Directed by John Cromwell
USA 1941

 

  Based on Erich Maria Remarque’s novel Flotsam – the film zeroes in on three German refugees during World War II who are at the beck and call of the Nazis, always hiding, always in fear of deportation. The settings for this adventure include WWII Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Margaret Sullavan, a Jewish chemist, is fleeing for her life; and Glenn Ford, born of a Jewish mother and Aryan father, is racked with confusion and torn loyalties. The three main characters separate as they move across Europe, just a step or so ahead of the advancing Nazis. As Sullavan and Ford fall in love, Fredric March’s character puts his life on the line by trying to arrange a reunion with his ailing wife, Frances Dee, who has remained in Germany. Critics have stated that even though the score was nominated for an Oscar, it may have done even better at the box office, had it been released a few months after the US's entry into the war.

***

John Cromwell’s So Ends Our Night (1941) is one of those smart, intense films about the Nazis and how their attempt to take over and destroy the world broke it up. Based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel Flotsam, written before WWII, the film follows a few storylines in telling its story of torn loyalties, murder and the dark side of human nature.

Glenn Ford is particularly good as Ludwig Kern, the son of a Jewish mother and Aryan father, while Fredric March is trying to get back to his very ill wife (Frances Dee) before it is too late for him to escape and for her to live. Margaret Sullavan is Ruth Holland, a Jewish chemist who is being hunted down so she cannot help the Allies, and they want her out of the way just for being Jewish to begin with. Erich von Stroheim plays the Nazi heavy.

Excerpt from Fulvue Drive-in's review located HERE

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Theatrical Release: February 27th, 1941

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DVD Review: VCI Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution VCI Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:56:36 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.35 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:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: VCI Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Trailers of other films
• Cast bios (text screens) 


DVD Release Date: September 19th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 18

 

 

Comments:

A very weak, interlaced single-layered transfer from VCI. It is quite muddy and shows some contrast boosting although the captures prove it to be at least acceptable for tube viewing. Audio is similarly weak and inconsistent - optional subtitles would have been appreciated. No extras except for some trailers and text screen bios.

The film is very worthwhile and its a shame that the DVD transfer does not support its greatness. Despite the occasional haziness of the image - Margaret Sullavan's radiance shines through. The film is highly recommended, but as it appears unlikely another digital source will come out soon - this is the best we may get. Recommended but be aware of what you will get.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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Distribution VCI Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC




 

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