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(aka 'Split Second' or 'MÍme les assassins tremblent')

Directed by Dick Powell
USA
1953

 

Stephen McNally and Paul Kelly are escaped cons who travel through the desert to their hideout, a ghost town situated in the middle of an atomic bomb testing site, set to detonate the next morning. As the cons travel to the ghost town, they pick up a variety of characters to hijack their cars and to keep them as hostages. The hostages: Jan Sterling is the tough talking dame who's been around, Keith Andes as the newspaper reporter, Alexis Smith as the self-centered wife in Nevada for a divorce, Robert Paige as her current squeeze, and Arthur Hunnicutt as a desert miner who adds a touch of humor to the film.

Excerpt from Film Noir of the Week located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 2nd, 1953

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DVD Comparison:

Editions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL vs. Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Editions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Archive captures!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution Editions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:25:24  1:25:27
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.48 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.28 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: Montparanasse

Bitrate: Archive

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

Release Information:
Studio: Editions Montparnasse

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Serge Bromberg Introduction (3:27)

DVD Release Date: September 16th, 200
8
Slim transparent Case
Chapters: 9

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (1:39)

DVD Release Date: January, 2010
Keep Case

Chapters 9

 

Comments:

ADDITION: Warner Archive release - April 2010: Comparatively the French edition looks horizontally stretched, brightness boosted and thick. It appears to have been taken from an unconverted NTSC source judging by the running time of the film. While neither are stellar I'll give the edge to the progressive region-free transfer from the Warner Archive. It offers no subtitles and only a brief trailer as an extra.

***

ON THE FRENCH EDITION: A typical Montparnasse edition - hazy, interlaced but CRT watchable. It's from a probable analog source - and exhibits combing. This doesn't look as 'thin' as many other RKO-to-Montparnasse transfers and I don't suspect a lot of contrast boosting.  

It's a decent vintage film with some definite noir markers and doesn't have an imminent landing in region 1. We have original English audio and optional French subtitles (no French DUB this time). No extras save the mono-brow Bromberg's 3 minute introduction (in French only).

I don't believe this is out anywhere else - making the Montparnasse the only game it town.

It's an easy buy for noir-completists and those keen on classic crime films - Powell first directorial effort methinks. Another good thing is the price that gets cheaper as the US dollar soars. Personally I liked Split Second a lot and when I'm in the mood will spin it again.  

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus

Editions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT


 


Screen Captures

 

Editions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


Editions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


Editions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


Editions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


Editions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


Editions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution Editions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




 

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