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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Man Who Murdered Himself" or "The Scar")

 

directed by Steve Sekely
USA 1948

 

"The Scar" (1948) Originally released under the title "Hollow Triumph," (and also known as The Man Who Murdered Himself), this dandy little film noir thriller from Eagle Lion features Paul Henreid with a chance to lose his leading man image for not one, but two sinister performances. When crooked gambler (Henreid) seeks to hide from a rival mobster, he hatches a plot to take the place of a psychiatrist that he's a dead-ringer for. But it's not long before the good doctor's secretary (Joan Bennett) is on to his scheme.

***

Not half bad, despite a loopy plot about a conman/thief hiding from pursuit who kills a look-alike psychiatrist and assumes his identity (conveniently skilled in surgery through interrupted studies, he is even able to reproduce a facial scar). The tension is kept ticking nicely by a flaw in the impersonation (working by mirror, he scars the wrong cheek), even more so by the fact that he unexpectedly inherits dire troubles from the dead man's past. Good supporting performances, a satisfyingly bleak ending, and absolutely stunning lighting and LA location shooting from John Alton.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 10th, 1948

Reviews                                                              More Reviews                                                        DVD Reviews

Comparison: 

VCI - Region 0 -  NTSC vs. Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL vs. Film Chest - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Film Detective - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the VCI Review!

1) VCI - Region 0 -  NTSC LEFT

2) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Film Chest - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) Film Detective - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

  

 

 

 

  

  

Distribution

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC

Koch Media

Region 2 - PAL

Film Chest

Region 0 - NTSC

Film Detective
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:20:00 1:19:24 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:22:15 1:22:15.180 1:23:02.352
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.32 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 9.9 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.44 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 - 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,669,396,296 bytes

Feature: 18,482,024,448 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 23.93 Mbps

1.33:1 - 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,101,930,673 bytes

Feature: 16,985,720,832 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 23.90 Mbps

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

Bitrate VCI

Bitrate KOCH

Bitrate Film Chest

Bitrate: Film Detective Blu-ray

Bitrate: Kino Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: German (Dolby Digital 2.0) Dolby Digital Mono (English) DTS-HD Master Audio English 1560 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1560 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1556 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1556 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps

Subtitles None None None English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• The Limping Man

• Dark Stranger - Tv Episode of 'Henry Fonda Presents the Star and the Story' (25:41)
• Film Noir Poster Gallery
• Film Noir Trailers

DVD Release Date: September 30, 2003
Keepcase

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Koch Media

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Book style case with 10-pages (German text) and graphics
• Image Gallery

DVD Release Date:
November 25th, 2011
Book style case  

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Film Chest

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: March 11th, 2014
Keep case

Chapters 6

 

Release Information:
Studio:
Film Detective

 

1.33:1 - 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,669,396,296 bytes

Feature: 18,482,024,448 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 23.93 Mbps


Edition Details:
• Trailer (2:02)

 

Standard Blu-ray case

Blu-ray Release Date: September 8th, 2015

Chapters: 11

Release Information:
Studio: Kino
 

1.33:1 - 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,101,930,673 bytes

Feature: 16,985,720,832 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Average Bitrate: 23.90 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

Audio Commentary by Film Historian Imogen Sara Smith
• Trailers for 99 River Street (2:13), Cry of the City (2:33), Boomerang (2:30) Shield For Murder (1:45), He Ran All the Way (2:13)

Blu-ray Release Date: April 18th, 2017
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters:8

 

 

 

Comments

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

 

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray April 17': The 2015 Film Detective Blu-ray was poor. Beside the Kino it looked vertically stretched (abnormally thinner faces) and it has occasional compression artifacts despite having a slightly higher bitrate. With the different titles - we presume it is from a different source with some movement in the frame. The Kino 1080P looks a shade tighter and more film-like to me with better contrast meaning improved density in the print used.

 

Audio has the same DTS-HD Master encode (16-bit). If forced to choose I'd, again, go with the Kino that seems to be minutely crisper. The score is by Sol Kaplan (Deadline U.S.A. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Seven Wonders of the World, Niagara, The House on Telegraph Hill) and adds to atmosphere via the un compressed rendering.  Both offer optional English subtitles.

 

Kino include an excellent audio commentary by Imogen Sara Smith - author of In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City. She references the film's doppelganger, identity confusion themes that are seen in other Paul Henried films like Stolen Face and Dead Ringer. She discusses the Austrian-Hungarian links to the filmmakers. It is excellent - I have always enjoyed her commentaries in Noir cycle films found in Kino's Blu-ray of Boomerang, the essay in Criterion's Blu-ray of Mildred Pierce and an interview in Criterion's Blu-ray Ride the Pink Horse. There are also trailers for 99 River Street, Cry of the City, Boomerang, Shield For Murder, He Ran All the Way.

 

Go with the Kino, its better a/v, in my opinion, but the Imogen Sara Smith commentary adds significant value especially for Noir devotees. Absolutely recommended! 

***

ADDITION: Film Detective - Region FREE - Blu-ray January 16': I think, overall, the German DVD source is a superior one (although that image may be slightly horizontally stretched) to the Film Detective Blu-ray print used. Of course, the higher resolution does count and the 1080P exports more texture. It's not a fatally bad appearance but we do get spoiled by restorations and the usage of the 'best sources available'. Take this with a pinch of salt - depending on the system the BD will most likely look (less artifacts, but some are still visible), and sound (uncompressed 16-bit), the best and it won't have the PAL speed-up - plus they add optional English subtitles. It is a totally imperfect a/v presentation but when you deal in public domain material - this is, at least, at attempt to appeal to the film's fans. No extras save a trailer. I love many things about this film. The price is another selling point. To each his own.

***

ADDITION: Film Chest - June 2014: Single-layered disc from Film Chest is progressive and is a definite step-up in region 1 for this excellent noir compared to disastrous public domain discs, like from VCI. Unfortunately, compared to German DVD from Koch Media with its excellent grain structure, the waxy texture seen here makes it an unfortunate DNR victim. Koch Media also wins in terms of the extras having an image gallery, liner notes in German and German dub. This film deserves a rediscovery, so we highly recommend to import it rather than lackluster US releases.

 - Gregory Meshman

***

ADDITION: Koch Media - Region 2- PAL - December 2011: Just to be clear Gregory reviewed the VCI as part of a Double Feature package with The Limping Man HERE. The Koch Media transfer is superior in many ways - the disc is progressive where the North American rendering is interlaced. the VCI is cropped and has terrible contrast from a weak density print with notable damage. The German disc is dual-layered and is the easy winner. It offers the original English track and a German DUB - no subtitles and an image gallery. The disc is housed in a wonderful digi-book.

Gary W. Tooze

****

ON THE VCI: The Scar (aka Hollow Triumph) is a very dark film noir, not just for the great cinematography of John Alton, but also for the plot. Paul Henreid is a criminal who thinks he can have a better life by becoming somebody else. Joan Bennett is wonderful as his love interest and there's Blonde Ice herself, Leslie Brooks in a small roles.

 - Gregory Meshman


DVD Menus

 

VCI - Region 0 -  NTSC LEFT vs. Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL RIGHT
 

 

Film Chest - Region 0 - NTSC

 

 

Film Detective - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Film Detective - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) VCI - Region 0 -  NTSC TOP

2) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Film Chest - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) Film Detective - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) VCI - Region 0 -  NTSC TOP

2) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Film Chest - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) Film Detective - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) VCI - Region 0 -  NTSC TOP

2) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Film Chest - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) Film Detective - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) VCI - Region 0 -  NTSC TOP

2) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Film Chest - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) Film Detective - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) VCI - Region 0 -  NTSC TOP

2) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL SECOND

3) Film Chest - Region 0 - NTSC THIRD

4) Film Detective - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

VCI is interlaced!

 

 

 

1) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Film Chest - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Film Detective - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP

2) Film Chest - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Film Detective - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


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

 

Box Covers

  

 

 

 

  

  

Distribution

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC

Koch Media

Region 2 - PAL

Film Chest

Region 0 - NTSC

Film Detective
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze

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