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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Shield For Murder [Blu-ray]


(Howard W. Koch, Edmond O'Brien, 1954)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Camden Productions Inc.

Video: Kino Lorber



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

Runtime: 1:21:58.747

Disc Size: 19,008,052,081 bytes

Feature Size: 17,195,083,776 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.88 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 21st, 2016



Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1569 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1569 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)






Trailers: Shield For Murder (1:45), Hidden Fear (2:03), 99 River Street (2:13), He Ran All The Way (2:13)





Description: Newly re-mastered in HD! Dame-Hungry Killer-Cop Runs Berserk! Edmond O'Brien (D.O.A., White Heat) stars in this crime drama about a crooked and brutal police detective who steals $25,000 from a criminal he murders and becomes the target of a colleague's investigation... more and more he realizes that he must kill again to cover his tracks. Co-written by noir specialist John C. Higgins (He Walked by Night, T-Men, Raw Deal) and co-directed by Howard W. Koch (Big House, U.S.A.) and the film s star O Brien, the first of only two features he ever directed. The wonderful cast includes John Agar (Journey to the Seventh Planet), Marla English (The She-Creature), Carolyn Jones (The Addams Family), Claude Akins (Rio Bravo) and William Schallert (GOG).



The Film:

A corrupt cop creates all kinds of problems in this crime drama. The trouble begins when he kills a bookie and then grabs $25,000. Later he tells his chiefs that he did it because he had to, but as no one was there to witness the killing, they are forced to take his word for it. Unfortunately for the bad egg, there was one witness. Fortunately for him, he manages to kill that witness. The killing alerts a detective who was once framed by the crook and another gangster. The detective's investigations lead him to the bad apple's newly built suburban home, in which his illicit money is hidden.

Excerpt from MRQElocated HERE

Police detective Barney Nolan accosts a bookmaker, takes him into an alley and shoots him. Barney then robs the body of $25,000, removes the silencer from his gun, shouts a warning and fires two shots into the air to make it appear that he has shot a fleeing suspect. Barney is unaware the entire episode has been witnessed by a man in an adjacent building. When Sgt. Mark Brewster, the officer assigned to investigate the incident, asks Barney, who was his mentor, why he killed the man Barney answers that it was an accident. Capt. Gunnarson, the new precinct commander, concerned that Barney had previously been involved in two other killings, warns him to use better judgment. Barney then goes to meet his girl friend, Patty Winters, at the nightclub where she works. Becoming enraged when he sees the revealing costume she is wearing for her new job as a cigarette girl, Barney hits the club's owner and then leaves with Patty.

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 the essential noir Shield For Murder has a supportive bitrate and looks quite heavy in 1080P. It's never crisp and tight but the thickness is consistent and appealing. Contrast has some pleasing layers. Only a few close-ups showcase the film detail. The source is clean, and I noticed no noise - not even in the many night sequences. It is in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This Blu-ray gave me a very watchable viewing in regards to the picture quality.




















Audio :

Audio in the form of a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1569 kbps (16-bit). It handles the film's surprising, almost shocking, aggression with shots and fighting. We get an original score by Paul Dunlap (Shock Corridor, Shack Out on 101, Cry Vengeance, Portland Expose, Big House U.S.A., Target Earth, Park Row) which supports the film reasonably well with some brooding tension and a building sense of desperation. There are no subtitles 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.



I had never seen Shield For Murder but this is one rough-edged Noir - more brutal than I was expecting. I was very impressed. The lead character (O'Brien) is a desperate bad-ass who just keeps extending his lies and murderous deceptions. The bare-bones Kino Lorber
Blu-ray (not keen on the cover) seems the only way to see this gem in 1080P - it's a heavy, film-like presentation. A commentary would have been a very pleasing addition - I think it is deserved, though I was, still, thoroughly entertained by the film. Absolutely recommended!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 45% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

May 16th, 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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