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Directed by Victor Saville
USA 1954


Soon after thumbing a ride from a truck driver, Johnny McBride (Anthony Quinn) is badly burned and suffers from complete amnesia when the vehicle he’s riding in blows a tire and goes over an embankment in a fiery blaze. McBride later receives a tip from an acquaintance that a photo of him was placed prominently in the window of a photography studio in a town called Lyncastle, so Johnny immediately leaves for the burg in the hopes that something there will jog his memory.

Arriving in Lyncastle, Johnny learns to his regret that the photo in question was taken from a wanted poster and that he’s the prime suspect in the murder of the town’s district attorney—after he allegedly stole $250,000 from the bank at which he was employed. In order to solve the mystery of his identity and the crimes, McBride sets out to find old flame Vera West whom he believes can prove his innocence. As the clues start piling up, Johnny encounters resistance from several townspeople, most notably from mob boss Servo (Gene Evans), who rules Lyncastle with an iron fist.

Mickey Spillane is best known for his many Mike Hammer mystery novels, but in 1951 he published the non-Hammer The Long Wait, which soon became the subject of a motion picture from the same company who brought Spillane’s I, the Jury (1953) and Kiss Me, Deadly (1955) to the silver screen. On the cusp of stardom, two-time Academy Award winner Anthony Quinn headlines a strong cast along with Oscar-winning actor Charles Coburn (The More the Merrier), Gene Evans (The Steel Helmet) and Peggie Castle (I, the Jury).

Directed by Victor Saville (Tonight and Every Night) and photographed by Franz Planer (Champion, Criss Cross), The Long Wait cast also features Mary Ellen Kay, Jay Adler, Shirley Patterson, Barry Kelley, Dolores Donlon, James Millican, Bruno VeSota, Frank Marlowe and Lawrence Dobkin.


Quinn returns to his hometown after losing his memory and his fingerprints in a fiery car crash. There he finds he's the suspect for a bank robbery and the murder of the district attorney. The police can't arrest him because of his amnesia and lack of fingerprints. Quinn tries to track down a bank secretary who disappeared when he left, and gets involved with four women in the process. He also encounters Evans, the local gangster, who puts a contract out on Quinn. Quinn learns that the bank owner, Coburn, was behind the bank holdup and is working with Evans. With the help of Kay, Quinn sees that Coburn is arrested and his own name cleared. The film was adapted from a novel by Mickey Spillane, and Quinn makes one of the better Spillane heroes.

Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE

Posters (and one book cover)

Theatrical Release: May 26th, 1954

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Review: Classicflix - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Classicflix - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 1:34:16.083         

1:75:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,543,066,995 bytes

Feature: 20,633,444,352 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1.75:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 63,563,438,691 bytes

Feature: 63,033,919,680 bytes

Video Bitrate: 82.96 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Bitrate 4K Ultra HD:


DTS-HD Master Audio English 1899 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1899 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -27dB

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:


Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

Audio commentary by Mike Hammer continuation writer Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition), co-author of Spillane - King of Pulp Fiction (with James L. Traylor)


Classicflix - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

• Audio commentary by Mike Hammer continuation writer Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition), co-author of Spillane - King of Pulp Fiction (with James L. Traylor)
Image Gallery with rare scene stills (2:58)

Trailers for E

4K Ultra HD Release Date: March 21st, 2023
Transparent 4K Ultra HD Case

Chapters 17




NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Classicflix 4K UHD (June 2024): Classicflix have released, in 2023, Victor Saville's "The Long Wait" to 4K UHD. I believe it is their second 4K UHD disc after I, the Jury, another Mickey Spillane film adaptation. Included is a second disc Blu-ray that has the film in 1080P and an additional image gallery and trailers. The 4K UHD takes a very pleasing bump over the Blu-ray with more consistent grain texture, contrast layering (richer black levels) and sharpness. It has over 3X the bitrate of the single-layered Blu-ray. I think this 2160P image quality is even a notch above I, the Jury. It looked flawless on my system.   

Like their 4K UHD transfer of I, the Jury, Classicflix's The Long Wait does not have HDR applied (no HDR10, HDR10+, nor Dolby Vision.) We have seen other 4K UHD transfers without HDR; Mondo Macabro's Dr. Jekyll and the Werewolf, Cult Films Django 4K UHD, Umbrella's 4K UHD transfer of Peter Weir's The Last Wave and Criterion's 4K UHD transfers of I Am Cuba, The Others, Rules of the Game, Branded to Kill, In the Mood For Love, Night of the Living Dead and, further examples, Masters of Cinema's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and Kino's 4K UHDs of Nostalghia, The Apartment, For a Few Dollars More, A Fistful of Dollars, In the Heat of the Night, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as well as Koch Media's Neon Demon + one of the 4K UHD transfers of Dario Argento's Suspiria.  

NOTE: 78 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages recently: Bound (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Valiant Ones (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mute Witness (software uniformly simulated HDR), Narc (software uniformly simulated HDR), Peeping Tom (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dr. Terrors House of Horrors (software uniformly simulated HDR), High Noon (software uniformly simulated HDR), Picnic at Hanging Rock (Criterion) (software uniformly simulated HDR), I Am Cuba (no HDR), The Demoniacs (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Nude Vampire (software uniformly simulated HDR), Nostalghia (no HDR), Werckmeister Harmonies (no HDR), Goin' South (software uniformly simulated HDR), La Haine (software uniformly simulated HDR,) All Ladies Do It (software uniformly simulated HDR), Old Henry  (software uniformly simulated HDR), To Die For (software uniformly simulated HDR), Snapshot (software uniformly simulated HDR), Phase IV (software uniformly simulated HDR), Burial Ground (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dark Water (software uniformly simulated HDR), Fear and Desire (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dr. Jekyll and the Werewolf (no HDR), Paths of Glory (software uniformly simulated HDR), Southern Comfort (software uniformly simulated HDR)

On their 4K UHD, Classicflix use a DTS--HD Master dual-mono track (24-bit) in the original English language.. There is a dramatic score by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (Time Out of Mind, Zombies of Mora Tau, The Return of the Vampire, Night Editor, And Then There Were None etc.) types of violence. There is also a song; Harold Spina and Bob Russell's Once performed in the opening credits (unknown) and by Dolores Donlon and Anthony Quinn separately in the film.. The disc offers optional English subtitles - and is, like all 4K UHD, region FREE, playable worldwide. The Blu-ray is Region 'A'-locked.

Both on the 4K UHD and Blu-ray, there is an audio commentary by, DVDBeaver friend, writer Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition, Quarry), co-author of Spillane - King of Pulp Fiction (with James L. Traylor.) He talks about 'amnesia noir' - that this is the only non-Mike Hammer of the first 7 Spillane novels. He cites differentiations from I, the Jury done the year before, writer Lesser Samuels having noir pedigree (Ace in the Hole, No Way Out,) "The Long Wait" being one of Anthony Quinn's first starring roles, - it being a faithful adaptation and improvement ("tighter") over the Spillane novel, the cast - actor Lawrence Dobkin, who appeared in, and directed, a number of of the Mike Hammer TV show with Darren McGavin, he was also the narrator of The Naked City TV series, Peggy Castle (actress most associated with Spillane), her alcoholism and passing away quite young at only 45, Charles Coburn, Gene Evans etc., amnesia as a theme in noir, Spillane being controversial for sex and violence in his narratives, first person style of the author, his My Gun is Quick... and much more. It's an excellent commentary. Thank you Max (76 years young earlier this year!) The Blu-ray has an image gallery with rare scene stills plus trailers for Classicflix's Black Magic, I, the Jury, Stand-In, Raw Deal and T-men.

Classicflix's 4K UHD release of Victor Saville's "The Long Wait" is incredibly welcome by Film Noir fans. I would say this has some of the most appealing 'dark cinema' conventions (from amnesia, loss of identity, plastic surgery, burned-off fingerprints to multiple femme fatales, murder and a totally corrupt town) but is also very Spillane-esque in how convoluted the plot is and the limited continuity from scene-to-scene. It all ties-up in the conclusion though in an extremely satisfyingly fashion. Along with Max Allan Collins, I gush at the final scene's poetic and expressionistic Film Noir art direction - kudos to Boris Leven (West Side Story, The Andromeda Strain, The Sound of Music, Giant etc.) Also identified in the commentary is the appearance of character actor, director and producer Bruno VeSota as Eddie Packman (Collins describes as "B' noir royalty") who was also the uncredited director of Dementia, credited director of The Brain Eaters, acted in Night Tide, Attack of the Giant Leeches, The Wasp Woman etc.. If you're interested, the four attractive gals are 1949's "Miss Cheesecake" Peggie Castle (Back From The Dead, 99 River Street, I, the Jury.) Of German, Swiss and Irish ancestry; Mary Ellen Kay (Vice Squad, Voodoo Woman,) Shirley Patterson (starring roles in World Without End, The Land Unknown , It! The Terror from Beyond Space) and 1946's "Queen of the Ball", Dolores Donlon (TV show Richard Diamond, Private Detective with David Janssen.) It's hard not to totally fall in love with "The Long Wait" - pulpy to a fault, desirably sexy and on a unique side of the tracks for the dark cinema cycle. Our highest recommendation.    

Gary Tooze


Menus / Extras


Classicflix - Region 'A' Blu-ray


Classicflix - Region FREE - 4K UHD



1) Classicflix - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Classicflix - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM



1) Classicflix - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Classicflix - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM



1) Classicflix - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Classicflix - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM



1) Classicflix - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Classicflix - Region FREE - 4K UHD BOTTOM



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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Classicflix - Region FREE - 4K UHD



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