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Lana Turner Double Feature

Portrait in Black (1960)       Madame X (1966)

Lana Turner fans collectively shout 'It's about time!' for two of her better remembered, aptly titled, melodramatically fun thrillers. The "Sweater Girl" with the outrageous tabloid existence (7 marriages - multiple affairs) including battles with alcoholism and the infamous incident where her 'gangster' lover, Johnny Stompanato, was killed by Cheryl Crane, her daughter - that always seem to supersede her professional career. Universal offer this very reasonable 2-seperate disc DVD set with noirish, star-studded, Portrait in Black (with Anthony Quinn, Richard Basehart , Sandra Dee, John Saxon and Anna May Wong!) and Madame X wear she shines above her co-stars John Forsythe, Ricardo Montalban and Burgess Meredith. Finally!

Gary W. Tooze



Directed by Michael Gordon
USA 1960


This glitzy, glossy, murder-suspense picture was shot like one of Ross Hunter's romantic films. It took 15 years for the 1945 play to reach the screen, after an interesting history. Goff and Roberts' stage production premiered in New Haven with Geraldine Fitzgerald in the lead. There was a two-year hiatus until it went to New York for 61 performances starring Clare Luce, Donald Cook, and Sidney Blackmer. The film rights were bought by Bruce Manning and Jack Skirball, who announced Joan Crawford to star and Carol Reed to direct. When that didn't happen, Universal picked up the rights and held them until they needed a film Turner could appear in to follow-up her successful remake of IMITATION OF LIFE. Turner was dressed in some eye-catching Jean Louis gowns, and the film employed some beautiful sets, but neither of these flashy touches could conceal PORTRAIT IN BLACK's contrived plot. Married to Nolan, an invalid multimillionaire, Turner is having an affair with Nolan's doctor, Quinn.

 Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE


Theatrical Release: July 27th, 1960

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DVD Review: Universal - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Universal - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:52:28
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.65 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English (CC), French, None

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: February 5th, 2008

Double-lock Double Holder Keep Case
Chapters: 18





Competent dual-layered transfer - progressive and anamorphic in the original aspect ratio. Colors are a bit dull and there is some noise infiltrating the grain, but overall this is very watchable. The print used is fairly clean and I see no untoward manipulations. Thumbs up!

It has a clear audible track and optional English or French subtitles. No extras save a trailer. It shares the package with a 2nd disc Madame X (reviewed below). A great deal for fans of noir (which it approaches) or Lana herself. Recommended!  

Gary W. Tooze


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Directed by David Lowell Rich
USA 19


DVD of Madame X compared to the Blu-ray HERE





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