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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Off Limits")

Directed by William Dieterle
USA
1949

 

After a two-year hiatus, Mike Davis (Burt Lancaster) returns to the same African city where he was tortured and left for dead at the hands of a sadistic Police Commandant (Paul Henreid). Originally innocent of all charges, Mike is back to claim the diamonds he had supposedly stolen two years ago. He enlists the help of an alcoholic stranger (Peter Lorre) and the doctor (Sam Jaffe), who had helped him back to health. The diamond syndicate head (Claude Rains) recruits a nightclub temptress Suzanne Renaud (Corinne Calvet) to seduce and betray Mike as an alternate to brute force. This suspense-noir classic was directed by William Dieterle (Dark City).

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 3rd, 1949

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Comparison:

Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Olive Film - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT
 
Box Cover

Coming out individually December 2014:

Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:44:04  1:44:10.953 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.75 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   
1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 17,261,902,473 bytes

Feature: 17,151,762,432 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate:  Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0)  DTS-HD Master Audio English 840 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 840 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Olive Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date: April 3rd, 2011

Keep Case
Chapters: 8

Release Information:
Studio: Olive Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 17,261,902,473 bytes

Feature: 17,151,762,432 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: November 13th, 2012

Thick Blu-ray Case  inside cardboard case
Chapters: 9

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - November 12': Olive Films have created a Film Noir Boxset offering Blu-ray versions of their previously released DVDs of Rope of Sand, Appointment With Danger, Union Station and Dark City. We will duplicate our comments as they are generally the same for all four 1080P releases.

The improvement in the HD video is evident in the screen captures - it is noticeable by the comparisons - if not always overwhelming in superiority. Technically these are on the modest side with a respectable 20 Mbps bitrate. There has been no further restoration or digital tinkering from the SD - but grain is more prevalent and contrast certainly improves showing more detail in the frame. Typical of a straight Blu-ray transfer - the damage marks - in this case only speckles - become slightly more visible in hi-def. These all look quite good in my opinion - better than I anticipated. Details tighten, visuals brighten, and artifacts morph into film-grain. It was a pleasure to revisit these films with the improved resolution. It felt much closer to seeing them as they were originally - in the theatre.

Audio is now lossless in mono, there are no subtitles and no extras. Noir Fans should be pleased to own this Blu-ray Boxset - especially if they don't own the previous DVDs.

***

ON THE DVD: Olive films (through access to Paramount) offer William Dieterle's 1949 Rope of Sand as they have done with the director's Dark City, and similar classic's like Lewis Allen's Appointment With Danger and Rudolph Mate's Union Station. This has an incredible male cast with Burt Lancaster, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains and Peter Lorre. The atmosphere is smoky, dark, nightclubs and vast desert dunes in South Africa - conflicts over diamond fortunes abound.

Like previous Olive Film DVDs this is dual-layered, progressive and bare-bones. It looks excellent in the original black and white - 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Contrast is highly impressive and the print is spotless. Some grain is visible and detail is at the very high end for the format. This transfer provides a very strong SD presentation.  

The unremarkable audio is flat mono but everything is consistent and dialogue clear. As stated there are no subtitles, nor extras - not even a trailer or any subtitles.

Personally, I'd be all over this - if only for the stellar cast and milieu. It's not quite Noir but has the tension and shadowy scenes. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am very surprised it has not been on DVD previously - although a poor quality European PAL version may have snuck under my radar. Fans of Lancaster, Lorre et all with be very pleased.     

Gary W. Tooze

 


Menus

1) Olive Film - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT
 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Olive Film - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

1) Olive Film - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


1) Olive Film - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


1) Olive Film - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


1) Olive Film - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


1) Olive Film - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

1) Olive Film - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

1) Olive Film - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


1) Olive Film - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

1) Olive Film - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Cover

Coming out individually December 2014:

Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



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