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http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/Tourneur.htm
UK 19
57

 

One of the finest thrillers made in England during the '50s, despite the fact that the final cut was tampered with against the director's wishes. Tourneur had used MR James's short story Casting the Runes as the basis for a marvellous cinematic dialogue between belief and scepticism, fantasy and reality. His intrepid rational hero (Andrews) is a modern scientist who is gradually persuaded that his life is threatened by a black magician. The director employed a number of e normously skilful devices to ensure that the audience experiences the hero's transition from confident scepticism to panic, and the process is observed with such subtlety that, in the original version at least, the interpretation of the plot was left open (i.e. the hero may simply be the victim of a conspiracy and/or his own imagination). The producer decided that the film lacked substance (in fact it was far more terrifying than most horror films), and added special effects of the 'demon' very near the beginning, which of course missed the whole point of what Tourneur had been attempting. Even so, the rest is so good that the film remains immensely gripping, with certain sequences (like the one where Andrews is chased through the wood) reaching poetic dimensions.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

 

  Posters

Theatrical Release: February 28th, 1958

Reviews                        More Reviews                    DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC vs. Wild Side Video - Region Free- Blu-ray

 

1) Columbia - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Wild Side Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

Distribution Columbia Tri-Star  Pictures - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC Wild Side Video
Region Free -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:35:39 and 1:21:36  1:35:51.746 and 1:21:48.528 
Video 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.5 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Night of the Demon

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,849,160,339 bytes

Feature: 24,799,186,944 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Curse of the Demon

Feature: 19,959,496,704 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Night of the Demon Blu-ray

Bitrate: Curse of the Demon Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 

Night of the Demon

DTS-HD Master Audio French 1642 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1642 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 933 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 933 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

Curse of the Demon

DTS-HD Master Audio English 933 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 933 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

Subtitles English, Japanese, French, None French, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Columbia Tri-Star Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:

• Trailers for Fright Night and The Bride

DVD Release Date: August 13th, 2002

Keep Case
Chapters: 28

Release Information:
Studio:
Wild Side Video

 

Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
 

Night of the Demon

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,849,160,339 bytes

Feature: 24,799,186,944 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.96 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Curse of the Demon

Feature: 19,959,496,704 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.96 Mbps

 

Edition Details: (PAL DVD included)
• Night of the Demon (1:31:54)
• Internet Link to WildSide website

• 146-page Book with 100's of photos and text in French only
 

Blu-ray Release Date: November 27th, 2013
Custom Blu-ray Case with book

Chapters 18

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Wild Side - Region Free - Blu-ray (December 2013): Firstly, the excellent news; not only is this Wild Side Blu-ray edition region FREE but the subtitles are removable (on my standard Oppo Blu-ray player) despite the menus insinuating, incorrectly, that you must have French subtitles when choosing English audio. I simply chose the English Audio option and chose 'no subtitles' with my remote's 'Subtitle' button. So, while I can't speak to all players - on my system the subtitles are removable when original English is chosen.

NOTE: This bodes very well for the French Blu-ray of Gun Crazy (review HERE)

The 1080P image is wonderful - for both films - the shorter U.S. cut (Curse of the Demon) and the extended British cut of the film (Night of the Demon.) Visually the HD improves in every area over the SD - superior contrast, tighter detail, we may lose a sliver of information on the side edges but it remains in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. It has depth and is bright, exceptionally clean - maybe a shade glossy at times but darker scenes showcase nice grain textures - no noise. There may be a touch of digitization (minor edge-enhancement), but overall the video presentation is extremely pleasing. Both versions look about the same quality and have the same supportive bitrate sharing a dual-layered Blu-ray disc.

Audio is lossless for both films in a DTS-HD Master HD in 2.,0 channel - Night of the Demon has an optional French DUB but Curse of the Demon has only the English. I suspect that most, normal, Blu-ray players can also remove the French subtitles, via a remote, and I will state here that they are only imposed with sole use of the disc menu.

The French package has one Blu-ray disc (with both versions of the film - not seamlessly branched), one PAL region 2 DVD with the extended British cut of the film (under its original title, Night of the Demon) and a hefty 146-page book with 100's of beautiful photos of the film, production, promotion, posters etc. and essays in French (only).

Great. One of my favorite discs of the year. It has taken me a while to grow to appreciate this film - although, now each time I see it - it advances in my opinion (so typical of Tourneur's cinema). Super to have both editions, magnificent book (even if the text is only French) and a pleasing 1080P image and lossless audio. Absolutely recommended!

***

ON THE DVD: Columbia's dual-layered, progressive DVD offers both the lesser-seen shorter U.S. cut (Curse of the Demon) and the extended British cut of the film (under its original title, Night of the Demon).

Columbia Tri-star's early DVD work was usually competent - bordering on stellar - and this fits the former category quite nicely. There are some damage marks but the problematic 1.66 aspect ratio has been maintained. This is a good presentation with no extras save a couple of trailers. It is coded for regions 1 thru 4 in the NTSC standard. English, Japanese and French optional subtitles are offered.

These atmospheric film(s) were not an initial favorite of mine until the past couple of years, where my appreciation for Tourneur's oeuvre has subsequently grown in leaps and bounds. It is the type of subtle eye-catching cinema that I could find poignant and narrative-supporting screen captures of all day long. Strongly recommended!

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus


 

Wild Side Video PAL DVD included in Blu-ray package

 

Wild Side Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle sample

 

1) Columbia - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Wild Side Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Columbia - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Wild Side Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Wild Side Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Wild Side Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Wild Side Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Wild Side Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Wild Side Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Columbia - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Wild Side Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


More Blu-ray Captures
 

Box Covers

 

 

Distribution Columbia Tri-Star  Pictures - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC Wild Side Video
Region Free -
Blu-ray




 

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