Import Corner: Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (Imprint Films) Blu-ray Review + 1080p Screenshots + Packaging Shots

Imprint Films goes deep into the Columbia Pictures vault to bring us this forgotten heist film starring James Coburn

Studio: Imprint Films
Release Date: October 12th, 1966 (theatrical) / November 29th, 2023 (blu-ray)
Run Time: 1 hour 47 minutes 27 seconds
Region Code: FREE
Disc Count: 1
Picture: 1080p (1.78:1 aspect ratio)
Sound: English LPCM 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH
Slipcover: Yes (slip box)
Digital Copy: No
Starring: James Coburn, Camilla Sparv, Aldo Ray, Nina Wayne, Robert Webber, Rose Marie 
Written by Bernard Girard
Directed by Bernard Girard
Rating: AUS: PG (mild themes, mild violence)




What's It About?

Eli Kotch, a captivating rogue and full-time con man, cleverly seduces an attractive psychologist while in prison to win parole. Once out, he immediately goes to work, planning a major bank robbery at the Los Angeles International Airport.


Presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, opened up a bit from the film's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, DEAD HEAT ON A MERRY-GO-ROUND looks good. I believe that the transfer Sony has provided Imprint is an older one. The transfer looks like something Sony would have released in the early 2010s. This isn't to say that the transfer is bad. No way would anyone consider it bad. Film grain is light throughout but it does get a bit heavier from time to time. Colors are really nice here with reds, blues, and yellows looking particularly fetching. Skin tones look great as well. Thankfully, there are no signs of any DNR. 

The LPCM track here is nice with dialogue coming through clearly while the film's joyful score sounds wonderful. 

There are also English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH)


Like they did with THE MAN IN HALF MOON STREET, Imprint has done an awesome job with the packaging. The glossy slip box features the film's original theatrical poster with minimal additions to the art. The clear blu-ray case inside features more original artwork along with inner artwork containing an image from the film. The disc art is the same as the slip box.

The disc is REGION FREE


I had high hopes for DEAD HEAT ON A MERRY-GO-ROUND. They had me at "heist movie". I love films like this but I didn't love it. James Coburn is great as usual but the pacing of the film is on the slow side. It takes forever for the heist stuff to get going and then when it does, the film always seems to go back to a romance no one really cares about. Once the heist stuff gets taken seriously, the film does get better but it takes almost an hour to get there. I still think people should check the film out because it is interesting to see films from this time. 

The blu-ray from Imprint Films is good. The picture and sound are both good but there are no special features, not even a trailer. I wish there had been something here but I am ok with releases of smaller, forgotten films being special features-less. Not every film has to have special features. The film stands well enough on its own. 






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