A man threatens to jump off a skyscraper ledge in a documentary-style thriller directed by Henry Hathaway in 1951. I haven't seen it, but the other Hathaway thrillers of this period are certainly fun. With Richard Basehart, Paul Douglas, Barbara Bel Geddes, Debra Paget, Howard da Silva, Agnes Moorehead, Robert Keith, Martin Gabel, and Grace Kelly in her film debut.
Notable for the screen debut of Kelly, this is a gripping little number from
Hathaway, with Basehart as the despondent young man who threatens to jump from a
New York skyscraper. He proceeds to change the lives of all around him as a
result of his actions, from the policeman who spends the aforesaid 14 hours
trying to talk him down, to Kelly as the young wife who is forced to reconsider
her divorce as a result of the would-be suicide. It's a simple formula, but one
that works, thanks to Basehart's tormented performance, and direction that
maintains the suspense throughout.
Theatrical Release: March 6th, 1951
DVD Review: 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||20th Century Fox Home Video (Film Noir # 21) - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 8.90 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.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, None|
by Film Historian Foster Hirsch
The title and credits give an indication of a hazier transfer but the feature portion looks fine right from past that. Sharpness is at Fox's usual high standards for films from their 'Fox Film Noir' collection - as is contrast. Minimal damage is prevalent on this progressive transfer. I listened to the mono audio and it was clear and consistent. Overall - another excellent value purchase offered by Fox.
The commentary is comparatively weak - slow-talking Foster Hirsh appears to do more narration, with gaps, imparting less information than those of his colleagues commentaries. There is a pressbook and trailer.
Fox have really singled themselves out for their excellent support of digital film noir although this vintage classic is worthy of any cinema fan - especially at the excellent price offered.