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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Otto Preminger
USA 19
44

 

The sleekest of noirs, the chicest of murders, and deliciously twisted--the detective is a necrophiliac, two of the title character's suitors seem gay, and the Laura all the men are vying for is a corpse with no face. Indeed LAURA, goes the genre one further by taking apart the conventions, then putting them back together, and diving wholeheartedly into them for the finale--a cocktail party denouement to name the killer.


LAURA, based on the novel by Vera Caspary, revolves around the murder of the title character (Gene Tierney)--a shotgun blast completely obliterating the corpse's once-lovely face. Homicide detective Mark McPherson (Andrews) has a trio of suspects--newspaper critic Waldo Lydecker (Webb), who "created" Laura; playboy/parasite and fiancÚ Shelby Carpenter (Price); and Anne Treadwell (Anderson), Laura's socialite aunt who has been carrying on with Shelby. Just as Mark is beginning to fall in love with a vision of the deceased woman--in the form of an oil portrait--in walks the real Laura . . .

Excerpt from TV Guide Online located HERE

  Posters

Theatrical Release: October 11th, 1944

 

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

Comparison:

Fox - Region 1 - NTSC vs. 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

1) Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema Spine #196 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Cover

A Digibook Edition is available on Blu-ray in France:

Distribution Fox Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray Masters of Cinema Spine #196 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:27:00 Theatrical: 1:27:06.428 Extended: 1:28:09.324 Theatrical: 1:27:06.930 Extended: 1:28:09.826
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.91 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,673,723,198 bytes

Feature: 27,469,068,288 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.48 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,226,520,800 bytes

Feature: 21,333,565,440 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Fox  Blu-ray

Bitrate: MoC  Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0) DTS-HD Master Audio English 1034 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1034 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Commentaries: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1082 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1082 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 863 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 863 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 832 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 832 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

Subtitles English, Spanish, None English (SDH), Dutch, French, Spanish, None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by David Raksin and Jeanine Basinger
• Commentary by Rudy Behlmer
• A&E Biography: Gene Tierney - A Shattered Portrait (44:20)
• A&E Biography: Vincent Price - The Versatile Villian (44:13)
• Extended Version (With the Deleted Scene) (1:28:03)
• Deleted Scene / with optional Commentary by Rudy Behlmer (1:37)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:32)


DVD Release Date: March 15th, 2005

Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio: Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 36,673,723,198 bytes

Feature: 27,469,068,288 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.48 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Commentary by David Raksin and Jeanine Basinger
• Commentary by Rudy Behlmer
• A&E Biography: Gene Tierney - A Shattered Portrait (44:10)

• A&E Biography: Vincent Price - The Versatile Villain (44:03)

• The Obsession (12:36)

• Extended Version (With the Deleted Scene) (1:28:03)
• Deleted Scene / with optional Commentary by Rudy Behlmer (2:36)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:31)


Blu-ray Release Date: February 5th, 2013
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio: Masters of Cinema

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,226,520,800 bytes

Feature: 21,333,565,440 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary by composer David Raksin and film professor Jeanine Basinger
• Audio commentary by film historian Rudy Behlmer
• Laura: The Lux Radio Theater broadcasts Two radio adaptations of Laura from 1945 [59 mins] and 1954 [57 mins], starring Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney and Vincent Price in the 1945 version, and Gene Tierney and Victor Mature in the 1954 version
• Laura: The Screen Guild Theater broadcast Adaptation of Laura from radio anthology series, The Screen Guild Theater, originally aired in 1945 [30 mins], starring Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney and Clifton Webb
Laura: The Ford Theater broadcast A further radio adaptation of Laura from 1948, starring Virginia Gilmore and John Larkin
• A Tune for Laura: David Raksin Remembers an archival interview with the renowned composer (10:30)
• The Obsession an archival featurette on Laura (12:37)
• Deleted Scene (2:37) with or without Rudy Behlmer commentary
PLUS: A collector's booklet featuring a new essay by Phil Hoad, alongside a selection of rare archival imagery


Blu-ray Release Date: January 14th, 2019
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters:
9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - Region 'B' Blu-ray - March 2019: The Masters of Cinema transfer - although appearing to be from the same sources - isn't seamlessly-branched for the extended and theatrical cuts - as we have with the Fox Blu-ray. Hence, the disc size is larger but the film-sizes and bitrates for the two features are about 25% smaller than on the Fox BD. This produces a lighter image, black levels are not as rich but the visuals in-motion still look very pleasing. We've compared a few captures below.

The audio appears to be the same - a DTS-HD Master mono track at 24-bit in the original English language.  It benefits the score by David Raksin (Forever Amber, The Day After, Separate Tables, Bigger Than Life, The Big Combo) and sounds competent and clear. Masters of Cinema provide optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region 'B'-locked Blu-ray.

The UK package also includes the two commentaries (for the theatrical only) from David Raksin and Jeanine Basinger plus the second by Dr. Rudy Behlmer filling the time with plenty of interesting details. The same as the Fox BD, the Masters of Cinema also include the 12-minute The Obsession archival featurette on Laura and the deleted scene with or without Rudy Behlmer commentary. But MoC also add some new supplements; two hour-long radio adaptations of Laura - the first with Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney and Vincent Price in the 1945 version and the second with and Gene Tierney and Victor Mature in the 1954 version. From 1954 is the 1/2 hour Laura: The Screen Guild Theater broadcast adaptation of Laura from radio anthology series and a further Laura: The Ford Theater broadcast adaptation of Laura from 1948, starring Virginia Gilmore and John Larkin. I've grown to love these radio plays - relaxing with the lights dimmed. There is also the 10-minute A Tune for Laura: David Raksin remembers an archival interview with the renowned composer and the package has a liner notes collector's booklet featuring a new essay by Phil Hoad, alongside a selection of rare archival imagery.

Essential Noir Blu-ray and it is nice to have the option with the less robust image presentation but additional extras in the four radio adaptations and the Raskin archival interview. We love to have options and 'dark cinema' fans can choose accordingly.

***

ADDITION: 20th Century Fox - Region FREE Blu-ray - January 2013: Firstly, I don't think that cover image with Dana Andrews is actually Gene Tierney. I'm unsure who it is BUT it is also on the menus as well as the disc cover. It doesn't look like her at all to me. Tsk Tsk. Just say'in. (Mystery solved HERE - although they did airbrush away all her lovely features - big thanks to Bill L.!)

Fox includes the, minute-longer, 'Extended' version seamlessly branched as an option although you can check the deleted scene as well as a supplement.

Fox's new Blu-ray looks quite good of this Noir masterpiece. the image notably brightens but has more layered contrast so detail definitely rises. It dramatically improves over the SD - as I hope the screen captures relate. There is some fine texture and it gave me a wonderful viewing presentation.

Nice to have David Raksin's (Bigger Than Life, The Big Combo) score in lossless via the, authentic, DTS-HD Master mono track at 1034 kbps. It is modest - which is probably accurate - but also has no flaws and dialogue is audible and consistent. There are optional subtitles and the Blu-ray disc appears to be region FREE.

Supplements duplicate the extensive extras on the 2005 DVD plus an addition. The Blu-ray offers the excellent commentaries from David Raksin and Jeanine Basinger and a second by Rudy Behlmer bombarding us with interesting facts. Included are the two A&E Biographies: Gene Tierney and Vincent Price and a new piece entitled The Obsession running a dozen minutes, plus you get the, aforementioned, Extended Version (With the Deleted Scene) or the Deleted Scene alone with optional Commentary by Rudy Behlmer. There is also a trailer.

Aside from the cover and menu image faux-pas (as I see it), this is still an essential release. One of the all-time classics looking and sounding great in HD - and super extras - albeit mostly duplicated. Some will appreciate the opportunity to watch the 'Extended' version straight through as opposed to just the deleted scene etc. Strongly recommended!

***

ON THE DVD: This is a shade duller than a Warner special, but Fox has done a commendable job with this DVD package. Black levels are excellent and there is a little softened film grain. I noticed some minor scratches and dirt spots on only 2 occasions and a bit of chroma and shimmering, but nothing extravagant.  I dislike the yellow subtitles, but there are a host of extras and 2 commentaries to keep you busy for quite a while. out of       Gary W. Tooze


Menus

 

Fox - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Masters of Cinema Spine #196 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

1) Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema Spine #196 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema Spine #196 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema Spine #196 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Masters of Cinema Spine #196 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 


Fox - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


Box Cover

   

A Digibook Edition is available on Blu-ray in France:

Distribution Fox Home Entertainment - Region 1 - NTSC 20th Century Fox - Region FREE - Blu-ray Masters of Cinema Spine #196 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

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