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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Traitor" or "The Accused")

 

directed by Michael McCarthy
UK 1957

 

"The Accursed" is a kind of old dark house mystery. A group of men who were in the World War 2 underground meet at Wolfit's invitation. His goal is to ferret out the man who betrayed their leader. On his way from the continent is a man who knows who did this. However, he is murdered on Wolfit's doorstep.

Robert Bray, an American intelligence officer, arrives too, and he also seeks the betrayer.

One more murder occurs before the person responsible is uncovered.

I watched this for the acting of Wolfit, a standout in "Room at the Top", but the cast also includes Christopher Lee, Karel Stepanek and Anton Diffring, and Robert Bray is cogent. I also watched it as a possible film noir. It pretty much measures up on that dimension too. The piano prelude is very nice and supports a noir atmosphere, as do the fear and suspicion of all those involved.

Excerpt of review from msroz for imdb.com located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 1957 (UK)

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DVD Comparison:

Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Renown Pictures - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for all the Screen Caps!

(Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Renown Pictures - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Renown Pictures
Region 0 - PAL
Runtime 1:13:27 1:21:18 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1:78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.76 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.49 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate:

 

Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection)

 

Bitrate:

 

Renown Pictures

 

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)

Dolby Digital Mono (English)

Subtitles None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1:78:1

Edition Details:
� None

DVD Release Date: August 13th, 2013
Keep Case

Chapters 8
 

Release Information:
Studio: Renown Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� None

 

DVD Release Date: June 27th, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 8

 

 

 

Comments

The Accursed, an American title for British noir whodunit The Traitor, in an Agatha Christie-mold with a much lower body count, featuring a great cast that includes Christopher Lee, Donald Wolfit, Robert Bray, Carl Jaffe, Anton Diffring, Oscar Quitak and the lone female in this bunch, Jane Griffiths.

When I reviewed the made-on-demand disc from Warner Archive, I
mentioned that there is a UK DVD from Renown Pictures, but now that I have seen and compared both discs, there is no easy recommendation as each DVD represents two different cuts. The UK cut is nearly 10 minutes longer (we also have to take into account 4% PAL speedup), but there is also a 3.5-minute scene unique to the American version. Here is the rundown of differences:

Scenes unique to the British cut (Run-times in PAL disc) -
04:53-08:30 - characters are introduced getting an invitation by the colonel Price. American cut just jumps with them arriving to the house.
15:10-21:15 - additional dialogue of guests discussing who could be the traitor and what they would do when he (or she) is reveled. Colonel Price tell professor in the library how the information about the traitor was obtained.
26:10-26:38 - additional dialogue as the group agrees to look for the traitor.
31:18-33:00 - additional dialogue after Vicki leaves the room and another scene with Vicki talking to Joseph in his room.
48:45-50:30 - colonel, professor and Vicki are in Vicki's bedroom discussing the conversation colonel had with the major.

Scenes unique to the American cut (Run-times in NTSC disc) -
1:01:47-1:05:15 - major gives the command to gather everyone downstairs and then talks to Vicki outside asking for help to uncover the traitor (the scenes comes in at 1:13:16 on PAL disc)
1:14:59 - an extra shot of Thomas' face (as in capture 5)

American cut is sourced from the Allied Artists print that has more damage (capture 6), but has better grey-scale and better contrast. The single-layered made-on-demand disc from Warner Archive features progressive anamorphically enhanced transfer in aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It looks too tight in some shots - the UK theatrical release likely matted film to 1.66:1 from the full screen presented on British single-layered disc. The dialogue-heavy mono soundtrack is fine on both discs and neither disc has any extras or English subtitles or captions. Both discs are coded for region 0. Renown Pictures unfortunately initially released spoiler cover, but had a good sense to change it to the one featured in this review.

 - Gregory Meshman

 


DVD Menus
(
Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Renown Pictures - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Renown Pictures - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Renown Pictures - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Renown Pictures - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Renown Pictures - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Renown Pictures - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Renown Pictures - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


Scene missing from Warner release

 

Scene missing from Renown disc

 


(Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP vs. Renown Pictures - Region 0 - PAL - BOTTOM)
Different placement of the first cue mark

 


DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Renown Pictures
Region 0 - PAL


 

 




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