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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/ulmer.htm
U.S. 1945

The kind of film (made in six days, almost entirely in a Poverty Row studio, its extensive road scenes shot with back projection) that would be impossible to make today, even as a TV movie. Now it would require 100% locations (the 'art' of studio shooting having been discredited and thus lost), and the minimal narrative would never justify a go-ahead (pianist Neal is bumming from New York to rejoin his girl in California until tripped by hostile fate and the literally amazing femme fatale Savage). Neither pure thriller nor pure melodrama (though it has its true complement of doomed lovers, dead bodies, and a cruel sexual undertow), on an emotional level it most resembles the wonderful purple-pulp fiction of David Goodis. Passion joins with folly to produce termite art par excellence.

Excerpt from Timeout Film Guide located HERE


Posters (CLICK to enlarge)

Theatrical Release: November 30th, 1945 - USA

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DVD Comparison:

Paramount (EU) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Alpha, Gotham Distribution - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Image - Region 0 - NTSC vs.  Siren (UK) - Region All - PAL vs. Cinémalta - Region 2 - PAL

 

Big thanks to Ole of DVD-Basen for the PAL Screen Caps and Gregory Meshman for the Alpha Caps !

 

1) Paramount - EU - Region 0 - PAL LEFT

2) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Siren - Region All - PAL - FOURTH

5) Cinémalta - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Paramount (EU)

Region 0  - PAL

Alpha, Gotham Distribution

Region 0 - NTSC

Image

Region 0  - NTSC

Siren
Region All - PAL

Cinémalta

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:07:32 1:07:32 1:07:50 1:07:50 1:07:40
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.58
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.50 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.90 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.30
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.97
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate:

Paramount (EU)

 

Bitrate:

Alpha

 

Bitrate:

Image

 

Bitrate:

Siren

Bitrate:

Cinémalta

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono). English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono). English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono).

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono).

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono).
Subtitles French, None None None None French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Paramount (EU)

 

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.37:1

Edition Details:

• Photo Gallery

• Trailers for 4 other noirs.

DVD Release Date:
April 14th, 2005
Slim transparent keep case

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio: Alpha, Gotham Distribution

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: October 22, 2002
Keepcase
Chapters 5

Release Information:
Studio: Image

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.37:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: September 26th, 2000
Snapper Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Siren

 

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.37:1

Edition Details:

• "The Fast and the Furious" (1954) and "D.O.A." is included in the Box Set.

DVD Release Date: February 3, 2003
Fold out Box Set.

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Siren

 

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.37:1

Edition Details:

Edward G. Ulmer: The Man Off-Screen (1:17:00)

Second DVD with The Hitch-Hiker
 

DVD Release Date: December 6th, 2006
Fold out Box Set

Chapters 12

Comments: ADDITION: Cinémalta - Region 2 - PAL - June 11': This comes in a 'Coffret' (boxset) with Ida Lupino's The Hitch-Hiker. If you'd like a DNR'ed, boosted, cropped DVD version from an unconverted standard - then, yeah! the Cinémalta is for you! Okay, enough of the sarcasm - obviously this is a terribly weak transfer - one that doesn't approach the Wade Williams one on the Image Entertainment DVD.

Audio seems clean and clear enough and there are optional French subtitles. The disc is coded region 2 in the PAL format.

The included 2004 Michael Palm documentary Edgar G. Ulmer - The Man Off-screen has Bogdanovich, Wenders, Joe Dante, Roger Corman, John Landis, daughter Arianne Ulmer Cipes, Ann Savage and is in English and some parts in German and there are optional French subtitles. It's quite thorough and interesting. It would be one reason to consider buying the French Box.

NOTE: Confession: in April of 2009, from Ann Savage's Estate, I purchased her original (1945) 16mm print of Detour. It is presumed to be a reduction print of the Wade Williams one (Image Entertainment) and the second best source of the film in existence. It has very good density and healthy grain structure. In most spots it shows less damage than the WW. Through a reputable Post House in Toronto I transferred in HD (twice!) - creating a personal Blu-ray for myself with the intention adding up to 7 commentaries (I've spoken to many including Dave Kehr, Jonathan Rosenbaum, from Eddie Muller to Guy Maddin) and making it available, through the DVDBeaver site, to fans of the iconic film. Unfortunately, I don't have the funds to restore it to a significantly high enough level to make it viable. I've added three captures below as examples (see very bottom for third sample).

***

ADDITION: Paramount (EU) - Region 0 - PAL - March 07': This may very well be my favorite Noir film and I thought as the French regard Ulmer so highly that they might have created a decent DVD release for this - arguably - his best film.

It's a shame - the French Paramount DVD is from an NTSC source (see ghosting/combing in the last screen capture) because it has better contrast than the Alpha or Siren editions. It does win the extras as it has a nice photo gallery but really the Image Entertainment DVD is still the one to own at present.

***

ADDITION: (July - 04) - Looks like the Alpha edition is the worst of the lot. Hazy green tinge to the  image, similar scratches and damage marks as the Image. I still say - buy the Image Entertainment Disc.

***

Hmmm... looks like the exact same print (same damage spots) but the Image Entertainment was telecin'ed in NTSC and the Siren has just ported from it (total time is same) as opposed to doing their own in PAL. It has suffered in sharpness because of this. The Siren looks to have a shade of contrast boosting as well. No Extras on either edition, so obviously choose the Image DVD while it is still in print

- Gary W. Tooze


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

DVD Menus

Paramount - EU - Region 0 - PAL

 



(Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Image - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs.  - Siren - Region All - PAL - RIGHT)

 

 

 

Cinémalta - Region 2 - PAL

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Paramount - EU - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Siren - Region All - PAL - FOURTH

5) Cinémalta - Region 2 - PAL - FIFTH

6) Tooze-owned - Region FREE Blu-ray - BOTTOM

3) My Print 'B' Blu-ray transfer - ratio-corrected - contrast tweaked (not teranex'ed) BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - EU - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Siren - Region All - PAL - FOURTH

5) Cinémalta - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - EU - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Siren - Region All - PAL - FOURTH

5) Cinémalta - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - EU - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Siren - Region All - PAL - FOURTH

5) Cinémalta - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - EU - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Siren - Region All - PAL - FOURTH

5) Cinémalta - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - EU - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Siren - Region All - PAL - FOURTH

5) Cinémalta - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM

 

 

 

1) Image - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Tooze-owned - Region FREE Blu-ray (after Terrenex cleaning, NOT ratio adjusted) - BOTTOM

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Image Entertainment

Sound:

-

Extras:

Cinémalta

Menu:

-

 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Paramount (EU)

Region 0  - PAL

Alpha, Gotham Distribution

Region 0 - NTSC

Image

Region 0  - NTSC

Siren
Region All - PAL

Cinémalta

Region 2 - PAL





 

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Gary Tooze

Thank You!