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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Love Lies Bleeding" or "Meaningful Glances ')

directed by Lewis Milestone
USA 19
46

Classic film noir doesn't get much darker than this sordid tale of betrayal, blackmail, intimidation and murder. Nor are you likely to find a more impressive cast in a noir feature than the one assembled here, and available here for the first time ever in High Definition Blu-Ray. Martha Ivers (Barbara Stanwyck) is an heiress-turned-successful businesswoman. Sadly, she's spent much of her life bearing the burden of a horrific childhood event involving the rich, domineering aunt (Judith Anderson) who raised her, while subsequently enduring an unhappy marriage to Walter (Kirk Douglas), the local District Attorney. But everything could change for this power couple when her childhood sweetheart Sam (Van Heflin), now a drifter, shows up back in town one fateful night alongside new girlfriend Toni (Lizabeth Scott). Uncharacteristic for the noir genre, which typically featured B-movie production and B-level casts, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers was a comfortably-financed project with an adept collection of actors and an established director (but none the lighter on plot or cinematography). It is also the first-ever film role for actor Kirk Douglas. He was recommended for the job by none other than Lauren Bacall (who he knew from acting school) and delivers an intriguing performance as the sorry husband. Director Lewis Milestone, meanwhile, was no stranger to award-winning work, having previously won Oscars for Two Arabian Knights (1927) and All Quiet On The Western Front (1930). He would also go on to direct the original Oceans Eleven (1960). Film buffs will also want to keep an eye out for an un-credited cameo by a young Blake Edwards, who appears as a sailor hitching a ride with Sam!

****

"You may be through with the past, but it sure ain't through with you."
 

In Lewis Milestone's classic Film Noir we open in the rain - 1928, where a feisty young heiress named Martha Ivers is thwarted in her attempt to run off with her friend Sam Masterson - a street-smart kid from the wrong side of the tracks. Her forced return home and his fatal goodbye produce the inadvertent murder of her aunt covered up by Martha and her young gold-digging friend, Walter.

We bounce ahead 18 years where Walter (Kirk Douglas), now the D.A., and Martha (Barbara Stanwyk) live a loveless marriage - initiated by their perjured testimony that let an innocent man hang for their deed. Sam (Van Heflin in one of his best roles) returns to the small town and befriends honorable ex-con Toni (a fetching Lizbeth Scott), to unravel the dark convoluted past of his childhood friends.

Pure Film Noir that builds steam with each scene. Kept buoyant with excellent performances. Wonderful! out of    

Gary W. Tooze

  Posters

Theatrical Release: July 24th, 1946

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Comparison:

Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC vs. HD Cinema Classics - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT

2) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) HD Cinema Classics - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

 Box Cover

Distribution Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC

HD Cinema Classics

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:55:40  1:55:52  1:54:36.870 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.64 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.4 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,848,907,834 bytes

Feature: 22,069,475,328 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Image Entertainment

Bitrate: Paramount

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0)  English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles None English and none Spanish and none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: April 5th, 2005

Keep Case
Chapters: 9

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: October 25th, 2005

Double Lock Keep Case
Chapters: 14

Release Information:
Studio: HD Cinema Classics

1.33:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,848,907,834 bytes

Feature: 22,069,475,328 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.00 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary with William Hare

Postcard

Trailer (1:43)

Before & After Restoration Demo (1:05)

Blu-ray Release Date: May 29th, 2012
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 14

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: HD Cinema Classics - Region FREE - Blu-ray (June 2012): Typical of HD Cinema Classics we have some digital restoration - that was wholly unnecessary. Being more positive this has less of their usual heavy DNR and boosting as we have seen ion the past on Noir title like The Stranger, Kansas City Confidential and The Red House. So it can be softer, show less grain and black levels are not pristine. Does it outweigh the benefits of the higher resolution? - and smoother visuals - I suppose that is a personal decision. I was happy with the Paramount DVD but this Blu-ray does offer an appreciated commentary by William Hare although HD Cinema neglected to upgrade the track in lossless. There is more information shown on all 4 edges. Either they are improving with their overly-heavy-handed digital smearing or the print was good enough to tread more lightly. I found it a different presentation, which was cool in itself, but not necessarily a superior one.   

***

ADDITION: - Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - Oct 05' - What a blessing - the Paramount DVD looks excellent ! There are some minor scratches but it is 'night and day' next to the old, washed out, pale and out-of-print Image Entertainment disc. The new Paramount is s shade cropped on some edges. Decent menus and optional subtitles at a reasonable price. Lizbeth Scott's 'come hither' looks are even more enticing!

***

We understand that the only existing print has some nitrate decomposition and hence the film's appearance will probably not improve much. There are also a few missing segments. However, the DVD could have been better - it is non-progressive, no subtitles and no extras. The audio is also weak with odd fluctuations in volume. Sadly, this may be the best DVD of this classic Film Noir  ever available barring a full reconstruction, which will doubtfully ever happen. It is quite watch-able through a tube and luckily the noir genre is very forgiving for its 'beaten', older films. It only seems to add to the atmosphere. This is a great film and this DVD, although the film is Public Domain, is likely to become out-of print quickly. It is likely that this Image /Hal Roach DVD betters the other editions quite substantially. I recommend that you buy while you can.

Gary W. Tooze


Menus

(Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

HD Cinema Classics - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample on Paramount (no subs on Image Entertainment DVD and only Spanish on Blu-ray)

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) HD Cinema Classics - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) HD Cinema Classics - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) HD Cinema Classics - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) HD Cinema Classics - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) HD Cinema Classics - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) HD Cinema Classics - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) HD Cinema Classics - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Recommended Reading in Film Noir (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Report Card:

 

Image:

Paramount

Sound:

-

Extras: -
Menu: Paramount

 

 Box Cover

Distribution Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC

HD Cinema Classics

Region FREE - Blu-ray

 





 

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