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directed by Robert Wise
USA 1952

 

One of several early-1950s films to capitalize on the Kefauver Committee's investigation of organized crime, The Captive City stars John Forsythe (The Trouble with Harry, Topaz) as crusading editor Jim Austin. While Austin prepares his testimony before the Committee, the film flashes back to the events that led to this courageous act. Victor Sutherland (Donovan's Brain) plays mob boss Murray Sirak, who has the entire police force of Austin's hometown under his thumb. Sirak in turns takes his orders from an unseen Mister Big, who seems to be "above the law". Based on the experiences of Time Magazine reporter Alvin M. Josephy who wrote the story and co-wrote the screenplay with Karl Kamb (Pitfall). Legendary filmmaker Robert Wise (Two For the Seesaw) directed this classic film noir that features striking black-and-white cinematography by the great Lee Garmes (Man with the Gun). Senator Estes Kefauver appears as himself.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 26 March 1952 (USA)

Reviews                                                                    More Reviews                                                          DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

MGM (MGM Limited Edition Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the DVD Review!

1) MGM - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

  

Distribution

MGM

Region 0 - NTSC

Kino Lorber
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:31:09 1:31:21.267
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.11 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

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

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English) DTS-HD Master Audio English 1557 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1557 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Subtitles None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: March 29th, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 10

Release Information:
Studio: Kino Lorber

 

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 Gallery (The Captive City - 2:49, I Want To Live! - 2:11, Run Silent, Run Deep - 3:02)

 

Standard Blu-ray case

Blu-ray Release Date: January 5th, 2016

Chapters: 9

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray January 16': Certainly it's no contest - the DVD is a horrid green and shows chroma bug - plus artifacts and is MoD. The 1080P isn't perfect but the contrast, detail and in-motion are a significant advancement. The Kino is single-layered and fairly clean exporting some consistent texture.

Kino use their typical DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1557 kbps. It's a fairly passive film without much aggression. The original music by Jerome Moross - notable The War Lord, The Cardinal and for wholesome western tracks for The Big Country, The Jayhawkers, Have Gun - Will Travel and Wagon Train among others - it sounds clean and supportive of the shadowy visuals.

Extras consist of 3 trailers - one for The Captive City.

With Wise (The Set-up - another of his Noir output) at the helm we have a very good crime drama. The 'villain' element is more inferred than confronted. It's appears on our Essential Dark Cinema list, with justifiable reason. At 45% OFF (presently) Noir lovers should snap this up!

***

ON THE DVD: Senate hearings on organized crimes, also known as Kefauver hearings named after the senator heading them, was a big hit on American TVs in 1950. Hollywood took notice and number of films, so called city exposť, appeared on movie screens across America starting with independently produced The Captive City in 1952. Masterfully directed by Robert Wise, the film got full support from the government and even has a cameo by Estes Kefauver himself, addressing the audience in the end of the film. Most of these films follow a similar story of an outsider trying to fight the corruption of a city government and expose its connection to the criminal activity. John Forsythe is a very likeable hero of the film, playing a newspaperman of a city's paper being forced to keep quiet of a corruption in the government.

The film is being released on DVD in this single-layered MOD disc. The film was strangely encoded anamorphic with black bars appearing on both sides. The contrast is muddy and has a greenish hue, although it was less obvious on a CRT screen. I didn't notice any ghosting, although Allied Vaughn who authored the discs issued the following statement about their recent releases:

Allied Vaughn has recently become aware of reports where consumers are seeing an unusual amount of "ghosting" when viewing select MGM Limited Edition Collection titles on certain combinations of television screens, DVD players, and discs. Allied Vaughn has successfully identified the problem which causes the "ghosting" and has taken all necessary steps to correct this issue. The discs reporting the issue were made between March 15 and May 3, 2011. No product manufactured after May 25th, 2011 should exhibit this affect. ... Allied Vaughn stands behind the quality of the MGM Limited Edition Collection. Should a consumer experience excessive ghosting problems with those titles, we will replace that disc in accordance with our manufacturing warranty. Consumers may contact their retailer for replacement, or Allied Vaughn directly at 1-800-759-4087, ext 5, or via email at kim.durham@alliedvaughn.com

The mono audio is fine and there are no extras provided, not even a theatrical trailer. A recommended release of an important and influential crime drama.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


DVD Menus
 

 

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


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

 

Screen Captures

1) MGM - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

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

 

 


1) MGM - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

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

 

 


1) MGM - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

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

 

 


1) MGM - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

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

 

 


1) MGM - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

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

 

 


1) MGM - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

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

 

 


 

1) MGM - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

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

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Covers

 

 

  

Distribution

MGM

Region 0 - NTSC

Kino Lorber
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray

 

 

 




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