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directed by William Conrad
USA 1965

 

Twenty years ago, a little accident with a guillotine trick left magician Duke Duquesne’s wife and on-stage assistant without a head…and their baby daughter Cassie without a mother. Now The Great Duquesne may have another trick up his sleeve. He dies, leaving Cassie a sizeable inheritance if she’ll spend seven nights in his spooky mansion. With a fearless young reporter at her side, Cassie braves terrors that could be the work of evil spirits. Or are they illusions dreamed up by Cassie’s dear, demented dad? Connie Stevens, Dean Jones (in his pre-The Love Bug days) and Cesar Romero star in a creepy horrorfest that offers fans scares, screams, a return of that guillotine and Max (Gone with the Wind) Steiner’s penultimate score.

***

Except for a brief prologue showing Connie Stevens being skewered in a horror magician's stage act, and the finale, with a guillotine blade poised over her pretty blond curls, the picture is about as startling as "The Bat." And not nearly as much fun.

Call it simply an old-fashioned, haunted-house spooker—the kind Warners used to make. Miss Stevens is the heiress daughter of an eccentric magician, Cesar Romero, compelled by his will to spend a week in the old boy's mansion. The house creaks, moans, and thumps, among other things.

Miss Stevens yells her head off, and Dean Jones chops around protectively, as a smitten reporter. Also ambling in and out, thank heaven, are two fine sideline players—Connie Gilchrist, as a petulant maid, and the always interesting Virginia Gregg, as a neurotic employe of the departed wizard.

The real star of this picture is a cute, white rabbit who prowls the house minding his own business. He's just dropped into the film, for no apparent reason. Now who thought of him? William Conrad, the director-producer? The two scenarists (Henry Slesar and John Kneubuhl)? Never mind. There he is.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 13 January 1965 (USA)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:47:12
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.96 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: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Archive Advert (0:59)

DVD Release Date: June 22, 2010
Keep Case

Chapters 19

 

Comments

Two on a Guillotine is a fourth feature directed by William Conrad after The Man from Galveston (1963), My Blood Runs Cold and Brainstorm (both 1965) that is being released by Warner Archive Collection. This time, they remastered the film and a new progressive transfer looks very good. There is very little damage on the print, but unfortunately the choice of DVD-R made this a single-layered disc, so the film has low bitrate.

The Dolby Digital soundtrack is acceptable without any hiss or drop-outs, but there is no subtitles or any extras, not even a trailer. A fine presentation for this overlooked gothic horror. Other newly remastered titles being released as part of Warner Archive Collection are Five Star Final and Verboten!

  - Gregory Meshman

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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