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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Ida Lupino
USA 1953

Ida Lupino, Hollywood's sole female filmmaker of the 1950s, directs an all-male cast in a taut, 70-minute thriller. Frank Lovejoy and Edmund O'Brien are two war buddies taking a break from the wives for a Mexican fishing trip; a hitchhiker they pick up turns out to be a crazed killer wanted in nine states (William Talman, later the perennially defeated district attorney on Perry Mason) who forces them at gunpoint to drive him through the desert. Talman's Everett Myers is a fascinatingly abstract creation, filmed by Lupino first as a discorporate flurry of hands and feet, then as a satanic figure whose grinning, key-lighted face seems to float by itself in space. With his paralyzed right eye (he sleeps with it wide open), Myers may represent the return of the fascist evil the two men confronted during the war; he may also represent something inherently violent in the American male that, having been liberated by the war, has to be faced down and defeated by the two vets before they can return to a normal life. Lupino's use of the desert setting, rich with associations of nuclear devastation, seems to look forward to the science fiction films that would flourish later in the decade.

 --Dave Kehr

Theatrical Release: April 29th, 1953 - USA

Reviews                                  More Reviews                                   DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Roan Group - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Kino - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Wild Side Video - Region 2 - PAL vs. Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Kino DVD screen captures.

1) Roan Group - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Wild Side Video - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

4) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

Distribution

Roan Film Group

Region 0  - NTSC

Kino Video
Region 0 - NTSC
Wild Side Video
Region 2 - PAL
Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:10:40 1:10:36 1:10:45 1:11:02.466
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.77 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.83
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.3
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,801,691,579 bytes

Feature: 20,176,244,544 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 33.77 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

Roan 

 

Bitrate:

Kino

 

Bitrate:

Wild Side

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles None None French, None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Roan Group

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by Robert Clarke
• Beautifully restored from the Library of Congress 35mm print

DVD Release Date: October 14, 1999
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: Kino Video

Aspect Ratio):
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date: January 18, 2000
Keep Case

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio: Wild Side Video
 
Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:

None

 

DVD Release Date: January 5th. 2010
Transparent Keep case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Kino Video

 

Aspect Ratio): 1.33:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,801,691,579 bytes

Feature: 20,176,244,544 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 33.77 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• Trailers for White Zombie, The Stranger, Night Tide

Image gallery

 

Blu-ray Release Date: October 15th, 2013
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 10

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - September 13': Wow - this is way beyond what I was expecting. The Hitch-Hiker - the only true Noir directed by a woman - is a favorite of the cycle and I'm very impressed with what 1080P has done for this image that existed in Public Domain third-generation SD softness for years. Contrast has really advanced - detail has risen and I think there is less damage (although some vertical scratches still remain). I see no noise or artifacts that propagate the DVDs. Audio has the weaknesses of the production but via the linear PCM lossless - it sounds improved and clearer. There are no subtitles and only Kino trailers and a stills gallery as extras. For Noir devotees - this is pure gold. 

***

ADDITION (Wild Side Video - August 2010) - Single-layered and still an incorrect standards conversion (unconverted NTSC - see running time - on a PAL encoded disc) with all those associated deficiencies (ghosting/combing, artifacts etc.). It is boosted, hazy, pictureboxed (less than the Roan) has chroma and there are no extras. I'd still get the Roan, although none are acceptable - a Blu-ray for this noir gem seems unlikely as source elements appear very poor and a restoration would be costly.

NOTE: The French subs are not 'burned-in" but some players may 'force' them. You can get around this by -'re-burning' without loss of the image as it is a DVD5 - see HERE.

***

ADDITION: KINO (2003): The Kino edition is very poor. The sharper picture-boxed image (on the Roan DVD) has been zoomed-in and hence we see cropping on the Kino. The Kino also shows some bad damage spots and a very hazy, dirty image.

 

The Roan Group transfer is pictureboxed - potentially with the excuse to overcome 'overscan' on commercially made tube television sets (overscan can be up to a 15% loss of image and this is significant!). Pictureboxing leaves a black border around the edge of the image and most players automatically zoom-in to fill the screen - it limits resolution making the image slightly less detailed than it might be able to achieve. The benefit of pictureboxing is that it adds more visible viewing area so that the majority of DVD purchasers (or for most people own and watch through tubes) can see even more of what is on the negative - the way the film was meant to be viewed.

It has some Extras (to the Kino's none), and we, of course, give the overall to the Roan - despite the chroma. Kino has done a real cheapo job with this.

 - Gary W. Tooze


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

 



DVD Menus

(
Roan Group - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

Wild Side Video - Region 2 - PAL

 

 

 

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


 

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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Roan Group - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Wild Side Video - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

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

 


1) Roan Group - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Wild Side Video - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

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

 


1) Roan Group - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Wild Side Video - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

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

 


1) Roan Group - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Wild Side Video - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

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

 


1) Roan Group - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Wild Side Video - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

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

 

To see exact size comparisons I have removed the pictureboxing on the Roan.


1) Roan Group - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Wild Side Video - Region 2 - PAL THIRD

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

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 Hit Counter


Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Roan Group

 

Box Covers

 

Distribution

Roan Film Group

Region 0  - NTSC

Kino Video
Region 0 - NTSC
Wild Side Video
Region 2 - PAL
Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


 

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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...