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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Otto Preminger
USA 19
49

In this compelling and unusual psychological melodrama Ann Sutton (Gene Tierney), a woman tormented by her secret kleptomania seeks help from a unscrupulous hypnotist David Korvo (Jose Ferrer). Although she is married to a successful psychiatrist (Richard Conte), and has no need to steal the items which she could easily purchase, she finds herself powerless to control her urge. She is finally caught when she attempts to steal a brooch from a department store but she is saved by Korvo who persuades the store not to prosecute. Grateful and desperate for help, Ann allows Korvo to treat her. Korvo, taking advantage of Ann's vulnerability, hypnotizes her and sends her to the home of a former mistress whom he has stolen money from and subsequently murdered when she threatened to turn him in to the police. Ann is charged with the murder. Convinced of his wife's innocence, Richard must crack Korvo's seeming airtight alibi. Richard tricks Korvo into returning to the scene of the crime to find some evidence in the exciting conclusion. This unusual tale of murder and mental illness was written by a blacklisted Ben Hecht under the pseudonym "Lester Barstow" and bears a striking resemblance to another Hecht thriller, Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound.

Posters

Theatrical Release: November 28th, 1949 - USA

Reviews                                                                More Reviews                                                      DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

BFI -  Region 2 - PAL vs. 20th Century Fox (Fox Film Noir) - Region 1- NTSC vs. BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) 20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

 Box Covers

  

Distribution BFI - Region 2- PAL Fox Film Noir - Region 1 - NTSC BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:33:18 (4% PAL speedup)  1:37:09  1:37:15.329
Video 1:30:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.91 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,521,925,843 bytes

Feature: 21,923,539,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

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

Bitrate:

BFI

 

 

Bitrate:

Fox

 

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)  English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 1.0)  

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Subtitles English, None English, Spanish, None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: BFI Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.30:1

Edition Details:

• Director Biography (text screens)
• Screenwriter Biography (text screens)
• Acknowledgements

DVD Release Date: March 29th, 2004
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters: 15

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by film critic Richard Schickel
• Theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: September 6th, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,521,925,843 bytes

Feature: 21,923,539,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Adrian Martin
• Theatrical Trailer (2:38)
• Illustrated booklet with essays by Edward Buscombe and full film credits
 

Blu-ray Release Date: September 28th, 2015
Custom Blu-ray case

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments:

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

 

ADDITION: BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (September 2015): Firstly, this can only be obtained (presently) in the Otto Preminger Film Noir Collection (Limited Edition 3 - disc Blu-ray set,) with Fallen Angel and Where the Sidewalk Ends.  BFI's new 1080P looks quite pleasing - brighter and more detail - while supporting the grain structure. Single-layered with a modest bitrate but, like the DVD comparisons, superior in appearance to Fallen Angel., and vying for top presentation status with Where the Sidewalk Ends.  I not sure Whirlpool can look much better.

 

Again we get another wonderful score from David Raksin's (Fallen Angel, Laura, Bigger Than Life, The Big Combo) and in lossless via the, robust, linear PCM track at 2304 kbps. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'B'-locked Blu-ray disc.

 

BFI again add another educational full length commentary by Adrian Martin (originally from April 2009) and its interesting to hear a different discussion than the, also excellent, Richard Schickel one on the Fox DVD. There is also theatrical trailer and the package contains an illustrated booklet with essays by Edward Buscombe and full film credits.

 

An addictive Noirs that gets better on repeat viewings. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this in 1080P - and its a positive note in support of the Limited Edition Blu-ray set.

 

***

ADDITION: Fox  NTSC - Sept - 05 - The Fox is superior in all categories except subtitles - it is sharper, has better grey scale and contrast. I think I may be off on some frame matches below but I don't think it would makes too much of a difference in this case (well cropping is not decidedly shown because of my inaccuracy) - the image superiority of the Fox is obvious. It also has a commentary that I haven't delved into too much yet - the start sounds like another good one from Schickel though. One area that BFI always seems to best their competitors is in the menus (and in this case cover too!) - which are beautiful and look even better next to the Fox's lackluster ones. Anyway - choice is obvious - and the Fox is very reasonably priced too. Great for Noir fans.

***

ON THE BFI DVD: I would place the image quality somewhere between "Fallen Angel" and "Where the Sidewalk Ends". Relatively sharp picture showing some film grain and is very acceptable considering the age of the film. I saw some damage in the beginning, but it disappeared throughout the remainder of the film. Only difference in Extras from the above 2 is there is no trailer. Great to have this on DVD. Kudos for the subtitles. Thanks BFI !out of  

Gary W. Tooze


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

 

Check out more in "The Library"




Menus

 

BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) 20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

Screen Captures

1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) 20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) 20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) 20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) 20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) BFI - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) 20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 
 Box Covers

  

Distribution BFI - Region 2- PAL Fox Film Noir - Region 1 - NTSC BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Tie  Blu-ray /Fox




 

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Gary Tooze