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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Strangers in the Night [Blu-ray]

 

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/mann.htm, 1944

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Republic Film

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 0:56:07.322 

Disc Size: 13,255,609,306 bytes

Feature Size: 13,184,944,128 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.98 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 26th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 816 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 816 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The first film-noir directed by legendary filmmaker Anthony Mann (T-Men, The Naked Spur) - A Marine sergeant (William Terry) stationed overseas falls in love with a woman only through correspondence. On the train back home, he meets a beautiful young doctor (Virginia Grey) who's starting a new practice in the same small town. Once in town, he finds his pen pal's place of residence, but to his surprise he only finds the girl's mother (Helen Thimig) living at the old mansion with her servant (Edith Barrett) - The old woman informs him that her daughter has gone away and will return shortly, but asks him to stay at the mansion until her return. This gothic and haunting mystery in the tradition of Hitchcock's Rebecca was beautifully shot Reggie Lanning (Hoodlum Empire).

 

 

The Film:

Sergeant Johnny Meadows (William Terry) is recently discharged from the army, and on his way to meet the girl of his dreams. He found a copy of “A Shropshire Lad” with a name — Rosemary — scrawled on the inside cover, along with an address. Intrigued, he struck up a correspondence with Rosemary and fell in love. En route to the California seaside town where she lives, he meets Dr. Leslie Ross (Virginia Grey), the town’s new physician. Leslie and Johnny hit it off (and bond when the train has an accident and the doctor leaps into service) but he is determined to stay true to his pen pal love. When he arrives, he meets only Rosemary’s mother Hilda (Helene Thimig) and her “companion” Ivy (Edith Barrett). He is told that Rosemary is out of town. Captivated by her portrait, he waits. And waits. And grows suspicious.

Excerpt from Martin Teller's Movie Reviews located HERE

Mann’s fifth quickie: cheerfully stolid GI Johnny returns from war, to a penpal with whom he’s in love but never seen, thanks to her donated copy of A Shropshire Lad. Her address turns out to be a looming, clifftop mansion (rendered via a charmingly ambitious piece of matte painting), inhabited by aged mother (Thimig), nervous companion/housekeeper Ivy, and a gloriously chocolate box portrait of the perfect Rosemary, hanging amidst chandeliers over the mantle. The epistolary love-making and the charms of Rosemary’s painting are offset by a queer atmosphere in the brooding mansion, and Grey butts in as a preternaturally poised lady doctor Johnny meets on the train (she’s also keen the Housman).

Excerpt from Movies [Tom von Logue Newth] located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Strangers in the Night has a modest Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. This is only single-layered and contrast looks a shade dusty but decently layered. The black levels do seem to improve as the films runs along and detail is quite acceptable - strong in spots. There is some grain peeking through and a few lengthy vertical scratches and occasional speckles. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD. I thought the source was fine and the transfer supplies a worthwhile video presentation.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The audio is transferred via a DTS-HD mono track at 816 kbps. It sounds authentically flat but clear and consistent. Joseph Dubin did the seething score - he looks to have composed for many B-westerns of the era. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with many of their releases. A 'Mann' scholar giving input might have been appropriate.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I was keen to see this being an Anthony Mann fan. It is really a 'B'-film and never gets the chance to evolve but I still enjoyed it with that as a consideration. Characters are patently one-dimensional with a fairly obvious deviation. Olive could have easily put three similar length features on this Blu-ray - a 'B' Triple Feature might have been a good idea. Mann completists will get the most out of this - I only wish it was longer. 

Gary Tooze

March 7th, 2013

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

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Gary W. Tooze

 

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