on Roy (Stacy Keach), who gets partnered up with the veteran cop Andy Kilvinsky (George C. Scott) who is actually getting ready to retire from the force. Kilvinsky not only shows the young policeman the ropes in the dirty streets of Los Angeles but he also ends up being a wise mentor and hero for the young man. Roy learns how certain situations are handled differently from one another depending on who they’re dealing with because some of their arrests are repeat offenders but harmless in nature while others can get extremely dangerous and potentially deadly

There’s a similarity and kinship between the veteran officer and the rookie as far as their jobs go but their personal lives start out completely different. Being dedicated to law enforcement can put a strain on family life and Roy finds this out first hand with his wife. There’s a lot of stress that’s introduced to Roy’s personal life so his job becomes sort of an escape for him but there’s also Lorrie (Rosalind Cash), a nurse who becomes a loyal ally. Kilvinsky on the other hand is married and dedicated to the police force but in the end we get to see him regret some of the choices he’s made in life and it comes with a tragic ending for the likable old man. In the end, Roy was able to take in all the wisdom that the veteran cop shared with him and ultimately starts on the same lonely path that Kilvinsky was on.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, an image, a few quotes, and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inside is a booklet from Twilight Time that includes more images from the movie, some nice words about The New Centurions by Julie Kirgo and more original artwork on the front and back. You can see the front cover of the booklet down below. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any serious issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is,  The New Centurions ended up being an extremely entertaining cop drama that kind of shows a different side of being in law enforcement and how it can affect one’s personal life in a negative while they keep it all hidden from their peers. I liked the story and the cast did a great job with their characters. This relationship between the rookie and his mentor was the driving force of the movie while Stacy Keach and George C. Scott shared the spotlight as these two completely different men who ended up being very similar by the end of the movie. Richard Fleischer delivered some fan favorite classics during his long career in filmmaking and The New Centurions helped pave the way for other character driven cop dramas that would eventually follow. This movie is more story and character driven but there’s also some violence and intense nature that goes along with it and the end result is a well executed police story. The New Centurions is now available on Blu-ray and has a limited edition run of 3,000 units.

Distributor: Twilight Time

Run Time: 103 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1) / Region Free

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 (2.0 on some players)

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include Twilight Time’s isolated music track, two audio commentaries and the original theatrical trailer.

  • Isolated Music Track
  • Audio Commentary with Actor Scott Wilson and Film Historian Nick Redman
  • Audio Commentary with Film Historians Lee Pfeiffer and Paul Scrabo
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

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