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(aka "Más allá de la duda" )

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/lang.htm
USA 1956

 

Crusading publisher Austin Spenser (Sidney Blackmer) wants to prove a point about the insufficiency of circumstantial evidence. Spencer talks his prospective son-in-law Tom Garrett (Dana Andrews) into participating in a hoax, the better to expose the alleged ineptitude of conviction-happy DA (Philip Bourneuf). Tom will plant clues indicating that he is the murderer of a nightclub dancer, then stand trial for murder; just as the jury reaches its inevitable guilty verdict, Spencer will step forth to reveal the set-up and humiliate the DA. Somewhat surprisingly, Tom eagerly agrees to this subterfuge. Unfortunately, an unforeseen event renders their perfectly formed scheme useless. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt was the last American film of director Fritz Lang.

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 5th, 1956

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DVD Comparison: 

Warner (Spain) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Warner Archive Collection - Region 0 - NTSC

Warner (Spain) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Warner Archive - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT

Thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Warner Archive captures!

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Warner (Spain)

Region 0 - PAL

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:20:06 1:20:18
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.73 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.97:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.80 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 Spain

Bitrate  USA

Audio Dolby Digital 1.0 (English or Spanish DUB) Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles Spanish, None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date: July 13th, 2010
Keep Case inside cardboard slipcase

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.97:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (2:46)

DVD Release Date: March 29th, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 25

 

Comments

ADDITION: Warner Archive - June 11': The Warner Archive is widescreen (close to SuperScope ratio) and is progressive and anamorphic, but single-layered - perhaps a tad softer and brighter.

There is a letterboxed, not anamorphic trailer provided as extra.

With the incorrect ratio and ghosting of the full-frame Spanish disc, we recommend the Warner Archive DVD to those who want to see Beyond a Reasonable Doubt via digital.  

***

Firstly, IMDb lists this film as having a theatrical aspect ratio of 2.00:1 (SuperScope). This is similar to Lang's previous film (made a few months earlier), While the City Sleeps. Regarding that DVD production Exposure out of the UK made the case stating that they 'preserved the aspect ratio as shot by Lang and the compromised theatrical exhibition ratio was a concession to the 'trend' for Scope pictures.' I don't know if the same argument can hold as much water here but the composition in 1.33 doesn't look right to me. There are inordinate gaps and spaces all over the 'full' frame.

Anyway, it's a fairly weak single-layered transfer looking like it may have been taken from an analog source. It appears to be progressive but from an unconverted NTSC master (hence the correct 80-minute running time) - however, the disc is in the PAL standard (see 'ghosting' in the last capture.) Contrast is muddy, there are a lot of digital artefacts and nothing is very detailed. The best I can say is that it is watchable - but certainly nothing beyond that.

The mono sound has audible dialogue but about as unremarkable as the image. There is a Spanish DUB and optional Spanish subtitles. With my remote I could watch with original English and no subtitles. There are no extras - not even a trailer.

Obviously, I am disappointed that this isn't a better package but I am also not surprised - coming out of Spain - that this is so weak as we see similar quite often. Lang's last American film has a solid concept but doesn't seem long enough to establish anything concrete that the viewer can hang on to. The courtroom drama could have been more in-depth (my complaint about the remake). It is still better than that 2009 film with Michael Douglas though - reviewed HERE. I have wanted to see this Fritz Lang film for a long while and this Spanish DVD gave me that opportunity - that is it's only positive. Let's just hope it comes out 'properly' in widescreen, dual-layered, no heavy artifacting, with extras - sooner rather than later. Compared to this - the only available DVD edition - I'd be happier if it was even released via the Warner Archive

  - Gary Tooze

 



 

DVD Menus

 

Warner (Spain) - Region 2 - PAL LEFT vs. Warner Archive - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT
 

 

 


Screen Captures

 

Warner (Spain) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


Warner (Spain) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


Warner (Spain) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


Warner (Spain) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


Warner (Spain) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


Warner (Spain) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


  Warner (Spain) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


Warner (Spain) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


Warner (Spain) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


  Warner (Spain) - Region 2 - PAL TOP vs. Warner Archive - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

Combing/Ghosting from Unconverted NTSC source on Warner (Spain)

 


DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Warner (Spain)

Region 0 - PAL

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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