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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Stuart Heisler
USA 1941

 

Albert Dekker (Dr. Cyclops), Susan Hayward (Back Street), Harry Carey (The Shepherd of the Hills) and Frances Farmer (Come and Get It) star in this gripping cinematic blend of noir thrills and Southern Gothic chills. Paul Raden (Dekker) is a hopeless maniac. Twenty-five years ago, he suffered permanent brain damage trying to defend his mother from his brutal father. Paulís last memory, before descending into the shadows of insanity, was his motherís agonized scream. Locked away in secrecy ever since, he escapes from his prison on the night of his fatherís funeral and stalks among the living. Itís up to Paulís identical twin John (also Dekker) to put a stop to his brotherís vicious spree. Stuart Heisler (The Glass Key, Blue Skies) directed this eerie film noir with expressionistic black-and-white photography by Theodor Sparkuhl (Beau Geste, Wake Island) that perfectly complements its dark story of madness and murder.

***

A mentally unstable man, who has been kept in isolation for years, escapes and causes trouble for his identical twin brother.

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 12th, 1941

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:09:09.603       
Video

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,282,853,642 bytes

Feature: 20,580,870,144 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.48 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1962 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1962 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,282,853,642 bytes

Feature: 20,580,870,144 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.48 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

ē NEW Audio Commentary by Professor and Film Scholar Jason A. Ney
ē Trailers


Blu-ray Release Date:
November 16th, 2021
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (November 2021): Kino have transferred Stuart Heisler's Among the Living to Blu-ray. It looks quite reasonable in 1080P with a few inconsistencies and one brief scenes with damage (see below.) It is on a single-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. There is some infrequent smoky softness but it appears to be inherent in the production. Overall, I was very pleased with this HD presentation. 

NOTE: We have added 60 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. Among the Living has a bar-dance sequence, and few aggressive moments - a cloaked murder, a few impactful screams and a minor gunplay. They come through with effective depth. The score is by Gerard Carbonara (Union Pacific, The Monster and the Girl, Dr. Cyclops, Abilene Town) sounding clean with consistent dialogue in the lossless transfer. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Professor and Film Scholar Jason A. Ney. He discusses how this strong early noir is finally making its debut on digital, he makes a scene-by-scene analysis and how it builds on elements of Film Noir and proto-noirs (bleak fatalism and chiaroscuro lighting) and Gothic influences of horror films of the 1930s, evil twin narratives, how Among the Living was received, director Stuart Heisler's career and the drama behind Frances Farmer in Hollywood (alcoholism, sanitariums etc.) - the Kurt Cobain connection and much more. He recommends the article Shedding Light on Shadowland by Jeffrey Kauffman for more on Framer. There are also trailers although none for Among the Living.

Stuart Heisler's Among the Living could be considered a horror and melodrama with delicious film noir tropes including a femme fatale (Hayward) and the infectiousness of being overcome by greed. Among the Living  evokes the original Frankenstein and Fritz Lang's M with its tense 'violent mob' ending. I thought the Theodor Sparkuhl cinematography showed some inventive shadows and helped establish the eerie moods. I enjoyed Among the Living so much! The Kino Blu-ray is a must-own for 'dark cinema' fans. Our highest recommendation!

Gary Tooze

 


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Damage visible in one scene - sample:

 

(CLICK to ENLARGE)

 

 


 

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Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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