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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Inferno 2D + 3D [Blu-ray]


(Roy Ward Baker, 1953)


3-D Blu-rays Reviewed at DVDBeaver:

Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Video: Panamint / Twilight Time



Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:23:38.054 / 1:23:37.053

Disc Size: 31,055,288,477 bytes / 34,194,995,417 bytes

Feature Size: 27,305,809,920 bytes / 32,876,998,656 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps / 28.81 Mbps

Chapters: 8 / 24

Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Transparent Blu-ray Case

Release date: August, 2014 / May 2017


Video (both): Option to play in 2D or 3D

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps


DTS-HD Master Audio English 2041 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2041 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2186 kbps 3.0 / 48 kHz / 2186 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 3.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2092 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2092 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



None / English (SDH), none



3D Trailer (2:12)
Inferno Trailer (2:14)
Pat Boone Interviews Rhonda Fleming (15:11)


Illustrated booklet


Audio Commentary with Film Historian Alan K. Rode and Robert Ryan’s Daughter Lisa Ryan
A New Dimension of Noir: Filming Inferno in 3D (15:34)
Isolated Music Track
Original Theatrical Trailer (2:13)

8-page leaflet with essay

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units




1) Panamint - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


Description: Tough business tycoon Donald Whitley Carson III (Robert Ryan) tests his own mettle when left to die in the Mojave Desert following a riding accident, which broke his leg. When he realises that his scheming wife Geraldine (Rhonda Fleming) and her lover Joseph Duncan (William Lundigan), his business partner, have left him to perish, he is determined to best them and survive to wreak his revenge.

Rhonda Fleming, "one of Hollywood’s coolest, prettiest villainesses” (New York Times), relaxing by a motel pool with a cocktail, contrasts starkly with her husband’s torment in the harsh desert as Ryan’s dramatic voiceover of his thoughts assesses his options and the resources he has to escape.

Originally filmed in 3D, with breathtaking photography by Lucien Ballard ("Berlin Express”, "True Grit”), Hollywood Noir has never looked better in this stunning Technicolor restoration by Dan Symmes, receiving its first home video release in the UK.



The Film:

Brief and very much to the point, Inferno is a grim, fascinating tale of survival. Breaking his leg on a vacation trip, millionaire Carson (Robert Ryan) is left in the middle of the desert by his wife Geraldine (Rhonda Fleming) and his business partner Joseph Duncan (William Lundigan). Ostensibly, they have driven off to seek medical aid for Carson; in fact, they intend to leave him in the desert to die of thirst and exposure. When the truth of his dilemma is made clear, Carson vows to live long enough to exact revenge against his wife and partner. Virtually a one-man show for the most part, Inferno maintains its level of taut suspense from start to finish -- and what a finish. The first 3D effort from 20th Century-Fox, Inferno was remade for television in 1973 as Ordeal, with Arthur Hill in the Robert Ryan part and Diana Muldaur and James Stacy as his would-be murderers.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

A tight and involving essay in suspense which works on the ingenious idea of leaving the audience alone in the desert with an unsympathetic and selfish character (all the more so considering that he's a millionaire), left to die with a broken leg by his wife and her lover. Baker then forces us to change our attitude of contempt to one of sympathy and admiration for his sheer will to survive. The suspense is well handled, especially a descent into a canyon with just one rope and a fall of hundreds of feet. The excellent Ryan plays the millionaire, Fleming his wife. Inferno was one of the best and last movies to be made in 3-D during the boom in the early '50s. Certainly its use of space emphasised the dramatic possibilities of 3-D and reveals, as more than one person has observed, that the device had largely been squandered in other films made at the time.

Excerpt from Timeout Film Guide located HERE

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

Firstly, this Panamint Blu-ray package offers both the 3D and 2D versions of the film, Inferno. We will only review the 2D version here. NOTE: The menu offers an option for both 3-D and 2-D playback, but this disc is ;playable as 2-D on a regular 2-D monitor and 2-D Blu-ray player, when the 3-D version isn't accessible.


This is advertised as produced from masters restored by Dan Symmes and it looks excellent with bright, attractive colors (a shade of teal leaning) and plenty of film textures. Fox gambled a little with 'new' technology into Inferno with both 3-D and the, relatively new, stereophonic sound and in 1953 there were only a limited number of theatres capable of supporting them. The 1080P presentation is very consistent with clean, bright visuals. There is good contrast and depth is exported. Lucien Ballard's cinematography and the Technicolor process are showcased reasonably well by the HD transfer. It is better than I was anticipating and the Blu-ray provided an enjoyable presentation devoid of any impinging imperfections.



The more technically robust Twilight Time is superior, although marginally, with slightly cooler skin tones and negligibly tighter colors. It's not a lot, but is noticeable when we look close. In-motion, few systems will identify the slight disparity. The 3D version is an option once you press play but cannot be played unless you have the appropriate equipment (3D player and TV.)






Subtitle Sample Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray



1) Panamint - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Panamint - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



1) Panamint - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM















Audio :

Some might consider it a missed opportunity with no lossless option. Panamint use a standard Dolby Digital stereo option in a lowly 192 kbps, but it sounded quite strong - clean and even. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.


Twilight Time advance handily beyond the Panamint's lossy audio with a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 2041 kbps (24-bit). The Paul Sawtell (Silver City, The Fly, Denver and Rio Grande, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) score (also available as an isolated option) is very supportive of this fine thriller. Twilight Time also add optional English (SDH) subtitles - see sample above, and their Blu-ray disc is also region FREE playable worldwide.    


Extras :

As well as 3-D and 2-D trailers, Panamint include a 1/4 hour of Pat Boone interviewing Rhonda Fleming. The package also contains an illustrated booklet.


Twilight Time also advance upon the Panamint in terms of supplements with a new audio commentary with film historian Alan K. Rode - and briefly Lisa Ryan (Robert's daughter) at the 50-minute mark. It's a nice balance of information, memories and data about the production. Very worthwhile. There is also a 1/4 hour piece - A New Dimension of Noir: Filming Inferno in 3D discussing the film's 3D capabilities and its inclusion as a 'dark cinema' effort with a host of experts. There is an original theatrical trailer and the aforementioned optional isolated music track. The package, limited to 3,000 units, also has an 8-page leaflet with an essay by Julie Kirgo.


Panamint - Region FREE - Blu-ray



Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray



I really enjoyed this. There are definitely some heavy Noir overtones in Inferno, with the anti-hero, sexy femme fatale and murder angle all being heavy characteristics of the story.  The Panamint Blu-ray provides a very pleasurable a/v presentation with the, untested, 3-D option. I know I'll be watching this again and encourage 'dark cinema' aficionados to seek out this impressive BD.



Twilight Time make it better - a/v, commentary, extras and it's definitely a keeper. I agree with Rode that Ryan carries the film with another of his excellent performances ('it's all in the eyes'). Some of the 3D is also very impressive (rattlesnake!). Many consider it one of the very best 3D features in the era of that process. This Blu-ray is absolutely recommended!  

Gary Tooze

August 29th, 2014

May 24th, 2017



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.

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Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Gary W. Tooze





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