- Format: NTSC, Widescreen
- Language: English, Spanish
- Dubbed: Spanish
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Run Time: 95 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- ASIN: B000R5OFOA
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,388 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme
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Anyhow, this edition has a still featuring Dr. Strange and Morgana La Fey on the front cover, and on the back cover has a still of Lindmer (Strange's mentor) and another still of Strange and La Fey.
The film is listed on the sleeve as 94 minutes but it goes slightly over 94 minutes when played, so some might prefer to see 95 as the number.
For the Canadians out there, the actress who plays Clea is named "Eddie Benton" and she was born in Toronto.
The film was originally shown on TV in September 1978 (at least, that is when I saw it, and I think that was the first showing). It is a loose adaptation of the Dr. Strange story. There is still a Dr. Strange, and a Clea, and an Ancient One, but now the magical background is no longer Tibetan, but European, with Lindmer (corresponding to the ancient one) being versed in Western alchemy and sorcery, and his arch-foe being not Dormammu etc. but Morgana La Fey of Arthurian legend, who is working for some nameless demon who is seen only unclearly in the film and has a somewhat hammy voice. Stephen Strange still has a moral flaw, but whereas in the comics it was arrogance and coldness to other human beings, here it is womanizing. He seems to have a number of nurses and other women on the string, and to be a bit flippant about loving relationships, but otherwise he is a kindly young doctor. There is also an additional back story about how Lindmer knew Strange's parents, who left Strange, after their deaths, with a unique ring.
My particular tape is used. The image is good enough; I can't remember back 36 years and compare how good it is compared with the image of the original TV broadcast, but there are no serious flaws in the image. The sound is adequate.
John Mills, the great British actor, is good as Lindmer. Jessica Walter is adequately villainous as Morgana La Fey. Hooten is all right as Dr. Strange -- a little on the bland side, but that is largely a product of the script, which makes Stephen Strange into a wholesome young American medical show TV doctor. Clea and Wong (Lindmer's servant) are adequate as well. So are the medical staff at the hospital. The special effects are not particularly striking, even for 1978; nothing like Steve Ditko's magical Marvel artwork appears. If this film were made now the special effects could be much closer to the original comic-book style. There are a few visually arresting scenes, however, and Lindmer's Greenwich Village pad is suitably atmospheric, and occasionally the music is effective in creating a creepy atmosphere.
This is not a great Marvel adaptation, but it's not a bad one, either. If you allow for the decision to abandon the oriental motifs and go with Western magic, it is acceptable. But if you insist on the Eastern background, then you won't like this version. However, I once watched an abominable Captain America adaptation from the same period. Dr. Strange is much better.
I think that the main reason for the watered-down approach in this film is that someone was thinking of turning it into a prime-time TV series. The film just screams "pilot." The last few minutes, indicating that Morgana La Fey, despite her impending destruction by her demon overlord, will survive and come back to wreak more havoc, and even target Clea specifically, make it clear that Universal had in mind a series with Morgana as the ongoing regular foe for Dr. Strange. The general wholesomeness of Dr. Strange and Clea also indicates "TV series." I think this goal was bound to corrupt any attempt to present Dr. Strange with darkness and weirdness of the original Marvel comics.
Still, if you lower your expectations for TV adaptation, this one has its moments. Hooten would have been better with better dialogue, and Mills and Walter are fine. For its genre (TV movie, comic book adaptation) it deserves 7 out of 10. As a feature film, of course, it would have to rank lower. I give the VHS 4 out of 5, because I can't give 3.5.
slow,but somewhere along the line,it becomes interesting.i'm not sure
how faithful it is to the comic book.either way,i thought it was pretty
good.the voice talent fit the characters perfectly.the animation is
excellent.the action scenes are very well done.i also thought the
back-story was really good and nicely developed,as was the character of
Dr.Strange.the people behind this film put a lot of effort into it.of
the four animated movies made by Marvel(the other ones being The
Invincible Iron Man,and Ultimate Avengers 1 and 2),i think this is the
best one so far.it is also the one i had the lowest hopes for going
in.it is much darker in tone than the previous animated marvel
films,but it works very well here.for me,Doctor Strange is an 4/5
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