S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
Directed by Anatole Litvak
John Garfield is a tough, smart-alec gangster who draws a 25 - 30 year stretch in Sing Sing for knocking over a jewelry store. While he combats the discipline inside the 'castle', his loyal girl friend (Ann Sheridan) tries to effect his release. She is seriously injured in an auto crackup, which gives the parole-minded and humane warden (Pat O'Brien) a chance to let Garfield loose on honor system to see the girl.
John Garfield finds himself
typecast by Warner Brothers once again in Castle on the Hudson (1940), a
remarkably faithful remake of the Spencer Tracy vehicle
20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932). In Tracy's old role, Garfield stars as
Tommy Gordon, a jewel thief serving a 25-year-minimum sentence but expecting his
political pals on the outside to help spring him from prison. Pat O'Brien plays
the reform-minded yet kind-hearted warden who helps Tommy see the error of his
ways, and Ann Sheridan (in the role previously played by Bette Davis) is the
Theatrical Release: February 17th, 1940
DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
CLICK to order from:
Warner Home Video
Region 0 - NTSC
Average Bitrate: 6.50 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)|
• Archive Advert (:59)
A more modern 20,000 Years in Sing Sing with Garfield, the Depp of yesteryear, fitting into his role like a well-tailored pinstripe suit. He's a cocky punk who sees the error of his ways. Pat O'Brien is the obliging Warden. The redemption is underplayed. He'll take the chair to cover for his faithful gal. Spencer Tracy was great in his role but Garfield seems more natural... behind bars.
It's another single-layered, but progressive, DVD-R treatment with only extensive light speckles and surface scratches keeping it from being a 'very impressive' appearance. It's totally watchable and smooth in-motion. No errant artefacts and contrast is decent - detail fairly strong. This transfer would have been worthy for one of the Warner Gangster boxsets - or perhaps more appropriately a 'Tough Guys' packages. No chroma or other deficiencies - it is in the top 25% of Warner Archive transfers.
As usual, no subtitles - and, unremarkable 2.0 channel audio that has no glaring faults. No extras at all besides the usual Archive advert that starts the disc presentation.
I'm a sucker for the 'big house' flics - especially with the pulpy feel and some wholesome melodrama tucked in the back pocket. I'm always keen to see Garfield in one of these, typical, roles - no one really did it better. Sheridan doesn't get enough screen time, and Burgess Meredith shows some unsuspecting range - one of his best early roles. What about the amazing fashions seen prior to incarceration? - or check out these hats on the 'gals on the outside':
I could watch this stuff at anytime - maybe I was born in the wrong era. The Noir relationship exists if not in the 'essential' category. If this sounds like your cup-of-tea - don't hesitate - wonderful vintage film and above-average transfer. Go for it.