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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


(aka 'A Stolen Face')

Directed by Terence Fisher
USA 1952

 

Lizbeth Scott is glowing in this intriguing Noir that appears to be the bridge between Anthony Mann's Strange Impersonation and Hitchcock's Vertigo. Paul Henreid plays Dr. Philip Ritter, a plastic surgeon, who, on his brief vacation, flirts and romantically succumbs to the enchanting Alice Brent (Lizbeth Scott), a concert pianist. The enjoyable affair isn't enough to drag her away from her intended lover and Ritter is heartbroken, bordering on obsession... to such an extent that he surgically duplicates her face onto one of his patients - a sociopathic ex-con whom he promptly weds! Trouble brews as Alice re-enters the scene now ready to commit to the good Doctor, but his criminal-minded new wife stands stalwartly in the way.

 

Good clean 'Classic Noir' with the insertion of the ex-con as a plot device and hints of an imposing (and once-disfigured) femme fatale as a pivotal stylistic convention. Early Hammer B-films like this are addictive as hell. It never strays too far into the melodramatic and only suggests a foreboding evil of its love-bound protagonists - but just enough to keep you on your toes.

P.S. I am pretty sure that Lizbeth's voice was dubbed over for the cockney accent when she played Lilly - but regardless she steals the show with her eyes and smile.

 

  Posters

Theatrical Release: June 16th, 1952

Reviews                                                               More Reviews                                                             DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL vs. VCI - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Icon Home Entertainment (as an SD extra) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 Thanks to Gregory for the VCI screen captures

1) Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL LEFT

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Extra in Icon Home Entertainment's The Mummy (1959) Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Cover

  

 

Stolen Face is included as an extra on Icon Home Entertainment's The Mummy Blu-ray.

Also available in VCI's Hammer Film Noir Collector's Set, Vol. 1-3 which includes Bad Blonde (1953) Man Bait (1952) A Stolen Face (1952) - Blackout (1954) Gambler and the Lady (1952) - Heat Wave (1954) but BEWARE the packaging is circumspect - a large case with three discs stacked immediately on top of one another. It is advisable, even paying a slight amount more to buy the three Double Features individually.

             

Distribution Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL

VCI Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC

Icon Home Entertainment

576i - PAL transfer

Runtime 1:09:39 (4% PAL speedup) 1:11:30 1:09:40 (4% PAL speedup)
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.9 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.42 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.07 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:  Simply Media

Bitrate:  VCI

Bitrate:  Odeon from The Mummy Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles None None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Simply Media

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Short: Danger List (21:44)
• 24-page liner notes booklet on Stolen Face

DVD Release Date: April 4th, 2005

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: VCI Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Bios for Terence Fisher and Lizabeth Scott
• Trailers for Portland Expose, Unholy Four, Bury Me Dead
• Short Commentaries about Hammer Noir and the film by Richard M. Roberts

DVD Release Date: August 28, 2006
Keepcase

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Odeon Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• part of
The Mummy Blu-ray extras

The Mummy Blu-ray Release Date: November 5th, 201
2
Keepcase

Chapters 6

 

 

Comments:

ADDITION: Odeon Entertainment - February 14':  On Odeon Entertainment's Blu-ray of the Hammer Studio's 1959 The Mummy (also directed by Terence Fisher) reviewed HERE, they include - as an extra - an SD rendering of Stolen Face. Nothing to extol, I'm afraid. It looks similar to Simply Media's UK PAL - and now out-of-print- DVD transfer. Actually a bit worse with a few more artifacts. It takes up only 3.6 Gig, has a low bitrate and is in 576i (PAL). I was hoping it would have been in HD, but alas - we will have to await further for this mini-gem to be put to a proper digital rendering.  

***

ADDITION: VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - Sept 06':  Wow, we can now verify that the Dd Entertainment PAL DVD has been zoomed in and horizontally stretched to gain a 4:3 ratio. It looks terrible beside the interlaced VCI. Although the PAL is progressive - both appear to be analog sourced and the ratio manipulation is easily enough to go for the VCI package which includes Blackout.

The PAL issue has extras - a short thriller, Danger List with Honor Blackman, and an extensive booklet with photos and an essay by Marcus Hearn and Jonathan Rigby. While the VCI has Blackout - and trailers for Portland Expose, Unholy Four, Bury Me Dead and a short commentary about Hammer Noir and the film by Richard M. Roberts.

Short: Go for the VCI's individually and get the superior packaging.

Gary W. Tooze





DVD Menus

 

(Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 


Screen Captures

 

1) Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Extra in Icon Home Entertainment's The Mummy (1959) Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Extra in Icon Home Entertainment's The Mummy (1959) Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Extra in Icon Home Entertainment's The Mummy (1959) Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Extra in Icon Home Entertainment's The Mummy (1959) Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Extra in Icon Home Entertainment's The Mummy (1959) Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Extra in Icon Home Entertainment's The Mummy (1959) Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) VCI - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Extra in Icon Home Entertainment's The Mummy (1959) Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


Box Cover

  

 

Stolen Face is included as an extra on Icon Home Entertainment's The Mummy Blu-ray.

Also available in VCI's Hammer Film Noir Collector's Set, Vol. 1-3 which includes Bad Blonde (1953) Man Bait (1952) A Stolen Face (1952) - Blackout (1954) Gambler and the Lady (1952) - Heat Wave (1954) but BEWARE the packaging is circumspect - a large case with three discs stacked immediately on top of one another. It is advisable, even paying a slight amount more to buy the three Double Features individually.

             

Distribution Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL

VCI Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC

Icon Home Entertainment

576i - PAL transfer

 


(aka "Murder by Proxy" or "Black Out")

 

directed by Terence Fisher
UK 1954

 

An American in London, down on his luck, runs into a beautiful blonde in a bar who offers him a lot of money to marry her. Broke and unemployed, he takes her up on it. When he wakes up the next day, he finds himself in a strange room that turns out to be an artist's studio, there is blood on his coat, and he discovers that his new "wife's" father had been murdered the night before.

 

 Poster

Theatrical Release: 19 March 1954

Reviews                                          More Reviews                                       DVD Reviews

DVD Review: VCI Entertainment (Hammer Film Noir Vol. 2) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Also available in VCI's Hammer Film Noir Collector's Set, Vol. 1-3 which includes Bad Blonde (1953) Man Bait (1952) A Stolen Face (1952) - Blackout (1954) Gambler and the Lady (1952) - Heat Wave (1954) but BEWARE the packaging is circumspect - a large case with three discs stacked immediately on top of one another. It is advisable, even paying a slight amount more to buy the three Double Features individually.

             

Distribution

VCI Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:27:15
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.42 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 Mono)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: VCI Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Filmography for Dane Clark
• Bio for Belinda Lee
• Trailers for Portland Expose, Unholy Four, Bury Me Dead
• Short Commentaries about Hammer Noir and the film by Richard M. Roberts

DVD Release Date: August 28, 2006
Keepcase

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Like the other Hammer DVD Noirs released at the same time - this is interlaced but actually looks better than we might have anticipated. There is no restoration but the analog source used is quite steady. Occasional blemishes surface but the digital rendering has brought out decent, even surprising, detail.

 - Gary Tooze

 


DVD Menus
 

 


Screen Captures

 

NOTE: Visible Combing...

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

Box Cover

  

 

Stolen Face is included as an extra on Icon Home Entertainment's The Mummy Blu-ray.

Also available in VCI's Hammer Film Noir Collector's Set, Vol. 1-3 which includes Bad Blonde (1953) Man Bait (1952) A Stolen Face (1952) - Blackout (1954) Gambler and the Lady (1952) - Heat Wave (1954) but BEWARE the packaging is circumspect - a large case with three discs stacked immediately on top of one another. It is advisable, even paying a slight amount more to buy the three Double Features individually.

             

Distribution Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL

VCI Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC

Icon Home Entertainment

576i - PAL transfer




 

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