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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Lesley Selander
USA 1946

 

Author Charles Regnier returns to 1896 Paris after exotic travels, having written a bestseller which the Ministry of Justice would like to ban. That very night, an official is killed on the dark streets… clawed to death! The prefect of police suspects some type of “were-cat”, but Inspector Severen thinks there is nothing supernatural about Regnier’s motive. Regnier begins to doubt himself when he has another hallucinatory blackout during the second killing. Who is the infamous Catman of Paris?

Directed by Lesley Selander, this rare 1946 republic horror is finally getting a well-deserved release.

***

When author Charles Regnier (Carl Esmond) returns to Paris with a best-selling book that criticizes the government, he's tormented by frequent blackouts. After a mysterious cat-like creature slaughters people close to him, Charles is suspected of murder. Charles fears that he is the beast, but his paramour, Marie (Lenore Aubert), and best friend, Henry (Douglass Dumbrille), believe he's innocent ... until the creature begins to stalk Marie (from Netflix description).

Posters

Theatrical Release: April 20th, 1946

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Review: Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:03:36.687         
Video

1.37:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,512,836,650 bytes

Feature: 13,225,955,328 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.99 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 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -31dB

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

 

1.37:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,512,836,650 bytes

Feature: 13,225,955,328 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio commentary by film historians Kim Newman & Stephen Jones
NEW Mark of the Beast: Myth Making and Masculinity in ‘The Catman of Paris’– video essay by film historian Kat Ellinger (17:40)
The Republic Pictures Story – feature length documentary about the pioneering studio featuring hundreds of clips and on-camera interviews (1991 - 1:53:17 - SD)


Blu-ray Release Date: June 9th, 2023

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 (June 2023): Imprint have transferred Lesley Selander's The Catman of Paris to Blu-ray. It is cited as being "from a 4K scan of the original negative (2017)". It still has some rough patches with, mostly, frame specific damage, speckles, lines and marks (see samples below.) It's not a great HD presentation with a middling bitrate on the single layered Blu-ray but is is in 1080P and I doubt can look much better without a full film-level restoration. 

NOTE: We have added 66 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 (16-bit) in the original English language (with some French.) The Catman of Paris has only a couple of aggressive sequences - a bit of a brawl and some gunshots in the final. It's quite modest and the dialogue can be a shade erratic. The score is by R. Dale Butts (Too Late For Tears, No Man's Woman, The Shanghai Story, Stranger at My Door, Hell's Half Acre, City That Never Sleeps) adds some drama/mystery in the uncompressed transfer which is, overall, a notch better than the video. Imprint offer optional English (SDH) subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Imprint Blu-ray offers a new commentary by film historians Kim Newman (author of Classic Monsters Unleashed) and Stephen Jones (author of The Mammoth Book of Folk Horror: Evil Lives On in the Land!), who share their enthusiasm for the genre with details of the performers, director Selander, of The Catman of Paris and similar productions. Always entertaining. The Republic Pictures Story is a 1.5 hour documentary from 1991. So nice to have this on digital - about the company that primarily produced Westerns, cliffhanger serials, and B movies. Their output includes The Quiet Man (1952), Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), Johnny Guitar (1954) and a huge amount of serials; Adventures of Captain Marvel, Nyoka the Jungle Girl, The Invisible Monster, Flying Disc Man from Mars, Radar Men from the Moon, Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe, Panther Girl of the Kongo and many more. The documentary features hundreds of clips with, ex. Richard Carlson, Lon Chaney Jr., Steve Cochran, Nat 'King' Cole, Dorothy Dandridge, Frances Dee, Richard Dix, Ann Dvorak, Duke Ellington, Joan Fontaine, Coleen Gray, Sterling Hayden, as well as on-camera interviews with Gene Autry, Frank Coghlan Jr., Dale Evans, Milos Forman, Buck Henry, Roy Rogers, Walter Scharf etc. etc. There is also a new video essay, Mark of the Beast: Myth Making and Masculinity in ‘The Catman of Paris’, by film historian Kat Ellinger running almost 18-minutes.

Lesley Selander's The Catman of Paris was produced in conjunction with Valley of the Zombies with the intent on making it Republic's first horror film double feature. It was a 7-reeler at less than 1 hour 5 minutes. Selander also directed Flat Top, The Vampire's Ghost, Dragonfly Squadron, Flight to Mars, so certainly a genre chap in his pedigree. Actually one of the most prolific directors of feature Westerns in cinema history. Here we get some supernatural, amnesia, false-accusations, dying confessions, mysticism, and a hideous 'Catman' - essentially a horror-mystery hybrid - set in classy Gay Paree. I liked the atmosphere and wasn't deterred by the pacing of The Catman of Paris. Middling image quality but I had never seen it before and, being my penchant, will re-watch. Lads Newman and Jones give another emboldening commentary plus the fab Republic Pictures Story documentary (longer than the film!) The Imprint Blu-ray has fans who will enjoy.

Gary Tooze

 


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Examples of damage and cue blips

 

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Distribution Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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