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PHOTOGRAPHY

DR SYN: THE SCARECROW OF ROMNEY MARSH (1964)
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 287 minutes (two disc set- three episodes on disc 1/ movie on disc 2), Leonard Maltin intros, Walt Disney TV intros in widescreen), two featurettes (DR. SYN: THE HISTORY OF THE LEGEND, WALT DISNEY: FROM BURBANK TO LONDON)
VIDEO: 1.66:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English

STUDIO: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: 11-11-2008

The Walt Disney Treasure series has something for everyone. Two years ago, they released a few episodes of SWAMP FOX and EL FEGO BACA. No they're releasing one of the most requested titles for the DISNEY TREASURES series- DR SYN: THE SCARECROW OF ROMNEY MARSH starring Patrick McGoohan. McGoohan is Dr. Syn- a vicar by day who helps the people of the small English village of Romney Marsh during the reign of King George (before the American Civil War). At night, Dr. Syn is the Scarecrow- a smuggler who brings in goods to allow the people to pay the king's taxes. The man responsible for the Scarecrow's capture is General Pugh. Stuck in the middle is Squire Banks (his daughter Katherine is in love with Lt. Brackenbury and his son John was taken away by the Naval press gangs to serve the Navy against his will).

DR. SYN aka THE SCARECROW OF ROMNEY MARSH was shown on the Disneyland TV series in 1964 while it was re-edited as feature film overseas as DR. SYN ALIAS THE SCARECROW. Patrick McGoohan was on the verge of becoming a star with his two most well known series- SECRET AGENT (aka DANGER MAN) and THE PRISONER. DR. SYN is an entertaining gripping adventure for the whole family. Filming in England using real locations and British actors adds a layer of realism to it. Also the Scarecrow theme song is great. The major difference between the three episodes on disc 1 and the film on disc 2 is that the film loses most of the plot from episode 1. Then the TV episodes have more depth compared to the very fast paced film (the episodes have a good pace too).

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Leonard Maltin intros on each disc appear before the main menus as Leonard talks about what's on the discs witha little history.

Walt Disney TV intros are presented in widescreen as an extra (since the TV episodes have them in 133:1)

Two featurettes appear in the collection (one on each disc)-
DR. SYN: THE HISTORY OF THE LEGEND- the literary and film history of DR. SYN in addition to info on the Walt Disney production
WALT DISNEY: FROM BURBANK TO LONDON- a ten minute featurette on the history of Walt Disney making films in England because it all began with the Walt Disney profits in the UK being frozen and Walt set up production of live action that he always wanted to do by shooting in England.

FINAL ANALYSIS: DR. SYN: THE SCARECROW OF ROMNEY MARSH is one of my new favorites from the old Disney live-action films. The two featurettes are great even though they're brief.

this DVD review is (c)11-8-2008 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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