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directed by Joseph Losey
USA 1951

 

It only required one viewing to realize that the ’51 M is a criminally undervalued film – for a variety of unfair reasons – and one of the very best noirs from that year, if not the best. Even if it was a turkey, it still would be essential viewing for the performances of its exceptional cast, the spectacularly shabby Los Angeles/Bunker Hill location settings of the period and the mesmerizing cinematography of Ernest Laszlo. It’s a near classic if not a full-fledged one, and one that complements the original’s vision and power as opposed to diminishing it, demonstrating pretty effectively that the social conditions which produced such a film in early 1930s Germany could be successfully transported to 1950s noir-era America.

Excerpt of review from Carl (Noir of the Week) located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 1951 (USA)

Reviews                                                                   More Reviews                                                            DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Retro Flix - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL vs. Sidonis - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

1) Retro Flix - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT

2) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL  MIDDLE

3) Sidonis Region 'B' - Blu-rays - RIGHT

 

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Retro - Movie Unlimited Reviews!

Box Covers

 

   

Distribution

Retro Flix

Region 0 - NTSC

Films sans Frontières

Region 0 - PAL

Sidonis
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:24:54 1:24:27 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:28:16.916
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.65 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.93 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

Disc Size: 38,673,778,768 bytes

Feature Size:  20,082,149,376 bytes

Average Bitrate: 27.15 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate: Retro Flix

Bitrate : Films sans Frontières

Bitrate : Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) English (Dolby Digital 2.0) DTS-HD Master Audio English 1573 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1573 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Subtitles None English, French, None French (non-removable)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Retro Flix

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date:
Keepcase

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio:
Films sans Frontières

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date:
April 29th, 2015
Amaray

Chapters 9

Release Information:
Studio:
Sidonis

 

1.33:1 aspect ratio

Disc Size: 38,673,778,768 bytes

Feature Size:  20,082,149,376 bytes

Average Bitrate: 27.15 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
All in French - no subtitles:

• Bernard Tavernier (32:57)
• Francois Guerif (16:18)
• Michael Ciment (22:38)
• Harold Nebenzal (10:50)


Blu-ray Release Date:
April 6th, 2016
Standard Blu-ray Case inside cardboard slipcase

Chapters 14

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Sidonis - Region 'B' Blu-ray - April 16': What a shame, Sidonis again produces an English film on Blu-ray with non-removable French subtitles (see our reviews of Garden of Evil, Warlock and Broken Arrow). It's a fatal flaw as far as I'm concerned but the positive shows there is a good source for this masterpiece. The transfer looks superiors - but too digitized and no grain - brighter, far more detail - more information in the frame. Audio is lossless and 24-bit sounding solid with a few minor inconsistencies and the extras are 4 interviews all in French (no subtitles).

This was really disappointment for fans who have waited so long for this classic. Let's keep our fingers crossed for a definitive Blu-ray release soon!

***

ADDITION: Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL (March 2016) - A significant improvement over the poor-quality, artefact-ridden, analog-sourced DVDs. This French DVD isn't perfect but it is dramatically superior to the other DVDs in terms of image. It's a real source and a bona-fide transfer. The English audio is also very serviceable and helps provide this as, by far, the most watchable of the three presentations. No extras but optional English or French subtitles. We've waited so long - and now there is a French Blu-ray on the horizon HERE (but beware Sidonis and their non-removable French subtitles) -  this Films sans Frontières DVD is an easy purchase.

  - Gary Tooze

***

ON THE MOVIES UNLIMITED DVDs: After suffering through unwatchable and unauthorized DVD of M (1951) from Retro Flix purchased at Movies Unlimited, I decided to check other alternatives for this movie available on-line or through collector-to-collector traders. While still not pristine like an authorized release would be, at least this film is now watchable and not distorted. There is still damage and cue marks, but I wasn't charged $19.99 from what I thought a respectable on-line store, especially being associated with Turner Classic Movies web site. At least the DVD was removed from TCM's own store (it was listed there before), but it is still listed at Movies Unlimited, although with a different artwork. You'll be better off downloading this film from torrents or obtaining it in some other way; Columbia/Sony no longer have rights for this film, so there is little chance we will see authorized copy of it any time soon.

  - Gregory Meshman

In 1950, a producer Seymour Nebenzal who, in 1931, produced the original Fritz Lang's M HERE decided to remake that classic film and update it to American setting. Filmed in and around Los Angeles by director Joseph Losey and cinematographer Ernest Laszlo, the film was made in at a wrong time with HUAC paranoia at its peak. Losey would eventually be forced to get out of US to make movies first in Italy and eventually in U.K. The film had a small distribution by Columbia, but the rights to the film were eventually returned to Nebenzal. Thus, the film never received an official video release. When I saw a DVD being sold at Movies Unlimited website HERE I got very excited since I wanted to see it and compare to the Lang's original. Unfortunately it is the same murky video transfer made from 16mm that has been around and sold on the net from various bootleg companies. The pressed DVD comes from some elusive company RetroFlix and is only available at Movies Unlimited. The transfer, while watchable, is not by any acceptable standard.

It has all the limitations of a tape transfer, even at one point the video and sound started skipping for a few frames like in a broken VCR. There are no menus and the film starts playing as soon as you insert the disc. Here's the blurb about the film from the back cover: "Remake of the 1931 original. Someone is murdering children in a German [sic] city. The Police search is so intense, it is disturbing the 'normal' criminals, and the local hoods decide to help find the murderer as quickly as possible."

 - Gregory Meshman

 

Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL DVD Menu
 

 

Sidonis - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Sidonis Region 'B' - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Retro Flix - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Movie Unlimited (alt artwork) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Sidonis Region 'B' - Blu-rays - BOTTOM


 

1) Retro Flix - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Movie Unlimited (alt artwork) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Sidonis Region 'B' - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Retro Flix - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Movie Unlimited (alt artwork) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Sidonis Region 'B' - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Retro Flix - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Movie Unlimited (alt artwork) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Sidonis Region 'B' - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Retro Flix - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Movie Unlimited (alt artwork) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Sidonis Region 'B' - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Retro Flix - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Movie Unlimited (alt artwork) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Sidonis Region 'B' - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 


 

 

1) Retro Flix - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Movie Unlimited (alt artwork) - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - THIRD

4) Sidonis Region 'B' - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

More  Captures

 

1) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Sidonis Region 'B' - Blu-rays - BOTTOM

 

1) Films sans Frontières - Region 0 - PAL - TOP

2) Sidonis Region 'B' - Blu-rays - BOTTOM


Box Covers

 

   

Distribution

Retro Flix

Region 0 - NTSC

Films sans Frontières

Region 0 - PAL

Sidonis
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray

 




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Gary Tooze

Thank You!