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Prisoner: I am not a number, I am a free man!

Barry

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Prisoner: I am not a number, I am a free man!
« on: April 10, 2019, 08:57:06 AM »
  Alright, it is ten years old but it is still current.  Well, maybe it is fifty years old, but it is still current.  And that surprises me.
 
Ten years ago the 1968 TV mini-Series the Prisoner was released on Blu-Ray. This was great and unusual show, produced in England and shown over the summer on CBS.. In the era before mini-series, this was a mini-series. There was a beginning, middle and end.  And the end was ambiguous. Soon other features would have vague endings, 2001, Silent Running, Apocoplse Now and the Viet Nam war.
 
If you haven’t seen it, the Prisoner was part political, part sci-fi, part spy thriller, and part action and adventure. It stared Patrick McGoohan as a government agent who resigns from his job.  He is kidnapped and placed in The Village. Where? We don’t know. Who runs it? We don’t know.  What’s it all about? We don’t know. How do I fully explain this show to someone who has never seen it? I don’t know. This was an unique and original show.
 
The trick to enjoying the Prisoner, I found, is to realize that it asks many questions about our politics, or society and even the cold war.  While it asks those questions, it never answers them.  And that is the secret of it’s success and why it is relevant today.  VERY RELEVANT. We have those same issues, maybe with different answers. McGoohan played John Drake, in TV’s Secret Agent/Danger Man. He is NOT that character here, but they play around with that idea.
 
A great, thoughtful example is an episode entitled, “The General.”  It really asks is memorization learning.  We memorize facts in schools, but do we understand them and what they mean.  Or is it just memorizing without really learning?
 
I first saw this show on a 12 inch black and white TV. They only showed 15 or the 17 episodes.  All are here.  To see it, fully detailed and in color on blu-ray is fantastic. I loved the music and that is presented in a new 5.1 surround sound. There are lots of new features and reedits of “Arrival” and “Chimes of Big Ben.”
 
Seriously, when I am frustrated by our government, as I am now, this is the perfect show to watch.
 
One last thing: In a revealing interview with a Canadian Public broadcasting station, McGoohan said that one of the messages of the show is that technology is moving too quickly for us to adapt.  This would be the theme of 1970’s Future Shock.


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Re: Prisoner: I am not a number, I am a free man!
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2019, 09:13:19 AM »
Looks interesting Barry. Thanks for the review. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

tripplej

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Re: Prisoner: I am not a number, I am a free man!
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2019, 10:18:16 AM »
I saw this series in syndication when I was a kid and loved it.
This series along with the original Twilight Zone captivated me when I was a kid.

I will have to get this one on blu ray.

Just a great series and as Barry says, the thought that went into making this series is amazing.

Just fyi for those interested, if you have amazon prime, it is there for viewing for free.

See link here.
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Re: Prisoner: I am not a number, I am a free man!
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2019, 10:43:36 AM »
Thanks JJJ....I'll just stream it (After Game of Thrones, Season 8 is done, of course).  I've been binge watching GOT the past couple of weeks. Watched Season 7 first, now at the end of Season 2 (will finish that tonight). Definitely won't finish them all by Sunday night, but will continue to watch them while Season 8 proceeds. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

tripplej

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Re: Prisoner: I am not a number, I am a free man!
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2019, 11:28:03 AM »
It is all about the priorities, David!

lol

Let us know what you think of "The Prisoner" once you get a chance to check it out via Amazon prime Video.

Take into consideration when it was made when doing your review. :)
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tripplej

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Re: Prisoner: I am not a number, I am a free man!
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2019, 11:31:31 AM »
Barry,



On Amazon prime, there is another film called "the hard way" staring  Patrick McGoohan which was made in 1979.



Also, "danger man" is also there on amazon primve staring Patrick McGoohan which was made in 1961.



I do like Patrick McGoohan so will want to check these other films since he did an outstanding job in "The Prisoner".

Have you seen both or either of them?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 11:35:47 AM by tripplej »
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Barry

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Re: Prisoner: I am not a number, I am a free man!
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2019, 12:38:36 PM »
I have the DVD set of the 30 minute Danger Man, which was released before the Bond movies.  Drake plays an agent of NATO and many of the Bond stars and gadgets are here.  It was on for two years and was cancelled. When Bond became popular it was brought back as a 60 minute show, Secret Agent.

I also enjoyed himin Ice Station Zebra, a dated but fun movie at the time. And he was the murderer on Columbo a few times!  But I haven't seen The Hard Way, but I will check it out. Thanks!

OH DAvid, this was made before binge watching, but made FOR binge watching.  Once you start, well, it's like Lay's potato chips, you can't have just one.
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tripplej

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Re: Prisoner: I am not a number, I am a free man!
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2019, 01:23:59 PM »
Thanks Barry.

I put the link above for amazon prime for "the hard way"for you to easily get to. :)

And I agree with Barry, once you start "The Prisoner", it is binge worthy.
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Barry

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Re: Prisoner: I am not a number, I am a free man!
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2019, 01:32:49 PM »
Thanks!  I am definitely watching The Hard Way this week!
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tripplej

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Re: Prisoner: I am not a number, I am a free man!
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2019, 02:13:51 PM »
Look forward to your review. :)
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Barry

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Re: Prisoner: I am not a number, I am a free man!
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2019, 11:06:25 AM »
 I saw the movie late last night., the Yankees were losing badly.
 
It surprised me that in 1979 this was NOT a wide screen movie. It was paced so different from other movies of that era, it moved along with little dialogue at a deliberate speed and you had to pay attention. McGoogan was very understated and very effective  in the role. I enjoyed the movie, but it is definitely a 1970s movie.
 
But remind me not to seek full time employment as a hit man.  They may get paid well but I don’t think they get health benefits, not even for their families. Of course they also don’t get a pension, not that they ever seem to live long enough to collect one.


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tripplej

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Re: Prisoner: I am not a number, I am a free man!
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2019, 12:06:19 PM »
Thanks for checking it out Barry. I will watch it later once I have more free time. I like the actor ever since I saw him in The Prisoner. :)
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