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directed by Henry Hathaway
USA 1956

Van Johnson portrays a blind American writer living in London. Blessed with an acute hearing sense, Johnson overhears a kidnapping plot but neither his friends nor the authorities believe him, chalking up his story as the product of a writer's imagination. Disgruntled, Johnson vows to scuttle the kidnapping himself -- with the assistant of his fiancée Vera Miles. Despite his handicap, Johnson puts the pieces together using sounds as evidence and guidance. Ultimately Johnson finds his life in danger when he corners the criminal in a dark alley. 23 Paces to Baker Street was one of several ''50s 20th Century-Fox films shot on location in London to take advantage of Fox's "frozen funds" -- money earned by the studio in England which by law could only be spent in that country.
 

***

When a blind man overhears a kidnapping plot, the only thing more difficult than foiling it is getting someone to believe him. Without the help of friends or the authorities, the man, along with his fiancé, pieces together the clues of the mystery, all of which are sound.

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 27th, 1956

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DVD Comparison: 

Twentieth Century Fox (Cinema Archives) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL

(Twentieth Century Fox (Cinema Archives) - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT vs. Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL LEFT)

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Twentieth Century Fox

Region 0 - NTSC

Odeon Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:42:52 1:38:42 (4% PAL Speedup)
Video

DVD cropped to 1.33:1
Average Bitrate: 5.25 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.4 mb/s
PAl 720x576 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Fox

Bitrate Odeon

Audio Dolby Digital 1.0 (English) Dolby Digital 1.0 (English)
Subtitles None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
Cropped to DVD  1.33:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date: March 1st, 2013
Keep Case

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio:
Odeon Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 2.35:1 
aspect ratio

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date: September 24th, 2012
Keep Case

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Henry Hathaway is an clever storyteller and 23 Paces to Baker Street has a wonderful concept - the blind sleuth. There are plenty of curious locations that add to the conceptual difficulties of sightlessness and suspense is kept at a very high level. This is a very good film!.

The transfers are quite revealing and present a textbook case of how pan + scanning can destroy the integrity of a film's composition.  Why would Fox even bother releasing it like this? The NTSC disc misses so much information that it is not even the same film.

The mono sound is decent but unremarkable and there are no subtitles, nor supplements, offered on either disc.

Fox has done this a few times with their Cinema Archive series - and thank goodness we have a comparable disc available. This film isn't a likely candidate for Blu-ray and I really enjoyed watching the UK DVD. If it sounds like a film you might be keen on - I'm sure I don't need to tell you which to choose. 

  - Gary Tooze

 



 

DVD Menus

 

(Twentieth Century Fox (Cinema Archives) - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT vs. Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL LEFT)
 

 

 


Caveat starting the Fox DVD presentation

 

 


Screen Captures

 

(Twentieth Century Fox (Cinema Archives) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


(Twentieth Century Fox (Cinema Archives) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


(Twentieth Century Fox (Cinema Archives) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM)

 


(Twentieth Century Fox (Cinema Archives) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


(Twentieth Century Fox (Cinema Archives) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


  (Twentieth Century Fox (Cinema Archives) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM)

 


(Twentieth Century Fox (Cinema Archives) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


(Twentieth Century Fox (Cinema Archives) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


  (Twentieth Century Fox (Cinema Archives) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM)

 

 


(Twentieth Century Fox (Cinema Archives) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP vs. Odeon Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL BOTTOM)

 


DVD Box Cover

Distribution

Twentieth Century Fox

Region 0 - NTSC

Odeon Entertainment

Region 0 - PAL

 




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