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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Kiss-Off" or "Too Late, My Love")

 

Directed by Michael Curtiz
USA 1956

 

An unhappy wife uses her powers of manipulation to draw an infatuated man into an ill-fated jewelry heist. In 1956 Paramount studios expended a great deal of money on the The Scarlet Hour and enlisted the services of top-flight director Michael Curtiz. The result is an outstanding and rarely seen Film Noir. Starring Carol Ohmart, Tom Tryon and Jody Lawrance.

***

The movie proved to be a very entertaining 95 minutes. A classic film fan could have a good time just watching all the great character faces who parade across the screen, but the twisty story is quite enjoyable as well.

[...]

Ohmart is effective playing an elegant woman with ice water in her veins; she married her husband for his money, then lures Tryon into a steamy affair -- and worse. Tryon similarly works well as the pretty boy dupe, but for my money it's the supporting cast which makes the movie extra-enjoyable, starting with the dependable James Gregory (Nightfall, The Big Caper) as Pauline's suspicious husband.

Excerpt from Laura's Misc. Musings located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 18th, 1956

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:34:35.169        
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 28,406,532,744 bytes

Feature: 27,994,865,664 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

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

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 28,406,532,744 bytes

Feature: 27,994,865,664 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio commentary by noir expert and Film Noir Foundation board member Alan K. Rode
Trailer (1:55)


Blu-ray Release Date: September
9th, 2022
Transparent Blu-ray Case inside slipcase

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Imprint Blu-ray (August 2022): Imprint have transferred Michael Curtiz's The Scarlet Hour to Blu-ray. It is cited on a dual-layered disc with a very high bitrate and looks wonderful in 1080P. It's been conspicuously absent on digital and it couldn't be because of the elements - as this is an impressive image. The film is rife with shadows and the contrast is nicely layered here with subtle textures. There is depth and a spotlessly clean HD presentation. It looks very pleasing on my system - far in advance of my anticipation.

NOTE: We have added 76 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Imprint use a linear PCM dual-mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. The Scarlet Hour has a couple of gunshots that are surprisingly deep. The score was by Leith Stevens (Syncopation, The Gun Runners, World Without End, The Night of the Grizzly, I Married a Monster From Outer Space, Hercules and the Captive Women, 20 Million Miles to Earth, The Garment Jungle) but notable in the film is Nat 'King' Cole's beautiful Never Let Me Go performed in a nightclub scene sounding magnificent in the uncompressed transfer. Audio is consistent and clean. Imprint offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Imprint Blu-ray offers a new commentary by noir expert and Film Noir Foundation board member Alan K. Rode author Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film. He talks about the production frequently identifying many of the LA locations. He expands the stellar supporting cast careers, noting Elaine Stritch's debut, how Nat King Cole was quite a coup for The Scarlet Hour and paid $10,000 for his few minutes of crooning while the same amount was paid to Carol Ohmart for starring in the film. He focuses a lot of attention on Curtiz - the director's love of using reflections, mirrors etc., his 'star maker' quality and his 'Midas Touch', how hard he was on Ohmart - a Mormon who won the title of Miss Utah, and subsequently placed fourth in the Miss America pageant. She also posed for artist Milton Caniff and Rode mentions her controlling stage mother. It's at his usual excellent attention to detail filled with fascinating anecdotal stories including Bogie and Bacall. There is also a trailer of the film and a handsome, limited edition, hard slipcase (see above.) 

Michael Curtiz's The Scarlet Hour is a highly pleasing 'dark cinema' effort with enough noir conventions to quality for cycle inclusion - notably murder, an adulterous affair and a scheming femme fatale at its core. This was reported to be a star-launching vehicle for Carol Ohmart (House on Haunted Hill, Spider Baby) although it didn't turn out to have future studio support. She certainly has the 'it' factor to a large degree with magnetic camera appeal. Cinematographer Lionel Lindon's (A Man Alone, Conquest of Space, Jivaro) shadows drape seductively over Ohmart's alluring body and calculating eyes throughout. Sleuthing cops E.G. Marshall (12 Angry Men) and Edward Binns (also 12 Angry Men and Curse of the Undead), bad husband James Gregory (The Manchurian Candidate) and secretary-next-door Jody Lawrance (yes, it's spelled that way) are part of the stellar support. The clandestine vinyl store rendezvous scene is reminiscent of the grocer meetings in Double Indemnity. The Scarlet Hour is a big keeper for me - so happy to have seen it via Imprint's impressive Blu-ray and the Alan Rode commentary makes it essential. Absolutely recommended!

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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