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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


(aka 'The Spiritualist')

Directed by Bernard Vorhaus
USA 1948

THE AMAZING MR. X is a very misleading title for one of the most haunting and original film noirs ever released. It gives the impression of a diabolical criminal genius on the rampage or perhaps a comedy about a milquetoast with fantastic powers. The movie is neither of these. It's a stunningly beautiful and unpredictable look at the phoney spiritualism racket as well as ghosts both real and imagined. An immediate favorable comparison can be made to the works of Val Lewton. THE AMAZING MR. X straddles the line between Lewton's gothic but plausible horrors and great film noir works like MURDER MY SWEET and OUT OF THE PAST.
Is it a ghost story? A romance? A crime tale? The answer is, it is all of these things and more.

Excerpt of Dr. Mality's review at SciFi Cinema located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 29th, 1948

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DVD Comparison:

Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC vs. VCI Classic Film Noir - Vol. 3 - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Sony Pictures (Screen Classics by Request) - Region 0 - NTSC

 

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT

2) VCI Classic Film Noir - Vol. 3 - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony Pictures (Screen Classics by Request) - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

 

 

 

Distribution Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC VCI Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC

Sony Pictures

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:17:54  1:18:00 1:18:15
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.56 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 
1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.72 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.31 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: Image Entertainment

Bitrate: VCI

Bitrate: Sony

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0)  English (Dolby Digital 1.0)  Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles None None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• 2-page insert with comments by Jim Arena

DVD Release Date: July 18th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Jay Fenton

• Arlene Dahl phone interview

• Photo Gallery

• Reign of Terror
 

DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009
Keep Case

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: September 21, 2010
Keep Case

Chapters 8

 

 

Comments:

ADDITION: Sony - Region 0 - October 2010: A staple of public domain releases, Sony Pictures owns the only existing 35mm elements of this title under its UK title, The Spiritualist. The disc was released as part of Sony's 'Screen Classics by Request' line - on-demand service. There are no menus and the film starts right after an un-skippable 18-second FBI warning. The film looks very good, with less damage than the cheaper, and also progressive, Image Entertainment DVD. The blacks are richer compared to Image release but it as negligible improvement. The film is divided onto 8 chapters every 10 minutes. For the $6.50 savings most will be content with the Image Entertainment release which may have less compression artifacts.

  - Gregory Meshman

***

ON THE IMAGE ENT. AND VCI: This film is in the Public Domain so there are plenty of other DVD editions as weak as the VCI (from companies like Alpha or in homemade compilation DVDs etc.) , so this Image Entertainment edition appears to be the best of the lot. The VCI is very hazy and borders on unwatchable but does offer a commentary from Jay Fenton. The VCI comes in a Double Feature package with a very weak transfer of The Black Book - compared HERE.

The Image Entertainment disc has some damage, mostly in the form of speckles and light to heavy scratches but overall image quality is acceptable. It's progressive with minor artifacts. Audio is expectantly weak but borderline acceptable. There are no subtitle options.

Although this is a new release for Image in July 2006, it still has no extras (aside from the liner notes) and only 2 chapter menus.

We'd suggest passing on the VCI to see The Amazing Mr. X and by the Image Entertainment's usual gouging standards this is marked for an enticing purchase. The film is right out of left field but has some exceptional camera work by John Alton giving it a very strong atmospheric feel - I am a sucker for Cathy O'Donnell - that's what sold me and I wasn't disappointed in my viewing at all.  

Gary Tooze and Gregory Meshman

 


DVD Menus

 

Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. VCI Classic Film Noir - Vol. 3 - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT


 


Screen Captures

 

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) VCI Classic Film Noir - Vol. 3 - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony Pictures (Screen Classics by Request) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) VCI Classic Film Noir - Vol. 3 - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony Pictures (Screen Classics by Request) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) VCI Classic Film Noir - Vol. 3 - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony Pictures (Screen Classics by Request) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) VCI Classic Film Noir - Vol. 3 - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony Pictures (Screen Classics by Request) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) VCI Classic Film Noir - Vol. 3 - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony Pictures (Screen Classics by Request) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) VCI Classic Film Noir - Vol. 3 - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony Pictures (Screen Classics by Request) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 


1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) VCI Classic Film Noir - Vol. 3 - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony Pictures (Screen Classics by Request) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 


Damage... but not on Sony!
 

1) Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) VCI Classic Film Noir - Vol. 3 - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Sony Pictures (Screen Classics by Request) - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM

 


 

DVD Box Cover

 

 

 

Distribution Image Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC VCI Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC

Sony Pictures

Region 0 - NTSC




 

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