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directed by Bretaigne Windust and Raoul Walsh (uncredited)
USA 1951

 

Based on the 1940 revelations of Abe Reles as to the existence of an organisation called Murder Inc, but prompted by the Kefauver Committee investigations of 1950, this is very much a transitional film between the noir Forties and the syndicate Fifties. Unveiling the argot of the murder business for the first time (eg. 'contract', 'hit', 'finger'), it scored another notable first by using its intricate web of flashbacks, conjured by the interrogations of Bogart's crusading assistant DA, to explore the mysterious structures of organised crime. Bathed in a typically noir aura of fear, shot by Robert Burks in a semi-documentary style, and with a laconically witty script by Martin Rackin, it only occasionally reveals the cracks one might expect given that part of the footage had to be restaged by Walsh (who contributed, most notably, the climactic shootout with the killer finally nailed in a doorway).

Excerpt from TimeOut London located HERE

***

When an informer who has agreed to testify against his mobster boss is killed, Assistant D.A. Martin Ferguson (Humphrey Bogart) reviews the case he has built up against the boss, searching for any discrepancies in the catalogued testimony. In flashbacks - and flashbacks within flashbacks - we see the stories of various hoods, informers, and killers, all of whom have been murdered for talking to the police. When pieced together, the flashbacks reveal an ugly, violent world of organized contract killings, a world which is brand-new to the authorities. The gang boss, Mendoza (Everett Sloane), though incarcerated and awaiting trial, is still a threat; he's able to order more 'hits' through inmates with outside contacts, directly from his cell. Ultimately, the story becomes about Bogart trying to keep one final witness alive to testify.

The first major Hollywood release to tackle the subject of organized crime, The Enforcer was also known as Murder, Inc. (also the film's British title). The script by Martin Rackin was based on actual events of a decade earlier, and Bogart's character was based on real-life crusading district attorney Burton B. Turkus. The subject was still topical, however; in 1950, public interest in organized crime was on the rise with the Senate Crime Investigation Committee's delving into the subject once again. (The committee was chaired by Senator Estes Kefauver, who delivers the film's spoken prologue.)

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 25 January 1951 (New York)

Reviews                        More Reviews                    DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Republic, Artisan - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

1) Artisan - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Cover

 

 

 

Distribution

Republic, Artisan

Region 1 - NTSC

Olive Films

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:25:09 1:25:43.429
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.36 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,046,565,228 bytes

Feature: 18,959,781,888 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English) DTS-HD Master Audio English 1055 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1055 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Republic, Artisan

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (2:25)

DVD Release Date: December 16th, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio:
Olive

 

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,046,565,228 bytes

Feature: 18,959,781,888 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:
• None

Blu-ray Release Date: April 23rd, 2013
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

Comments

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

 

ADDITION: Olive - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (April 2013): W Typical Olive Transfer - un-manipulated, single-layered and a bare-bones package. It handily surpasses the old SD version with superior contrast, heightened detail and more information in the frame (on all 4 sides). There are infrequent speckles but no damage. The audio is a lossless mono track, no subtitles nor supplements of any kind.  

Gary Tooze

***

ON THE DVD: The Enforcer was the last picture Humphrey Bogart made for Warner Bros, but somehow the rights for it ended up with Republic. The film trails a district attorney, played by Humphrey Bogart, to build a new case against #1 mobster Albert Mendoza after the key witness falls to his death. Despite Bretaigne Windust being credited as a sole director, the majority of the film was directed by Raoul Walsh making the film the last pairing of the iconic duo of Bogart and Walsh. An excellent supporting cast and very tense last 10 minutes make the film worth watching despite its status of lesser Bogart picture.

The picture quality of this single-layered disc from Republic is decent, although I'm sure if the film remained with Warner Home Video the quality would have been much better (circa 2003 when the disc was released). There are some specs on the print and a few scenes were softer compared to the rest of the film. The mono soundtrack is fine. There are no subtitles provided, but the disc is closed captioned. The sole extra is a theatrical trailer. Overall a decent release that unfortunately can be better.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


Menus

 

1) Artisan - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 


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Screen Captures

 

1) Artisan - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Artisan - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Artisan - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Artisan - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Artisan - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Artisan - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Artisan - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Olive- Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Cover

 

 

 

Distribution

Republic, Artisan

Region 1 - NTSC

Olive Films

Region 'A'  - Blu-ray

 

 




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