(aka 'The Hidden Room')
Certainly Dmytryk's best British film, made after his blacklist exile and before freedom from the Hollywood system led him into the pretensions of Give Us This Day. Adapted by Alec Coppel from his own novel, it's an intriguing 'perfect murder' thriller in which an obsessively jealous husband lures his rival to a cellar on a bomb site, keeping him chained there until the coast is clear and his own grimly meticulous preparations for disposing of the body in an acid bath are complete. Perhaps only Bu˝uel could have done justice to the flavour as the avenger sadistically torments his victim during the wait, and an odd intimacy starts to spring up between them. Here both dialogue and performances (with Newton doing much less eye-rolling than usual) stay a little too close to the surface, but it has much the same narrative grip as Dmytryk's earlier Hollywood movies like Murder My Sweet...
Newton is the jealous husband who traps the man he suspects of being his wife's lover in an abandoned cellar. As he waits for the right moment to bump him off and makes macabre plans to dispose of the body with acid, the dynamics between perpetrator and victim change subtly. A menacing, gripping and tautly directed film that exploits the audience's imagination rather than showing any real action. Obsession is dark, twisted, high-class entertainment.
Theatrical Release: August 3rd, 1949
DVD Review: Fabulous Films - Region 0 - PAL
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|Distribution||Fabulous Films - Region 0 - PAL|
Average Bitrate: 3.66 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.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
This is a very poor DVD. Sharpness and contrast are not fatal but it has the highest incidence of 'combing' that I have ever seen. Not only is the DVD single layered but it takes up only 2.53 Gig of the available 4.75 on a DVD5 disc. Cap onto this one of the lowest bitrates that I have ever seen (3.66) and it truly is a disappointment and a shame as the film is prime Noir. No extras and its only real positive is that it is tube-watchable and the relatively inexpensive price tag. We'd love to tell you to totally avoid, IF there was any other alternate release of this film on digital. Unfortunately this appears to be it at present. At least you will be aware of what you are purchasing and won't have the same high expectation that I did. The film is a magnificent thriller.