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Directed by Gordon Parry
UK 1958

 

Set in the North of England this atmospheric crime thriller stars Diana Dors as the sexy vamp Calico, who is the girlfriend of Dave (Terence Morgan). When Dave s better looking brother Johnny (George Baker) arrives from London to escape his gambling debts, the heat soon rises when Johnny and Calico are attracted to each other. She persuades the brothers to rob the wages safe where Dave works, but as they break in, a night watchman discovers them...

Poster

Theatrical Release: August 1958

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DVD Comparison:

Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL vs. VCI (British Cinema - Classic Vol. 1) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for VCI Captures!

1) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL LEFT
2) VCI (British Cinema - Classic Vol. 1) - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

   

 

 

Distribution Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:27:33 (4% PAL speedup) 1:31:06
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.6 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.6 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.

Bitrate: Odeon

Bitrate: VCI

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
Subtitles None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Odeon Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• trailers

DVD Release Date: May 26th, 2008

Keep Case
Chapters: 6

Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• 6 films on 3 discs
• 6 trailers for other films.

DVD Release Date: September 16th, 2008
3 discs in a keepcase

Chapters 12

 

Comments:

ADDITION: The British Cinema Classic B Film Collection, Vol. 1 (which includes The Siege of Sidney Street / The Frightened Man / Crimes at the Dark House / The Hooded Terror / Girl in the News) from VCI in NTSC - May 2010.

It looks as though the UK disc has the edge in detail despite the flaws (boosted brightness, chroma and slightly horizontally stretched). The VCI is cropped (left, top and bottom edges predominantly), quite muddy, a bit green, hazy and dark. It may also be slightly vertically stretched.

You do get the above 5 other films in the 3-disc VCI boxset - described as: "SIEGE OF SIDNEY: The dramatization of true events sets the stage for this drama. The date is 1911 and a standoff is sparked between Russian anarchists and police officers. The young woman trapped in the middle thinks back to the events that led up to the siege with unpleasant memories. Violence and flashbacks to the events provide the tension to sustain the viewer to stay till the end! THE FRIGHTENED MAN: Charles Victor, the owner of a small furniture & antique shop uses extra cash from handling stolen good to put his son through Oxford. However, the son gets himself kicked out and comes home to sponge off the old man. When Victor s savings are depleted, the son wants more and gets himself involved with some heavy duty bad guys. Tragedy is the name of the game in this one. CRIMES AT THE DARK HOUSE: When lady luck smiles sometimes, it doesn't last! The inheritance of a large estate leads to murder, when a madman kills the recipient only to gain entrance to the estate so that he can murder his enemies. HOODED TERROR: Made on a low budget, this drama thriller is both classy & suspenseful. The house of horrors has plenty for the horror fan to enjoy. This restoration is a must for horror fans! GIRL IN THE NEWS: The perfect plot! An unsuspecting nurse, once acquitted of murder, is hired as a nurse for the wheelchair-bound Mr. Bentley. This falls into the plans of Mrs. Bentley and the butler lovers plotting to set Ms. Graham up when Mr. Bentley is found dead. TREAD SOFTLY STRANGER: Diana Dors plays Calico, the sexy vamp (or tramp?) and Terence Morgan, the staid little office worker and love interest of Calico. Things heat up when the shady but handsome brother arrives from London. Instant attraction strikes between Calico & the brother making her plan of theft take off."

Gregory informs me though the VCI transfers are of similarly weak quality. Noir completists, who are less discerning of the a/v, may opt for the VCI package which includes 3 other debatable Noirs from our listing HERE (The Frightened Man / Crimes at the Dark House and Girl in the News) and the 6 total features amount to a little over $4/film. Diana Dors fans may wish to go for the UK DVD which is about $8.50 USD at current exchange. I do like the film despite neither transfer being impressive.

NOTE: Surprisingly, in June, BFI are coming out with a Diana Dors Double Bill on Blu-ray HERE which contains Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary? and My Wife's Lodger.

There is also The Diana Dors - Icon Collection HERE with Yield To The Night, Lady Godiva Rides Again, Diamond City, A Boy, A Girl And A Bike, As Long As They're Happy, and A Kid For Two Farthings. It also includes the documentary The Blonde Bombshell.

****

ON THE UK DVD: Odeon Entertainment single-layered DVD transfer is unremarkable with minor flaws but passable for a film viewing.  It has some chroma and brightness boosting but detail is fairly strong at times. The top of the cover states it is part of the 'Best of British' collection but I can't find that it made it into any of the offered boxsets. This Tread Softly Stranger DVD is un-coded and in the PAL standard.

Audio seemed sedate and consistent if unremarkable. There are no subtitles offered - nor extras aside from some trailers.

I quite enjoyed this noir-ish thriller - it's on our listing HERE) - but I'll guess the VCI will be a better deal... and that is the route we recommend going at this stage. If we can compare come Sept. - we will. 

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus

1) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL LEFT
2) VCI (British Cinema - Classic Vol. 1) - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT

 

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL TOP
2) VCI (British Cinema - Classic Vol. 1) - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL TOP
2) VCI (British Cinema - Classic Vol. 1) - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL TOP
2) VCI (British Cinema - Classic Vol. 1) - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL TOP
2) VCI (British Cinema - Classic Vol. 1) - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL TOP
2) VCI (British Cinema - Classic Vol. 1) - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL TOP
2) VCI (British Cinema - Classic Vol. 1) - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


1) Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL TOP
2) VCI (British Cinema - Classic Vol. 1) - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


DVD Box Cover

   

 

 

Distribution Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC

 




 

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