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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

One of the all-time great Hollywood chillers! A murderer is targeting disabled young women in a New England town, and Helen (Dorothy McGuire, Gentleman’s Agreement), a mute servant in a Gothic mansion, is terrified she's next. Mrs. Warren (Ethel Barrymore, Deadline – U.S.A.), the invalid, bullying mistress of the house, warns Helen to leave at once, rather than rely on her weak son and 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 ever imagined. This terrifying and suspenseful thriller was produced by David O. Selznick (Duel in the Sun), directed by Robert Siodmak (Cry of the City), shot by Nicholas Musuraca (Out of the Past) and written by Mel Dinelli (The Reckless Moment), based on a novel by Ethel Lina White (The Lady Vanishes). The wonderful cast includes George Brent (Dark Victory), Kent Smith (The Night Stalker), Rhonda Fleming (Those Redheads from Seattle), Elsa Lanchester (Witness for the Prosecution), Sara Allgood (The Lodger), Rhys Williams (The Farmer’s Daughter) and James Bell (I Walked with a Zombie). The great Ethel Barrymore received a supporting actress Academy Award nomination.

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 6th, 1946

Reviews                                                                                    More Reviews                                                                            DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC vs. MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  RIGHT

 

Box Covers

    

Distribution

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Region 0  - NTSC

MGM Home Video
Region 1 - NTSC
Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:23:33 1:23:42 1:23:38.013
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

Disc Size: 21,361,339,675 bytes

Feature Size: 18,203,430,912 bytes

Average Bitrate: 25.63 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Anchor Bay

 

Bitrate:

 

MGM

 

Bitrate:

 

Kino Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1557 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1557 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles None English, and 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

Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

Disc Size: 21,361,339,675 bytes

Feature Size: 18,203,430,912 bytes

Average Bitrate: 25.63 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video    

 

Edition Details:
• 
Audio Commentary by Film Historian Imogen Sara Smith
• 1945 Screen Director's Playhouse Radio Broadcast of "The Spiral Staircase" with Dorothy McGuire and Robert Siodmak (30:03)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (2:00)

Blu-ray Release Date: October 2nd, 2018
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 8

 

Comments

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

 

ADDITION: Kino - Region 'A' Blu-ray - October 2018: Kino's image is from a "Newly Remastered in HD from a 4K of the restored fine-grain master!". It looks fabulous on a single-layered Blu-ray with a supportive bitrate. There is a rough-hewn but consistent grain and it looks extremely film-like in 1080P. The elements must have been in exceptional condition because this HD video presentation is pristine.

 

Kino utilize a 16-bit DTS-HD audio transfer in the original English. There are effects but the depth of the lossless is most notable in the score by Roy Webb (The Curse of the Cat People, I Married a Witch, The Fallen Sparrow, The Window, Journey Into Fear, I Walked with a Zombie etc.) which sounds excellent without any distortions and it carries some healthy depth. Kino include optional English subtitles (see sample) and their Blu-ray disc is Region 'A'-locked.

 

Supplements include an audio commentary by Film Historian Imogen Sara Smith - that I have yet to indulge but will rectify that soon. There is also the 1/2 hour audio-only 1945 Screen Director's Playhouse Radio Broadcast of "The Spiral Staircase" with Dorothy McGuire and Robert Siodmak plus there is a theatrical trailer.

 

Such an impressive shadowy image looking exceptional in the 4K-restoration and it's already a wonderfully atmospheric, essential, Noir film - it has never looked better and this Blu-ray edition, with commentary, is very strongly recommended!

Gary Tooze

***

ON THE DVD: 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)


 

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM


 


 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 


 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  BOTTOM

 

 

Prevalent Combing on the MGM DVD...

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


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

 

 

Box Covers

    

Distribution

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Region 0  - NTSC

MGM Home Video
Region 1 - NTSC
Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...