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directed by Stuart Heisler
USA 1950

Matt Brennan knows how to open eyes to the potential of the experimental jet, the JA-3. He’ll pilot it from Nome over the North Pole to Washington, DC and land it on the Pentagon’s lap. The distance is beyond the JA-3’s tested range.


This second-echelon Humphrey Bogart vehicle casts Bogie as a bomber pilot who becomes a free-lance flyboy after the... war. Eleanor Parker, Bogart's wartime love, is now the secretary of aircraft manufacturer Raymond Massey. Partly out of an effort to link up with Parker again, Bogart signs on as a test pilot for Massey's firm. Richard Whorf, Massey's safety supervisor, dislikes Bogart's grandstanding. When Whorf is killed, Bogart feels responsible. He volunteers to test Whorf's experimental escape device by flying at high-speed. The test is a success (though it's nip and tuck for a while), and Bogart survives for a final clinch with Parker. Completed in early 1949, Chain Lightning was held back from release until 1950; it was Humphrey Bogart's final Warner Bros. film.


Theatrical Release: February 18th, 1950

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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 1:34:36

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.83 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 (2:09)

DVD Release Date: February 23rd, 2012
Keep Case

Chapters 10



I thought this was a decent Bogie flic - his  last with Warner. This was helmed by Stuart Heisler who did Tokyo Joe with Bogart at around the same time. He also directed the famous Ladd/Lake noir The Glass Key. Eleanor Parker and Massey make for good support of Bogie as the daring test-pilot.

It's standard single-layered but progressive in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and looks solid. The image is impressive with only a few speckles from flawless for the SD format. Black levels are handled well and detail is consistent. The disc supports the film with an un-manipulated transfer which produces a fine digital presentation.

The mono sound is clear but unremarkable and there are no subtitles offered. The only supplement is the film's trailer.

Even those outside of Bogart's fan-base may wish to consider this one. It's a fine film if not reaching some of the actor's most acclaimed roles. Heisler delivers some tension and Chain Lightning has a suspenseful conclusion. I liked it.  

  - Gary Tooze



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Region 0 - NTSC


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