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directed by Harold D. Schuster
USA 19

Everything’s going right for Mike Donovan (Barry Sullivan). He came home after the war, married his gal, got a regular job as a bank teller in Hollywood, makes payments on a house in the ‘burbs. But, as the voice-over narrator of this on-edge film noir notes, “One day the world’s all right. The next, it’s nowhere.” Nice-guy Donovan’s life quickly begins to unravel. He’s wrongly suspected of grand larceny at the bank, hounded by a dogged insurance investigator convinced of his guilt and loses his job and home. Is there any way he can stop his free fall? As the insurance shamus determined to crush Donovan, Charles McGraw (The Narrow Margin, Armored Car Robbery) glares and growls in the style that helped make him one of the icons of noir. Dorothy Malone plays Donovan’s supportive wife. And, in solid noir tradition, Mary Beth Hughes is sizzling blonde ice as an avaricious femme fatale.


Bank teller Mike Donovan (Barry Sullivan) takes the first step on the road to Perdition when he fails to report a $49,000 shortage. Accused of theft, Donovan is fired from his job. He is then prevented from finding other employment by Javert-like insurance investigator Gus Slavin (Charles McGraw). Despite many setbacks, Donovan holds out the hope that he'll be able to clear his name, but even his loyal wife Ruthie (Dorothy Malone) doesn't believe this will ever happen. Filmed on location in Los Angeles and Malibu, Loophole never loosens its grip on the viewer for a single second.

Excerpt of review from MRQE located HERE


Theatrical Release: March 28th, 1954

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:19:51

1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.19 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.


Audio Dolby Digital 1.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: April 25th, 2013
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Chapters 23



Loophole is a sweet and simple Noir with some obvious characteristics of the dark cinema. It's your standard 50's crime-drama with documentary overtones and has the typical sap encouraged by the trophy femme-fatale. It builds with a delicious sting to nab the real baddie and clear the protagonist. 

It's standard single-layered but progressive in the bastardized 1.78:1 aspect ratio (opened-up from the original 1.85:1) and looks very good. The image is very impressive with no damage and decent contrast. Black levels are strong and detail surprisingly good. The disc supports the film with a fine transfer with plenty of shadows and light play. Strong overall.

The mono sound is decent but unremarkable and there are no subtitles offered. There are no supplements and only one menu screen.

I was in a perfect Noir mood and this less conventional gem fit the bill to a 'T'. It's no masterpiece but a solid little black cinema effort. Recommended to those who crave the cycle.   

  - Gary Tooze



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Region 0 - NTSC


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