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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by William Nigh
USA 1948

 

The young women come to New York with a suitcase and a dream, determined to make it on the heartbreak street called Broadway. Many of them, as this cautionary noir points out, fall prey to career predators. Stage Struck zeroes in on the murder of one hopeful and of two overlapping investigations to catch the killer: one by persistent police detectives; the other by the victim's intrepid sister who poses as a footlight hopeful, signs on with the same talent agency her sibling used and infiltrates the dead girl's bright but illusory world. Conrad Nagle, a silent-era leading man who starred opposite Greta Garbo in The Mysterious Lady, and Ralph Byrd, who played firm-jawed Dick Tracy in films and in a TV series, portray the detectives. Audrey Long, who brings a welcome but perhaps unexpected sophisticated air to her portrayal of the victim's sister, was the longtime wife of Leslie Charteris, creator of the suave crime solver The Saint.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 13 June 1948 (USA)

Reviews                                                                 DVD Reviews

 

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

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:11:36
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.95 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: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: July 22nd, 2014
Keep Case

Chapters 19

 

Comments

Monogram Pictures made its mark in Hollywood history with many crime drama quickies, often with noir overtones, that stood out from the usual poverty row bunch. Jean-Luc Godard singled out Monogram by dedicating to them his first feature, bout de souffle. "I did it to prove that you can do pictures that are both interesting and cheap." - he said in 1964 and the films coming from Monogram in the late 1940's-early 1950's can be just that. Just look at Dillinger (1945), produced by King Brothers that got Monogram their only Oscar nomination for Philip Yordan's script. Or exciting Decoy (1946) with unforgettable Jean Gillie as a femme fatale. The success of Belita vehicle Suspense (1946) () gave an idea to Monogram to create their own B+ unit for superior fare, Allied Artists Productions. The two units co-existed until 1953 when Allied Artists ceased making movies under Monogram brand name. Luckily for us, the later Monogram titles and most of Allied Artists catalogue are now in the hands of Time Warner library and many films are being restored and released for the first time on home video as part of Warner Archive Collection.

 

Stage Struck is rarely seen crime drama with some noir elements. Kane Richmond, a leading man in serials and Monogram quickies (including the role of The Shadow), plays a bad guy here - witnessing a murder of a wanna-be actress (Wanda McKay) by sleazy John Gallaudet, he blackmails his way to the top of a "modeling agency" con directed toward young girls dreaming to become stars in Hollywood. Enter the two police detectives - Conrad Nagel (The Mysterious Lady) and Ralph Byrd (Dick Tracy himself) investigating the murder. An impressive Audrey Long (Desperate) as murdered girl's sister poses as a wanna-be starlet doing sleuthing of her own.

Warner used a British print for this restoration - it starts with a British Board of Film Censors title card. The overall presentation is above average with good contrast, but there are some marks and scratches on the print. The mono audio is fine and there are no extras on the disc. Considering there are no existing original elements for most of Monogram films and comparing them to the output from other poverty row studios languishing in public domain or owned by unreliable small companies, Warner Home Video should be commended on these welcome releases that are highly recommended to all fans of such B pictures.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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