Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Pesadilla" or "Guilty of Murder?" or "Uncle Harry")

 

directed by Robert Siodmak
USA 1945

 

A 1945 thriller directed by Robert Siodmak and produced by Joan Harrison (who scripted several Hitchcock features during the 40s and produced his 50s TV show). A small-town bachelor (George Sanders) dominated by his two sisters plans to kill one of them after falling in love with a city woman. This has been described as a good melodrama marred by a cop-out ending that resulted from 40s censorship; Stephen Longstreet and Keith Winter wrote the script, adapted from a play by Thomas Job. With Geraldine Fitzgerald, Ella Raines, and Sara Allgood.

***

A pitch-dark comedy in whose ironies and perversities Alfred Hitchcock might have wallowed, The Strange Affair of] Uncle Harry fell instead to Robert Siodmak, who did a professional if not inspired job. George Sanders plays a fabric-designing bachelor living with his two sisters in a New England textile-mill town. Into his ordered, dull life comes Ella Raines, a sophisticate from the New York head office. They fall in love, plan to marry. But possessive younger sister Geraldine Fitzgerald takes exception to the plans; dawdling, malingering and needling, she pries the pair apart. When the truth dawns on Sanders, he extracts his revenge by means of poison purchased to euthanize an old dog. Alas, the fatal dose goes astray, as happens with such nasty chemicals.... With its hints of unhealthy vibes between brother and sister, the movie offered fare daring for its day. And so, among several endings reportedly filmed, Uncle Harry opts for one thought to ruffle the fewest feathers.

Excerpt of review from Bill McVicar at imdb.com located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 17 August 1945 (USA)

Reviews                                               More Reviews                                               DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Suevia Films (Film Noir Collection) - Region 0 - PAL vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

Box Covers

   

Distribution

Suevia Films

Region 0 - PAL

Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:20:06 (4% PAL speedup) 1:20:15.852
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.78 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 20,160,618,328 bytes

Feature: 20,025,255,936 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

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

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English, Spanish Dub) DTS-HD Master Audio English 1584 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1584 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles Spanish, None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Suevia Films

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Technical Credits
• Bio and filmographies for director and three main actors
• List of other titles in collection

DVD Release Date: October 31st, 2007
Keep Case

Chapters 6

Release Information:
Studio: Olive Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 20,160,618,328 bytes

Feature: 20,025,255,936 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Edition Details:

• None

Blu-ray Release Date: March 31st, 2015
Standard Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 8

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - March 2015': The Olive is below their usual standard but, you can see, certainly superior to the Spanish DVD which now looks vertically stretch a shade. The 1080P visuals are fraught with small marks and speckles - but they are usually frame-specific (see last large capture.) There is softness in the HD image, but contrast is reasonable and there is some , uneven, texture. It is a single-layered transfer with a very high bitrate and I doubt The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry can look any better without some form of film-level restoration. It is watchable but with a few scattered anomalies but no real noise issues.

The audio is lossless with a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono track at 1584 kbps. Not a lot of effects or aggression. We get an elusive score from Hans J. Salter (Cover Up, Man Without a Star, Scarlet Street, The Land Unknown, The War Lord, The Mole People) and others un-credited as well as music like William Henry Monk's Abide With Me. There are no subtitles nor extras on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

This is another great Siodmak 'dark cinema' effort and, probably, as good as we are likely to get on digital. Noir aficionados should, and will still, pick it up!

***

ON THE DVD: Once released by Universal, the film is currently owned by Republic which means that any chance of the film to get an authorized DVD release in region 1 are nil. There is a bootleg release available at Amazon that is most likely sourced from ancient VHS tape. Unfortunately, this Spanish DVD release from 2007 is poor quality as well.

The interlaced transfer is weak and jittery in a couple of scenes, making it painful to watch. The mono soundtrack is also very tinny with some noise in a few scenes. There are some standard text-based extras, all in Spanish. Spanish dub and subtitles are included, but this underrated Robert Siodmak effort deserves a better release.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


DVD Menus

 

 

Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Suevia - Region 0 - PAL TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Suevia - Region 0 - PAL TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Suevia - Region 0 - PAL TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Suevia - Region 0 - PAL TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Suevia - Region 0 - PAL TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Suevia - Region 0 - PAL TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

More Blu-ray Captures

Note: Marks upper right


Box Covers

   

Distribution

Suevia Films

Region 0 - PAL

Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 




Search DVDBeaver
S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!