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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Silence of Helen McCord'  or 'Some Must Watch" )

 

directed by Robert Siodmak
USA 19
46

This is one that didn't really reach me... but it certainly has all the Noir elements, - old, dark, New England mansion with gothic shadows in every corner. A murderer is targeting disabled young women and Helen (Dorothy McGuire), a mute servant, is terrified she may be next. Mrs. Warren (legendary actress Ethel Barrymore in an Oscar-nominated performance [Best Supporting Actress, 1946]), is the invalid, bullying mistress of the house who warns Helen to leave at once, rather than rely on her weak son or stepson for protection. But even as Helen is packing her things, she suspects she may be too late and the murderer is closer than she imagined. Perhaps my expectations were too high especially as the film settles in quickly to be so much more polished than a simple 'B' offering. For lovers of Film Noir it certainly has a following further supported by the existence of the 75' critical disaster flic of the same name. Siodmak's floating camera and staging are exemplarily.

Gary W. Tooze

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 6th, 1946

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DVD Comparison:

Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC

(Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Region 0  - NTSC

MGM Home Video
Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:23:33 1:23:42
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.66 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.2 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

Anchor Bay

 

Bitrate:

 

MGM

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 

Subtitles None English, and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer for the film

DVD Release Date: July 11th, 2000
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Trailer for Secret Window

DVD Release Date: October 4th, 2005

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments

I feel as though we have caught MGM again (see Since You Went Away as another example) in attempting to sneak a non-progressive transfer by the consumer (see the last 2 captures for 'combing'). They are the only major studio production house that does this to my knowledge (if they can still be referred to as 'major'). It is a shame that the old Anchor Bay is out of print and still fetching some exorbitant prices in online auctions, but it is the better transfer of these two DVDs. I suspect with they will drop since the recent release of the MGM, in which the only benefit are the removable subtitles. MGM adds further insult to injury with the only supplement inclusion being a totally irrelevant trailer for Johnny Depp's film 'Secret Window' (who is making these decisions?)

 

 

On the surface there is not a lot of difference but MGM is softer and will exhibit further deficiencies if projected. The MGM is 3.2 Gig, the Anchor Bay is 4.17.  Get the Anchor Bay if you can.

 - Gary Tooze

 


DVD Menus

(Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC
- RIGHT)


 


 

Screen Captures

 

(Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


 


 

(Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

(Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 

 


 

(Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 

Prevalent Combing on the MGM...

 

 


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

 

 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Region 0  - NTSC

MGM Home Video
Region 1 - NTSC

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Report Card:

 

Image:

Anchor Bay

Sound:

-

Extras: Anchor Bay
Menu: MGM





 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...