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directed by Edward L. Cahn
USA 1950


Five Alcatraz inmates have found a way to escape the Rock: earn their freedom by becoming human guinea pigs in a risky radiation experiment aimed at treating blood diseases. The experiment is soon scuttled after one of the subjects goes berserk, killing another inmate. But did the tests really lead to murder? Dr. Ross Williams (John Howard of the Bulldog Drummond films) investigates, finds another possible cause…and finds his life in deadly peril as a result. Busy “poverty row” filmmaker Edward L. Cahn (Our Gang shorts, Invasion of the Saucer Men) ties a shoestring budget into a B-movie bow that bundles together elements of mystery, sci-fi, medical-drama and prison pictures. Fans of brisk Bs won’t want to let this one get away.


Theatrical Release: 21 November 1950 (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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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 58:22

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.64 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 Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: February 22, 2011
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Chapters 6



In February 2011, Warner Archive released a trio of rare RKO thrillers from 1950 - Destination Murder, The Tattooed Stranger and Experiment Alcatraz which we will be reviewing here, at DVDBeaver. Experiment Alcatraz is an under-one-hour thriller that still manages to overstay its welcome despite its brief running time. Joan Dixon, the babe from Bunco Squad, a Warner Archive release that we recommended, and John Howard star in this B-picture that must be seen to be believed, especially that ending!

The film is presented on single-layered MOD disc that is overall very good quality. Despite expected marks and specs, the print quality is very good, likely to be transferred from 35 mm elements. The sound is likewise very decent, although per usual standards there are no subtitles provided. No trailer is available for this title, otherwise it would be interesting to see how this film was promoted.

  - Gregory Meshman


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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

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