Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Blank Wall" )

 

directed by Max Ophuls
USA 1949

 

Having concealed her daughter's accidental killing of her seedy older lover, upper middle class housewife Bennett finds herself being blackmailed by a loan shark; fortunately for her, the man he sends - small-time crook and loner Mason - becomes infatuated with Bennett, and ends up killing his partner. Ophüls' noir melodrama, like his previous film, Caught, can be seen as a subtle, subversive critique of American ambitions and class-structures: in committing the moral and legal transgression of concealing a corpse, Bennett is merely protecting the comfort and respectability of her family life, and the irony is that Mason's self-sacrifice, made on her behalf, simply serves to preserve the status quo that has relegated him to the role of social outcast. This sense of waste, however, is implied rather than emphasized by Ophüls' elegant, low key direction, which counterpoints the stylization of Burnett Guffey's shadowy photography with long, mobile takes that stress the everyday reality of the milieu. A marvelous, tantalizing thriller, it also features never-better performances from Mason and Bennett.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: October 17th, 1949

Reviews        More Reviews       DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Second Sight (The Max Ophuls Collection) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Gary W. Tooze for the Second Sight (The Max Ophuls Collection) Screen Caps!

(Second Sight (The Max Ophuls Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Second Sight

Region 2 - PAL

Carlotta
Region 2 - PAL
All 4 Second Sight Ophuls Films/DVD
Runtime 1:18:36 1:18:40
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.56 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.90 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.

Bitrate:

Second Sight (The Max Ophuls Collection)

Bitrate:

 

Carlotta

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)

English or French (Dolby Digital 2.0)

Subtitles None French
Features Release Information:
Studio: Second Sight

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by Todd Haynes (22:01)
• Commentary by Lutz Bacher
• Production Stills Gallery

DVD Release Date: September 18th, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Carlotta

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Faire un Film Americain (41:49)
• Maternal Overdrive (22:01)

 

DVD Release Date: April 7th,2010
Keep Case

Chapters 16

 

Comments

Update: Carlotta: May 2010: Carlotta's recent release of Ophul's noir stacks up nicely against the 2006 Second Sight edition, but does suffer from some image problems. In some ways, the prints look identical, but the Carlotta disc is a shade or two softer and has a few noticeable artifacts. Nowhere is this more obvious than straight lines. Where as the Second Sight disc has no problems with them, the Carlotta often suffers from a bad case of the jaggies probably a compression issue due to the disc having more supplements. I suspect that the audio is largely the same, but we do get the choice of a French track and English subtitles now. Finally, the Todd Haynes intro is here (renamed "Maternal Overdrive), but the still and commentary have been replaced with a great documentary. After watching both discs, I can say that the superior image on the Second Sight disc makes it the one to choose, but the wonderful documentary may make Ophuls fans think about taking the double dip.

 - Brian Montgomery

****

ON THE SECOND SIGHT: Strong progressive image with only a few minute scratches and blemishes. Contrast and detail are very acceptable and there is some light grain in spots. I would have appreciated optional subtitles, but the audio track is clean and clear enough that dialogue is consistent and easy to decipher.

Todd Haynes gives a great introduction impressing with his in-depth knowledge of the Ophuls and The Reckless Moment and how he paid homage with characters names in his own films. The Lutz Bacher commentary was very interesting as well, although I'd have loved to hear Haynes as backup.

I'm very appreciative that this and the other Ophuls DVDs came out - quality is better than I anticipated and the films are must-owns for serious films fans. We recommend!  

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus
(
Second Sight (The Max Ophuls Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

 

 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Second Sight (The Max Ophuls Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Second Sight (The Max Ophuls Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Second Sight (The Max Ophuls Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Second Sight (The Max Ophuls Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Second Sight (The Max Ophuls Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Second Sight (The Max Ophuls Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Second Sight (The Max Ophuls Collection) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Second Sight

Sound:

Tie

Extras: Tie

 

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Second Sight

Region 2 - PAL

Carlotta
Region 2 - PAL
All 4 Second Sight Ophuls Films/DVD



Search DVDBeaver
S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!