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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Lost Lady" )


directed by William A. Wellman
USA 1931


Gilda (Dorothy Mackaill) thought she had fallen as far as a woman could fall when she got a call telling her a client was requesting her “services.” But when the client turns out to be the man responsible for her fall from grace, Gilda flies into a murderous rage. Taking it on the lam, Gilda finds shelter in the arms of a sailor boyfriend (Donald Cook) who smuggles her to sanctuary and safety, or so he thinks. In reality he has booked her a bridal suite in hell. Too long imprisoned by obscurity, Safe in Hell is released at last. This pre-code crime classic, touted at the time as “Not For Children,” is frank, startling and arresting, as gripping today as it was eight decades ago. Directed by William A. Wellman, Safe in Hell is full of terrors and delights, including the most striking ensemble seen this side of Freaks and a truly twisted stunner of a finale.


Theatrical Release: 12 December 1931 (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 1:13:00

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 Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (1:11)

DVD Release Date: November 8th, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 8



Safe in Hell is a pre-code gem of a movie that could have been lost forever if not for the wonderful archivists at the Library of Congress. Dorothy Mackaill is my favorite recently discovered pre-code actress, having witnessed recently her stellar performance in otherwise lackluster Love Affair with pre-Petrified Forest Humphrey Bogart. Here is another great role for her that she gives it all - it's surprising Warner would not renew her contract after this picture. I'll be looking forward to recently released Dorothy Mackaill double-feature The Office Wife / Party Husband from Warner Archive Collection.

The single-layered made-on-demand disc from Warner Archive Collection for this film boasts a pretty dated transfer - besides damaged frames, various marks and lines, this looks like an older transfer with some chroma evident. One wishes Warner Home Video did a new master, but, I guess, they don't have easy access to the lone print being held at the Library of Congress to do a new master. The soundtrack is likewise, has some issues with some hiss and pops. Per usual standard, there are no subtitles provided, but we do get a theatrical trailer. Despite the drawbacks of the presentation, this is still a highly recommended release for any fan of pre-code cinema.

  - Gregory Meshman


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Screen Captures

Damaged frame














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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC


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