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(aka "The Pentacle" )


directed by Curtis Bernhardt
USA 1945


Conflict is a love triangle with murder at its heart, an atmospheric film noir of rainy nights, looming shadows, fatal romance and a trench-coated killer that walks out of the mist – all directed by Curtis Bernhardt, a filmmaker skilled in the Expressionistic style of his native Germany. The story embraces the perfect noir topic: the almost-perfect crime. Humphrey Bogart portrays Richard Mason, married to nagging Katherine (Rose Hobart)…but in love with her sunny sister (Alexis Smith). Shortly after a fifth-year wedding celebration at the home of a friend (Sydney Greenstreet), Richard decides to remove the obstacle to his happiness. He kills Katherine, carefully leaving no evidence of his guilt. Or at least he thinks he killed her – until mysterious events cause Richard to fear Katherine is very much alive.


Bogart is Richard Mason, successful engineer, just celebrating five years of marriage to Kathryn (Rose Hobart). Underneath the veneer of this idyllic marriage, however, the Masons’ relationship has degenerated into deep bitterness. Richard is in love with his wife’s younger sister, Evelyn (Alexis Smith), but knows that Kathryn will never grant him his freedom.
When he suffers a broken leg in a car accident, Richard sees a chance to escape his situation: Arranging a vacation at a mountain resort, he persuades his wife to make the long drive alone. That night, Richard intercepts Kathryn on the deserted mountain road and kills her, returning home before he’s missed, and maintaining the pretence that he’s still immobile from his broken leg, by way of an alibi.

As the police search for his apparently missing wife, Richard is free to develop his relationship with Evelyn, but odd things soon start to happen: Richard smells his wife’s perfume at home; he receives mail apparently written by her, and then thinks he sees her walk by on the street. He begins to ask himself, is Kathryn still alive - or is something else sinister afoot? With the help of psychiatrist pal Dr Mark Greenwood (Sydney Greenstreet), Richard tries to solve the puzzle, without revealing his own guilt in the process …

Excerpt of review from Dave G at Film Noir of the Week located HERE


Theatrical Release: 15 June 1945 (USA)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:25:21

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.51 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 (2:02)

DVD Release Date: January 24th, 2012
Keep Case

Chapters 9



Two years before Humphrey Bogart attempted to kill off his wife Barbara Stanwyck for his new love Alexis Smith in The Two Mrs. Carrolls, he attempted the same more successfully in Conflict, a film noir directed by Curtis Bernhardt. This time his unlucky wife is played by Rose Hobart and her sister, the object of his affection, is once again Alexis Smith. Warner Archive Collection finally recently released this classic on a single-layered progressive MOD disc.

While the transfer is not remastered, it is pretty decent quality with a few marks and specs, but overall contrast is balanced with deep blacks, which is very important for these noirs. The audio quality is fine and there is a theatrical trailer available as an extra. Another fine release from Warner Archive that we can recommend for any noir fan.

  - Gregory Meshman


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DVD Box Cover

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC



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