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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

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

 

Reviews                                                          More Reviews                                                        DVD Reviews

 

 Comparison:

Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL vs. TCM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL LEFT

2) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Cover
 

Also available in the Dark Crimes Boxset:

Distribution Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL TCM - Region 1 -  NTSC Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:23:03 (4% PAL Speedup)  1:26:51 1:26:55.877
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

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,822,535,535 bytes

Feature: 20,215,416,576 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.25 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0) - DUB in French (mono) English (Dolby Digital 1.0) LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles French, (possibly forced on some machines when original English dialogue is chosen though none of my systems were displaying them as forced) None English (SDH), 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

Release Information:
Studio:
Arrow

 

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,822,535,535 bytes

Feature: 20,215,416,576 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.25 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Dark and Deadly: 50 Years of Film Noir, an insightful archival documentary featuring contributions from Robert Wise, Edward Dmytryk, Dennis Hopper and more (52:18)
• Rare, hour-long 1944 radio dramatization of Phantom Lady by the Lux Radio Theatre, starring Alan Curtis and Ella Raines (59:33)
• Gallery of original stills and promotional materials
• Reversible sleeve featuring two original artwork options
• FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Alan K. Rode


Blu-ray Release Date:
March 5th, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

 

 

Comments:

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

Arrow has put "Phantom Lady" on a dual-layered Blu-ray with a supportive bitrate. It improves dramatically over the SD in all the expected areas - more grain texture, better layered contrast and slightly more information in the frame. The image is now not as squeezed, showing more realistic sizes of faces, objects, etc. The 1080P resolution does certainly have some damage, though the random scratch or blip is only momentary, with only one or two scenes showing a vertical scratch for a few seconds. Barring any unforeseen restoration, this is surely the best that the film has looked to date.

The film's audio is presented in a linear PCM 2.0 channel mono (24-bit) that is, much like the video, in pretty good shape. Save for a few moments, the audio quality is consistent and even with clear and audible dialogue. There are some performances in the movie that showcase the music, namely "Chick-ee-Chick" performed by Aurora Miranda and showgirls at the casino and Gene de Paul's "I'll Remember April", played over the opening credits and throughout the film. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles on this Region 'A' or 'B'
Blu-ray.

Arrow has also included a small (yet illuminating) number of extras. First off is the 52-minute "Dark and Deadly: 50 Years of Film Noir" which features interviews with Robert Wise, Edward Dmytryk, Dennis Hopper and more, all while showing footage from some classic noir pictures. Up next is the rare, hour-long 1944 radio dramatization of Phantom Lady by the Lux Radio Theatre, starring Alan Curtis and Ella Raines. Though there is a slight hiss in the background, it is not too intrusive. This is a very neat find by the folks at Arrow. There is also a gallery of original stills and promotional materials, and a reversible sleeve featuring two original artwork options. The first pressing also has an illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Alan K. Rode.

What a thrilling noir feature. The
Blu-ray a/v is a huge improvement over the SD releases plus we get a documentary on noir, a radio play, and astute analysis of the film and a booklet. No-brainer for fans of the Film Noir. Thanks again to Arrow for putting out some great overlooked genre films.

Colin Zavitz

***

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
 
 

 

Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample - Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE
3) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


Screen Captures

 

1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE
3) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE
3) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Carlotta - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE
3) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - TOP
3) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - TOP
2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 


1) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - TOP
2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

1) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - TOP
2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

1) TCM - Region 1- NTSC - TOP
2) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

More Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray Captures

 

Box Cover
 

Also available in the Dark Crimes Boxset:

Distribution Carlotta Films - Region 2 - PAL TCM - Region 1 -  NTSC Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray


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




 

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