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(aka "Black Dice")

Directed by St. John Legh Clowes
UK 19
48

 

Based on the shocking novel by James Hadley Chase, No Orchids for Miss Blandish is mixture of sex, violence and low morals made it one of the most controversial films of the late 1940s. The story tells of a pampered heiress (Linden Travers) who is abducted on her wedding night by a gang of small time hoods, in what starts out as a jewel robbery and turns into a kidnapping/murder when one of them kills the groom. Despite her terrifying ordeal, Miss Blandish finds herself falling in love with the gang leader, Slim Grisson (Jack LaRue). They plan to run off together, but the rest of the gang can t see parting with a potential million dollar ransom, or leaving a witness alive -- even if it means killing Slim Grisson to get to her. The book itself was ferociously condemned, provoking George Orwell and praised the sets, the acting, the smoothly effective direction are all good. Chase s novel was alleged to be the most popular book amongst serving British troops during WWII.

 

Posters and Book cover

 

Theatrical Release: April 13th, 1948

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DVD Review: VCI Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution

VCI Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:43:08
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate:  6.9 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 English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Video Interview with Richard Gordon and Richard Nielson by Joel Blumberg (34:08)
• Audio Interview with Richard Gordon, Richard Nielson and Tom Weaver (39:18)
• British Trailer (2:06)
• American Trailer (1:42)
• Photos Gallery

DVD Release Date: May 25th, 2010

Keep Case
Chapters: 12

 

Comments:

Firstly, there is a UK version, that I don't own, from "Simply Media" HERE - but I have heard it is of extremely poor a/v quality. We may compare one day but it's quite an odd-duck film so it may never transpire.   

It's another interlaced (see combing example in last capture), but dual-layered VCI effort. It actually looks extremely good - very clean - decent detail but contrast spears a little green. VCI should really stop releasing interlaced transfers - it's 2010 for cuss sake! On the positive it is one of the best transfers from this outfit that I've seen.

As usual, no subtitles - and, unremarkable but audible 2.0 channel sound. It's weaker than the impressive video this area but not enough to make issue even with the varying of Brit accents. I'm fairly forgiving considering the clandestine showing of the film - considered a noir but it's certainly debatable. Extras are decent with a brand new 35-minute video interview with Richard Gordon and Richard Nielson by Joel Blumberg and a 40-minute audio Interview with Richard Gordon, Richard Nielson and Tom Weaver. Good show! We also get the British and American (Black Dice) trailers and a photo gallery.

As for the film - this is a weird one alright - it certainly looks noirish but as Kenneth Turan HERE states in his roundup of the "Footsteps and Fog: British Film Noir,” series put on by the UCLA Film & Television Archive;

"At least one film in this series comes close to being beyond categories, and that is "No Orchids for Miss Blandish." Based on a James Hadley Chase novel and allegedly set in the New York underworld, it was filmed entirely in Twickenham with a largely British cast sporting American accents that are uncertain at best. And that isn't the half of it.

With both a "rich girl loves gangster kidnapper" plot and a costar (American actor Jack La Rue) that echo the outré "The Story of Temple Drake," "No Orchids' " combination of thuggish savagery and Ed Wood-style filmmaking affronted the sensibilities of 1948 Britain something fierce. The Monthly Film Bulletin, called it "the most sickening exhibition of brutality, perversion, sex and sadism ever to be shown on a cinema screen." Seen today, it is hard not to agree with New York's Film Forum, which called it "the most bizarre British film ever." You have been warned
."

Uhhh.... I agree. For hardcore Noir completists only. 

Gary W. Tooze

 



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Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


Combing from interlaced transfer
 


DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

VCI Entertainment

Region 0 - NTSC



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