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Directed by Robert Siodmak
USA 1944

Siodmak's first American success, a moody thriller from a Cornell Woolrich novel which set the mould for a string of dark classics. The wife of an engineer (Curtis) is murdered, his female alibi's very existence is denied by every witness, and he faces the chair. His secretary (Raines) and a curious off-duty cop (Gomez) investigate... Siodmak's angled compositions and dramatic lighting might be uncharitably ticked off as genre staples, but his manipulation of the film's key motif is masterly. He concentrates on the tangible and psychological evidence - the 'records' - of absence: the wife's portrait, the messages on the office dictaphone, the court transcript, the dead witness' typed address, the hat that recalls a dead fiancÚ. And the film's quest is for a woman who exists only in the memories of the condemned man and the audience.

 Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release Date: January 28th, 1944

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DVD Comparison:

Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL vs. TCM - Region 1 - NTSC

1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL LEFT
2) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - RIGHT
 
DVD Box Cover
 

Also available in the Dark Crimes Boxset:

Distribution Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL TCM - Region 1 -  NTSC
Runtime 1:23:03 (4% PAL Speedup)  1:26:51
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.2 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   
1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.55 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:

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0) - DUB in French (mono) English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Subtitles French, (possibly forced on some machines when original English dialogue is chosen though none of my systems were displaying them as forced) None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Carlotta Films

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33 

Edition Details:  

NOTE: NONE OF THE EXTRAS ARE IN ENGLISH OR HAVE ENG. SUBS

  •  Interview with Herve Dumont (17 min)
    Conversations with Robert Siodmak (1971 - 60 min)
    Bande-annonce


DVD Release Date: April 4th, 2007

Custom 3-tiered slipcase inside cardboard box
Chapters: various 

Release Information:
Studio: TCM.

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Marsha Hunt on Film Noir (1:59)

• Eddie Muller on Robert Siodmak (2:52)

• Eddie Muller on Phantom Lady (3:18)

• Digital Image Galleries
- Behind-the-Scenes Photos
- Publicity Stills
- Lobby Cards
- Movie Posters
- Scene Stills

DVD Release Date: December 3rd, 20
12
3-tier Digi-pack inside cardboard case
Chapters:
24

 

 

Comments:

ADDITION: TCM - Region 1 - NTSC - November 2012: (comments duplicated - covering all three releases) So TCM has put together a new Noir package with the, long awaited in NTSC, black-cinema classics - The Blue Dahlia, Phantom Lady and The Glass Key. So, as Eddie Muller repeats in the DVD extras section, 'finally'. The Ladd/Lake noirs (This Gun For Hire, The Blue Dahlia, and The Glass Key) are an essential part of the cycle and Eddie considers Siodmak (Phantom Lady, Criss Cross, The Dark Mirror) the greatest of all Noir directors.

All three transfers are single-layered and appear to be from the same source as their PAL counterparts with the same light damage/speckles. Contrast improves significantly in The Glass Key and there is notable improvement as well in The Blue Dahlia. Less so in Phantom Lady but the biggest appeal is getting these three iconic Noirs  in there theatrical running time (no PAL speedup).

Extras have Eddie Muller giving short input on all three discs - twice in multiple subjects, we also have a brief, and still classy, Marsha Hunt discussing Noir and an introduction by Ben Mankiewicz for The Glass Key. All three also have Digital image galleries with Behind-the-Scenes Photos, Publicity Stills, Lobby Cards and Movie Posters.

I treasure this set - would love the films in 1080P but it seems such an unfairly long period of time for these important films to reach NTSC. I'll be buying a second set to store in a safety deposit box. Certainly recommended!

***

ON THE FRENCH DVD: Phantom Lady has some visible damage marks - lots of speckles and some light, but extensive, scratches (see last screen capture). Detail is quite good and there are moments of visible digital artifacts. Audio quality was consistent. There are extra features but they are either in French or German (with French subtitles) and are not English friendly.

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus

 

1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL LEFT
2) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - RIGHT
 
 

 


Subtitle Sample

 

1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - BOTTOM

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - BOTTOM

 


1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - BOTTOM

 


1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - BOTTOM

 


More TCM Captures

 






 

DVD Box Cover
 

Also available in the Dark Crimes Boxset:

Distribution Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL TCM - Region 1 -  NTSC


Recommended Reading in Film Noir (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)




 

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