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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Frank Tuttle
U.S.A. 1942

Outstanding film noir, based on Graham Greene's novel A Gun For Sale, which presents one of the most disturbed (and disturbing) killers ever to cross the screen. Ladd is scary because he doesn't care; he is simply a killing machine hired out by whoever will pay. Only when Lake takes the time to break through the emotional fortress that he has built around himself does Ladd show any signs of humanity.


This is the film that made Alan Ladd a star. Although director Tuttle had originally intended to cast Preston in the lead role, he later decided to hunt for an unknown. When Tuttle was introduced to Ladd, the director was convinced that the 28-year-old blond could make the cold-blooded killer Phillip Raven a sympathetic character. Contracted at $300 per week, Ladd underwent screen tests, and even had his hair dyed black in keeping with his character's name.

Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 13 May 1942

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DVD Comparison: 

Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Universal Pictures (UK) - Region 2, 4 - PAL

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the NTSC screen captures!

(Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Universal Pictures (UK) - Region 2, 4 - PAL RIGHT)

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Universal Studios

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal Picture (UK)

Region 2, 4 - PAL

Runtime 1:21:12 1:17:57 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.3 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.3 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate:  NTSC

 

Bitrate:  PAL

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date: July 6, 2004
Keep case

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio: Universal Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date:
February 12th, 2007
Transparent Keep case

Chapters 16

 

 

Comments The picture quality is almost exactly the same. I see no appreciable differences.  Both are single-layered and progressive. Actually it looks quite strong and is possibly the best of the transfers of the Noir Films crop from Universal back in 2004. Contrast looks good and there is film grain peeking through.

One bugaboo is the UK case states a 2:1 anamorphic transfer (wrong!) The PAL is region 2 + 4 and both offer English subtitles. There are no extras which seems quite unjust. This is not only a staple of Noir but it may have the best opening characterization scene in all of the 'black style'. The electricity between Ladd and Lake is so thick you hardly even notice Preston (2nd billing) is in the film. Let's see this in an SE with Muller commentary!

 - Gary W. Tooze

 


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



DVD Menus

(Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Universal Pictures (UK) - Region 2, 4 - PAL RIGHT


 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

(Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Universal Pictures (UK) - Region 2, 4 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 

 


(Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Universal Pictures (UK) - Region 2, 4 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


(Universal Studios - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Universal Pictures (UK) - Region 2, 4 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Universal Studios

Region 1 - NTSC

Universal Picture (UK)

Region 2, 4 - PAL



 




 

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Gary Tooze