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directed by Arch Oboler
USA 19

Only Joan (Phyllis Thaxter) knows the real reason she fainted at her engagement party and suddenly deserts her fiancÚ, Bob (Henry H. Daniels, Jr.). It’s the command of the sinister, vengeful “Karen,” a terrifying alternate personality raging inside Joan who will ultimately direct her to kill. Not even the psychiatrist (Edmund Gwenn) who discovers her fate can stop the tormenting voice that controls Joan’s every move – forcing her to run, to hide, to plot and to murder. Writer/director Arch Oboler, who adapted his successful radio play into this shocking thriller, keeps the suspense taut and the action filled with unexpected twists as Joan’s murder trial unfolds before a mesmerized courtroom.


Radio legend and 3-D pioneer Arch Oboler brings his story, Alter Ego, to the screen in a low-budget yarn that benefits from a strong cast and direction. Joan Ellis (Phyllis Thaxter) hears a voice in her head (in flashbacks) shortly before she is to be married. She flees to another city and even takes up with another man to rid herself of the voice, but random words bring it back at unexpected moments. The voice ultimately tells her to kill her husband-to-be, and when a psychiatrist (Edmund Gwenn) determines on the eve of her execution that Joan is possessed by a split personality, a struggle ensues to see which one will survive. Oboler uses radio techniques and tense scripting to bring his thriller to visual life.


Theatrical Release: July 4th, 1945

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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 1:19:54

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.63 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 (1:54)

DVD Release Date: May 3rd, 2012
Keep Case

Chapters 7



Bewitched has wonderful atmosphere, flashbacks and support performances. The dual-personality angle is infrequently utilized in Noir and it makes for an intriguing conclusion.

It's standard single-layered and progressive in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and looks impressive with a very high bitrate. The image is very impressive with some grain and only a few speckles as a minor negative. Layered greytones are strong and detail consistent. The disc supports the film with a better-than-average transfer with some cool overlay effects. Overall quite solid.

The mono sound is decent but unremarkable and there are no subtitles offered. The only supplement is the film's trailer - running about 2-minutes.

This is a relatively unusual Noir premise, but works well as the plot thickens with a nice build. There is some far-fetched areas but it still makes for an enjoyable presentation - and essential disc - for Noir devotees.  

  - Gary Tooze



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Region 0 - NTSC


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