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directed by André De Toth
USA 1949

 

Will Slattery is a hotshot fighter pilot reduced to inactive duty for defying orders in a crucial battle and recklessly engaging in a solo aerial dogfight. The stunt did help secure victory, and the brass has delayed a decision on whether he deserves the Medal of Honor . . . or a court-martial. In the meantime he’s taken a job piloting cargo flights in the Caribbean for a Miami-based “candy manufacturer,” a job arranged by his loyal girlfriend, Dolores (Veronica Lake).

It’s a mundane existence for the hot-blooded Slattery until the reappearance of old flame Aggie (Linda Darnell), who’s married to his war pal Hobbie (John Russell), who’s now assigned to the Navy weather squadron. When Slattery pursues Aggie, he sets off a chain reaction that ruins the lives of everyone, most tragically Dolores. Slattery seeks atonement—or suicide—by forcibly taking Hobbie’s place on a dangerous tracking flight into the eye of a hurricane bearing down on the Florida coast.

One suspects de Toth, a pilot himself, campaigned for this assignment. His flying sequences are superior to any other similar scenes from the era. The claustrophobic confines of the cockpit, its eggshell fragility in a storm, sudden shifts of light through the windshield—de Toth captures it all with stunning verisimilitude. His intercutting of stock flying footage with freshly shot sequences is seamless.

In true noir fashion, the story is recounted in flashback, with Slattery narrating his own bitter tale in a vituperative voice-over as his plane is battered by the fast-moving storm. It’s not exactly Double Indemnity (1944), but the device gives the narrative vital urgency. By opening with Slattery’s unexplained beating of his drunken friend and the theft of his plane, the story is given a suspenseful spine it wouldn’t otherwise have, despite subplots involving adultery and drug smuggling, two noir staples.

Excerpt of review from Eddie Muller for Film Noir of the Week located HERE

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Theatrical Release: 11 August 1949 (USA)

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DVD Review: 20th Century Fox (20th Century Fox Cinema Archives) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Distribution

20th Century Fox

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:22:57
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.31 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.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: June 20th, 2012
Keep Case

Chapters 9

 

Comments

Slattery's Hurricane makes its official home video debut as part of 20th Century Fox's new made-on-demand collection "20th Century Fox Cinema Archives". Unfortunately, Fox utilized an old transfer transfer that did not go through any restoration or remastering. The image is soft in some scenes and there is some chroma evident (see around Ms. Lake's dress in capture #5), but more noticeable are some unusual horizontal lines throughout the film that we can only assume are a function of the source material.

The mono soundtrack is decent, but unfortunately there are no extras. A fine film that deserves re-discovery is unfortunately gets a sub-par presentation from Fox.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


DVD Menu
 

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

20th Century Fox

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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