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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Door")

 

Directed by Joseph Pevney
USA 1951

 

Screen legends Charles Laughton (Witness for the Prosecution) and Boris Karloff (Black Sabbath) haunt the dungeons of a medieval château in this horrific adaptation of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson (The Body Snatcher) story. Laughton, the Sire de Maletroit, is an evil French nobleman, so obsessed with hatred of his own brother (Paul Cavanagh, A Bill of Divorcement) that he imprisons him in the castle dungeon. The Sire also tries to destroy the life of his brother’s daughter (Sally Forrest, Not Wanted) by forcing her to marry a rogue (Richard Stapley, The Girl from Rio), but his plans are upset when they fall in love. Aided by Voltan (Karloff), an abused servant, the lovers attempt to escape, but the Sire imprisons them in a cell with closing walls that may spell violent deaths for the young lovers. Directed by Joseph Pevney (Female on the Beach).

***

Despite the presence of horror icon Boris Karloff, The Strange Door is actually more of a Gothic melodrama: there are no monsters here, only a crazed lord of the manor and a seriously wacked-out torture chamber.

 

[...]

 

Although Karloff is in Door, he is not the star and is in fact reduced to a small (but important) part. Star honors go to Charles Laughton, who takes the opportunity to give one of his most delightful full-of-ham turns. It's not the kind of great acting Laughton was more than capable of, but it's one heck of a lot of fun.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 8th, 1951

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:20:54.933       
Video

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,645,354,799 bytes

Feature: 20,332,474,368 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,645,354,799 bytes

Feature: 20,332,474,368 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historians Tom Weaver, David Schecter and Dr. Robert J. Kiss
Trailers


Blu-ray Release Date:
April 23rd, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 8

 

 

Comments:

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

Kino Lorber transfer 1951's The Strange Door to Blu-ray. It's on a single-layered Blu-ray in 1080P with a high bitrate. Textures are not as prevalent as I was anticipating but overall the image quality is decent with layered contrast and pleasing detail in most of the close-ups. I wouldn't say it looks top-shelf, with film-like thickness, but certainly a clean and consistent HD representation with softness inherent in the original production.  

The audio is transferred via a 16-bit DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono track. The Strange Door's music sounds very familiar as it was a lot of stock pieces by the likes of William Lava, Charles Previn, Miklós Rózsa, Hans J. Salter, Frank Skinner, Herman Stein etc. and others may recognize Luigi Boccherini's Minuet (3rd movement from String Quintette E major, G.275). These pieces add to the film experience and sound competent, with minor depth, via the lossless rendering. Dialogue is clear and audible. There are optional English subtitles (see sample) on this Region 'A'
Blu-ray.

Kino include a new audio commentary credited to Tom Weaver, David Schecter and Dr. Robert J. Kiss. There is, predictably, informative details exported - on Pevney, Laughton, Karloff and much more. I wasn't always engaged but those who indulge should appreciate the effort and knowledge. There are also some trailers included but none for The Strange Door.

The Strange Door has wonderful atmosphere... Gothic-era pubs, townsfolk chasing ne'er-do-wells with torches, a creepy mansion with a dank, shadowy basement... and, of course, it has Laughton and a crouching, wild-eyed, Karloff. The
Blu-ray provides the opportunity to see this for vintage film fans and those keen on this genre of spooky, mysterious, horror thrillers made a lifetime ago. Bring me more!

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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