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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Hidden Fear [Blu-ray]

 

(André De Toth, 1957)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: St. Aubrey-Kohn

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:23:46.021

Disc Size: 19,401,048,714 bytes

Feature Size: 17,569,468,416 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.88 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 21st, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1566 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1566 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• Trailers: Hidden Fear (2:02), 99 River Street (2:13), Shield For Murder (1:45), He Ran All The Way (2:13)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Newly re-mastered in HD! American policeman Mike Brent (John Payne, 99 River Street, The Crooked Way) arrives in Denmark to help clear his sister (Natalie Norwick, 23 Paces to Baker Street) from a murder she hasn't committed, even though all the evidence leads to her being the murderer. Mike starts working with the Danish Police and begin to suspect a group of Copenhagen counterfeiters of the same crime. Co-written and directed by the great Andre De Toth (Pitfall) and wonderful performances by Alexander Knox (The Vikings) and Conrad Nagel (The Divorcee).

 

 

The Film:

Filmed on location in Copenhagen, Hidden Fear stars John Payne as an American lawman whose Denmark-based sister Natalie Norwick is in big, big, trouble. Arrested for the murder of her music hall partner, Natalie hopes that Payne can clear her name. Following the evidence trail, the detective meets the murder victim's girlfriend Anne Neyland, who in turn leads our hero to a vicious counterfeiting gang, headed by ex-Nazi Alexander Knox. Conrad Nagel, who evidently went along for the ride to get a free vacation, appears briefly as Neyland's American sugar daddy. Given only a limited release, Hidden Fear hid from view until it was picked up for an ABC network telecast in 1963.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

 

After his sister Susan is arrested in Copenhagen for murdering her partner in a nightclub act, American police detective Mike Brent flies to Denmark to help her. Although there is very strong evidence against her, Susan insists that she is innocent. When Mike contacts Susan's friend and fellow nightclub performer, Virginia Kelly, Virginia introduces him to her much older lover, Arthur Miller, who offers to assist Mike in proving Susan's innocence. At night, Mike visits the crime scene and interrupts a thief, Jacobsen, as he steals counterfeit hundred dollar bills concealed in Indian clubs used in Susan's act. Mike shows the bills to Danish police lieutenant Egon Knudsen, but the lieutenant is already aware of their existence.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

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

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of André De Toth's Hidden Fear is transferred in 1080P, but has some consistency issues. Much of it is fine but a few dark scenes in the first half showed some highly visible artifacts and noise. Contrast is a little wanting. Overall, it is not crisp but does show some sporadic grain textures.  This Blu-ray gave me only a watchable presentation and doesn't reflect the benefits of the format. There is little depth in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio frame. I would suggest that it is undeniably the source as primary culprit of the image weaknesses but the modest transfer didn't help the HD visuals either.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1566 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. The audio has similar weaknesses to the video - again source-related. The dialogue was sometimes harder to distinguish - which would probably on-par with the production. There is an unremarkable score by a Danish composer,  Hans Schreiber. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Only trailers for Shield For Murder, Hidden Fear, 99 River Street and He Ran All The Way.

 

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I had never seen André De Toth's Hidden Fear before, and frankly - it has some negatives that I wasn't able to hurdle. I wasn't overly impressed. The production seemed sloppy and the poor quality of the source didn't help my appreciation. This didn't pull any Noir strings and I have never been that keen on John Payne although loved The Crooked Way. The bare-bones Kino Lorber
Blu-ray seems the best way to see the film, barring a full restoration. I can't fully endorse it. NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 45% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

May 18th, 2016

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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