Warning Shot

Warning Shot (1966)
Paramount Home Video
Cast: David Janssen, Ed Begley, Joan Collins, Stefanie Powers

Being the sucker for crime/mystery movies that I am, I quickly checked out "Warning Shot" when it arrived on DVD in our offices, eager to learn more about this thriller starring David Janssen that I had not seen before.

During a stake-out, Sgt. Tom Valens (David Janssen) shoots and kills a suspected serial killer. As it turns out the man he shot was a local doctor, however, and not the serial killer in question. But why then did he act so suspiciously and tried to fell when he was challenged by the police officer?

Suspended and with a case of police brutality stuck to his sleeve now, Valens tries desperately to find out the truth and to prove that the good doctor was anything but a good doctor. But where to start?

The film starts out well and makes great pace for the first act, then slows down considerably however, only to come back nicely during the last third. It is a classic crime thriller with a fairly formulaic approach and the best thing it has going for itself are the plot twists. Every time Valens is of the conviction he has found the answer, he is proven wrong and has to start all over again. The final resolution of the film is a bit flawed, though, and doesn't make sense. Maybe screenwriter Mann Rubin ran out of any more sensible plot twists and settled for a finale that does leave a few questions unanswered.

Paramount has prepared a great-looking transfer for this 1966 movie. Free of defects and blemishes the image is always clear and holds a good level of detail. Skin tones are naturally rendered and the overall color balance is nice and pleasant without over saturation or color bleeding. Shadows are deep and the transfer is free of artifacts from edge-enhancement. The compression is equally good, making for a great viewing.

The audio on the release is the original mono language track in English. With a limited frequency response it dates the film somewhat but at the same time nicely complements the image, which is equally "vintage." Dialogues are well integrated and always understandable and distortion is at a minimum throughout, making sure Jerry Goldsmith's great score is coming through with all its details and crescendi.

No extras are included in this release, which doesn't surprise as the DVD's retail price is a mere $14.95.

"Warning Shot" is another nice low-price DVD from Paramount that is of great quality nonetheless. The film is engaging and captivating, making for a great 99 minutes of entertainment.