‘The Seduction Of Joe Tynan’ Blu-Ray Review – Alan Alda And Meryl Streep Shine In Exploration Of Political Ambition

Alan Alda (The Mephisto Waltz) and Barbara Harris (A Thousand Clowns) co-star with acting royalty Meryl Streep (Silkwood) in The Seduction of Joe Tynan, the critically acclaimed hit about a senator with presidential ambitions and the price he has to pay. Alda, who also wrote the screenplay, is Joe Tynan, a decent, hardworking senator whose job in Washington keeps him away from his wife (Harris) and family. Matters become even more complicated when he begins to develop a relationship with a civil rights activist (Streep) in this political drama where power and principles, like love and marriage, collide. Directed by Jerry Schatzberg (Puzzle of a Downfall Child, The Panic in Needle Park) and produced by Martin Bregman (Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon), this richly nuanced, finely acted film also features Rip Torn (Time Limit), Melvyn Douglas (Angel), Charles Kimbrough (TV’s Murphy Brown) and Carrie Nye (The Group).

For thoughts on The Seduction Of Joe Tynan, please check out our discussion on The Video Attic here

Video Quality

The Seduction Of Joe Tynan makes its Blu-Ray debut courtesy of Kino Classics with a digital AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.85:1 that appears to be derived from a really solid older master that is in good shape. Instances of print damage such as nicks and scratches are very minor, and overall clarity and detail is quite strong. The presentation is lovely throughout most of the runtime with image stability and delineation being admirable. This transfer maintains the natural film grain of the presentation with only the slightest appearance of some digital tinkering. The picture can run a bit soft in long shots, but colors are well saturated with the bright hues of the locations coming through. Skin tones are mostly natural and consistent with facial features easily noticeable in closeup. Black levels hold up well with very little in the way of crush. This presentation is a really nice effort that should please fans. 

Audio Quality

This new Blu-Ray comes with a lossless DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio mix that features all of the sounds of the film quite well. This is a film that utilizes music well, including an emotionally rousing score from Bill Conti. This and all of the other music is presented with great clarity and a pleasing fidelity as they come through the room. The dialogue holds up wonderfully, coming through clearly without being stepped on by the music or sound effects. The environmental effects are delineated nicely from the hustles and bustle of political conventions to the quieter moments walking around the country club. The track avoids most instances of age related wear and tear or distortion. This is a track that represents the film in a solid manner. Optional English subtitles are provided on this disc.

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary: Entertainment Journalist and Author Bryan Reesman delivers a fun and informative commentary track in which he gives historical context to some of the events of the film, discusses the themes and visual motifs, delves into the how this fits with the careers of the talent involved and other notable projects associated with them, and much more that brings this movie into even tighter focus. 
  • Radio Spots: A minute-long collection of radio is spots is provided here. 
  • Trailers: The two-minute trailer for The Seduction Of Joe Tynan is provided here. There are also trailers provided for The Mephisto Waltz, The Four Seasons, Still Of The Night, Silkwood, A Thousand Clowns and Puzzle Of A Downfall Child


Final Thoughts

The Seduction Of Joe Tynan is a pretty entertaining feature about some morally dubious people. The film nimbly traces the journey of a man who sacrifices the stability of the family life for the pursuit of power on a grander scale. Alan Alda does a terrific job in the titular role, but it is the two lead women opposite of him who steal the film away from him. Barbara Harris proves she should have been an even bigger name than she was, and Meryl Streep is as captivating as ever in this early role. Kino Classics has released a new Blu-Ray featuring a great A/V presentation and a worthwhile commentary track. If you are a fan of the talent involved or intrigued by the premise, give this one a shot. Recommended 

The Seduction Of Joe Tynan is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray. 

Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.

Disclaimer: Kino Classics has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.