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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Three Secrets [Blu-ray]

 

(Robert Wise, 1950)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Warner Bros.- First National Picture

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:38:56.930

Disc Size: 16,349,760,559 bytes

Feature Size: 16,289,611,776 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 16th, 2012

 

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: Three Secrets is a darker variation of a theme first explored in A Letter to Three Wives. A plane crashes in the mountains of California; the only survivor is a five-year-old boy, who hovers between life and death. It is discovered that the boys was traveling with his now deceased adoptive parents. Susan Chase (Eleanor Parker), Phyllis Horn (Patricia Neal) and Ann Lawrence (Ruth Roman) wait in agony years earlier, each of the three women had given up a baby son for adoption, with the same birth date as the injured child. Could it be that the little boy on the mountain is actually the son of one of the three women? And if so, how many painful secrets will be revealed in the next few hours? Directed by the great Robert Wise (West Side Story) and beautifully shot by Sidney Hickox (The Big Sleep).

 

 

The Film:

The plight of a 5-year-old boy stranded on a California mountain top as sole survivor of a plane wreck in which his foster parents have been killed is the circumstance which brings together the separate dramas of three women's lives in Warner Brothers' "Three Secrets," the new picture at the Strand. And although it is incidental to the rather mawkish stories of the dames, this desperate situation of the youngster makes for the most affecting drama in the film.

That is because the whole rendition of anxiety over the lad and of organizing a rescue party of climbers to go fetch him from the perilous peak has been done with superior understanding and pictorial naturalness by Director Robert Wise. The excitement and human drama of a big news story has been vividly created by him. First there is the quick assembly of rescuers and newspaper men in a lodge at the base of the mountain, the impatience for the chief climber to arrive (he being flown in from Canada) and the radio interviews with the rugged mountaineers on hand. Then there is the grim departure of the party, not knowing What they'll find; the long and restless vigil of the reporters and the endless hours of suspense. Mr. Wise has caught the stark experience of waiting and hoping excellently.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

When an airplane crashes on a mountain near Bishop, California, the only survivor is a five-year old boy. Hardin, a reporter, learns that the now-orphaned boy, Johnny Peterson, was adopted as a baby from a shelter. Three boys listed with the same birthday as Johnny's were placed by the shelter, but the matron refuses to reveal the names of their mothers. One of those women, Susan Chase, is now married to Bill, a lawyer, but has never told him about the child she gave birth to five years earlier. When she learns that the injured boy stranded on the mountain was adopted, she becomes convinced that the child is hers. After Bill leaves on a business trip, Susan drives all night to the site of the rescue effort. During the drive she reflects on the events that led to the birth of her son: During the war, Susan falls in love with Paul Radin, a Marine. Before he is shipped out, he tells Susan that he is still in love with a woman back home, whom he has known since childhood. Later, a pregnant Susan tries to kill herself, but her mother calls a doctor and, after the baby is born, convinces Susan to give him up and put the past behind her. Two other women are at the shelter that day. One of them, Phyllis Horn, a reporter, is also watching the rescue effort.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

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

Three Secrets has a standard, unrestored, Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. This is only single-layered but contrast looks quite strong. We can assume the source still retains decent density. It has a few more speckles and under-the-surface scratches than usual but it didn't detract from the presentation. Detail is healthier than it would appear on SD and the Blu-ray supplied me with a solid presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The original mono track has been transferred using a DTS-HD Master at a modest 816 kbps. David Buttolph's score seems out of place at times but rendered authentically by the lossless. Moments export some notable depth.  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 their releases.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Three Secrets has two of my favorite vintage-film babes - Ruth Roman and Patricia Neal - who take turns stealing the show with their penetrating glances. Actually this is a very good film - one I am surprised hasn't been released previously on DVD (to my knowledge). The gals are all great and Wise crafts the story in his typically proficient manner. The Blu-ray gave me a wonderful presentation - nothing demo - but with enough of a film-like quality to immerse myself and enjoy the film. Recommended! 

Gary Tooze

October 12th, 2012

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)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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