Movie Review: OBSESSION (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

OBSESSION was directed by Brian De Palma from a story he co-wrote with Paul Schrader and stars Cliff Robertson, Geneviève Bujold and John Lithgow. The score is by Bernard Herrmann.

A tenth wedding anniversary celebration ends tragically when Michael Courtland (Cliff Robertson) discovers that his wife (Geneviève Bujold) and nine-year-old daughter have been kidnapped. When an attempt to thwart the captors goes awry, Courtland’s wife and daughter are never recovered. Several years later while vacationing in Florence, Courtland falls in love with a young woman who is an exact double of his dead wife. On the eve of their wedding, the woman disappears and Courtland finds a ransom note … a duplicate of the one found several years earlier.

This Hitchcockian-style mystery thriller follows Michael Courtland (Cliff Robertson) whose wife, Elizabeth (Geneviève Bujold), and their daughter, Amy (Wanda Blackman), end up getting kidnapped from their lavish home and held for ransom. Michael ends up paying the ransom with a rescue attempt set in place but nothing goes as planned and it ends up getting Elizabeth and Amy killed. Michael blames himself for their deaths and is left in a devastated and heartbroken state because he never really stops mourning the loss of his family.

Michael has had his business partner Robert Lasalle (John Lithgow) by his side and when the two travel to Italy he ends up meeting Sandra Portinari (Geneviève Bujold) who looks exactly like Elizabeth. The two instantly hit it off so Michael takes Sandra back home with him and as soon as they decide to marry, déjà vu strikes and Michael finds himself going through the same terrifying events that got Elizabeth and Amy killed. Sandra has been kidnapped with a ransom note left behind but just when it appears that Michael is losing it he’s able to connect the dots and discovers that he’s been betrayed. In the end, Michael is able to get his revenge on the guilty party as well as finally find some self-forgiveness.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/0-card. The front features the all-new artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some classic artwork and movie credits so you have your pick of which side you’d like to use for the front cover. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release and were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio. 

Bottom line is, Obsession is one of those movies you might have to watch more than once to get the full impact. With that being said, this 1976 thriller isn’t one of De Palma’s better films by any means and it has kind of a yuck factor going for it with the whole father-daughter thing. I won’t go into detail but it’s there in full detail. Anyway, the story was interesting and it does have a few twists but the movie itself is an extreme slow burn that’s full of lies and deceit but thankfully it has some much needed redemption and forgiveness at the end. The cast did a good job with their characters with the standout being Geneviève Bujold who delivered a very complex role. Obsession was an okay watch that does feature some controversial content and it might not be for everybody – so just be warned. Obsession will be available on a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on January 15th.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 98 Minutes

Rated: PG

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Defintiion Widescreen (2.35:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 1.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include a new audio commentary track, two new interviews, a vintage featurette that also includes interviews, the theatrical trailer, five TV spots and a still gallery.

  • NEW audio commentary with author Douglas Keesey (Brian De Palma’s Split-Screen: A Life in Film)
  • NEW Producing Obsession – an interview with producer George Litto (26:19)
  • NEW Editing Obsession – an interview with editor Paul Hirsh (20:30)
  • Obsession Revised – vintage featurette featuring interviews with director Brian De Palma, Cliff Robertson and Genevieve Bujold (37:31)
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:35)
  • Radio Spots (00:59)
  • Still Gallery (06:17)
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