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directed by Richard Thorpe
USA 1937


Who can resist handsome Danny (Robert Montgomery)? Not the girls in an English village abuzz over the discovery of a headless corpse. Not the rich, disagreeable old woman (Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Dame May Whitty) he works for. No one, except the old woman’s niece (Rosalind Russell), who suspects that Danny’s charming facade hides someone cold, calculating…and possibly mad. Based on Emlyn Williams’ London and Broadway stage hit, Night Must Fall is a chilling, perfectly calibrated thriller that will have you checking the locks on the door as you ponder the contents of that hatbox Danny carries around. Montgomery, long typecast as the suave star of romantic comedies, earned a 1937 Best Actor Oscar® nomination for his harrowing, career-changing performance.


Theatrical Release: April 30th, 1937

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

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:56:12

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.54 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 1.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (3:01)

DVD Release Date: December 14th, 2010
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Chapters 35



I'm pretty sure I saw this - as a local play - in the 90's.  When it was first on stage 2-years before the film - over 70-years ago - it had some of the same cast (ex. Dame May Whitty and Kathleen Harrison) when quickly moved to the screen.

Being an almost 2-hour film this has been upgraded to dual-layered disc status and is progressive in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. It looks good but there are plenty of speckles and some frame-specific light damage and surface scratches. This is labeled under the Warner's "Re-mastered Edition" marquee but hasn't had any true restoration. Detail and contrast are quite good - especially for a film of this age. Night Must Fall is very watchable on this SD format.

The mono sound is occasionally inconsistent but audible and there are no subtitles offered. The only supplement is the film's 3-minute trailer - looking a bit worse-for-wear.

Despite the slow-building obviousness of the identity of the murderer - a high level of suspense and tension is felt not knowing the motivations and how they will be revealed. This is fairly unique and aside from being a bit drawn-out is a great film. It has a solid mystery atmosphere in the country cottage-home. I believe this is the only DVD available of this old MGM-Loews masterpiece. Strongly recommended!  

  - Gary Tooze



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Region 0 - NTSC


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