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directed by Felix E. Feist
USA 1950

 

Police Detective Ed Cullen is running hot and heavy with his clandestine lover, socialite Lois Frazer. Their passion is interrupted when her estranged husband enters the house through a balcony door and Lois "accidently" shoots him twice at close range. Unwilling to put their affair on hold, Ed begins to orchestrate an elaborate cover-up. Dumping the body at the airport, Cullen's car is observed leaving the scene, but when the witnesses cannot identify him, it looks like the murderous couple are in the clear. However, his kid-brother Andy, recently promoted to detective, smells a rat and refuses to let the case stay closed - although he has no idea how close to home and to what tragic consequences his suspicions will lead.

Director Felix Feist delivers a fast-paced and under-appreciated film noir gem in The Man Who Cheated Himself. Lee J. Cobb created the iconic roles of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death Of A Salesman (1949), and Johnny Friendly, mob boss in the 1954 Academy Award- winning classic, On The Waterfront. Jane Wyatt gained fame playing Ronald Coleman's paramour in the 1937 masterpiece, Lost Horizon but is best known today for her role as Margaret Anderson, the mother on the 1950s TV series, "Father Knows Best," for which she won three Emmys.

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 26th, 1950 (USA)

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DVD Review: Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution

Alpha

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:19:36
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.40 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

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Alpha

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Alpha Video DVD Catalogue
• Previews

DVD Release Date: January 8th, 2008
Keep Case

Chapters 6

 

Comments

Single-layered and interlaced - it actually isn't too bad considering it's Alpha Video who tend to specialize in cheap digital renderings of Public Domain classics. It's muddy - possibly from a 16mm source - but no untoward boosting. Audio seems consistent if not stellar and there are no subtitles offered on this pragmatic disc. Extras consist of Alpha promotion.

This is a tremendously effective 'B' Noir with a solid cast - Jane Wyatt is the only question mark (described by Eddie Muller as the “least likely femme fatale”). In one of the quintessential lines in all of the dark cinema copper Cobb matter-of-factly states of Lois Frazer (Wyatt), “She’s no good... but, that’s the way it is.” Pure gold. John Dall of the iconic Gun Crazy plays the unflappable fledgling detective and coincidental younger bro. Great camera work here too - this is premium noir and a solid shame that it has this inferior transfer. I'd like to think the, newer, Synergy Entertainment release HERE is superior but I have my doubts. A must-see Noir but prepare for the lackluster A/V.

  - Gary Toozen

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Alpha

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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