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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Robert Siodmak
USA 1946

 

Impressively unusual thriller with typically simplistic Freudian elements as psychiatrist Ayres is called in by the police to help investigate a murder committed by one of two identical twins...but which one? Intriguing cat-and-mouse games and perverse power struggles as both he and we try to fathom which of the sisters is the warped psycho, with de Havilland (in the dual role) and Siodmak managing admirably to counteract the contrived plot. What really makes it work, though, is Siodmak's firm grasp of mood and suspense; the opening scene, in which the camera prowls a darkened room until it finds a corpse, sets the tone perfectly for the sense of uncertainty and chaos that follows.

Excerpt of review from TimeOut London located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 13th, 1946 (USA)

Reviews                                                               More Reviews                                                             DVD Reviews

 

Comparison: 

Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL vs. Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

1) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL LEFT
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE
3) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT
 
Box Cover

 

   

  

Distribution

Koch Media

Region 2 - PAL

Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Koch Media
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:21:39 (4% PAL speedup) 1:25:38.133 1:25:15.568
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 9.27 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 14,140,380,787 bytes

Feature: 14,098,225,152 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,021,380,503 bytes

Feature: 22,491,660,288 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

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

Bitrate

Bitrate: Olive Blu-ray

Bitrate: Koch Blu-ray

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English), DUB: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (German) DTS-HD Master Audio English 823 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 823 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1562 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1562 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

DUB:

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

Subtitles None None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Koch Media

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Photo Gallery

• liner notes (German) and photos

DVD Release Date: December 4th, 2009
Digi-book Case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: Olive Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 14,140,380,787 bytes

Feature: 14,098,225,152 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 20.00 Mbps

Edition Details:

• none

Blu-ray Release Date: September 4th, 2012
Standard Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 8

Release Information:
Studio: Koch Media

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,021,380,503 bytes

Feature: 22,491,660,288 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps


Edition Details:

• Gallery
 

Digibook Blu-ray case

Blu-ray Release Date: May 2nd, 2014

Chapters: 16

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray May 16': Koch packaged three notable Noirs - "Ministry of Fear", "The Big Clock" and "The Dark Mirror" in one Film Noir Classics Blu-ray boxset. I'd hoped they would be individually released, but it's been 2 years so it seems less likely. I've already reviewed The Big Clock - which is a decent release. These are single-layered transfers with supportive bitrates - unlike the recent The Glass Key from Koch - which is stellar with a max'ed out bitrate. This is a shade more robust and marginally tighter than the bare-bones Olive Blu-ray from 2012. It has a higher bitrate and looks superior in-motion. I've always loved this Noir.

The audio is lossless - again more technically robust than the Olive Blu-ray, and adds to the presentation with the score by Noir-mood masters the great Dimitri Tiomkin (Angel Face, Strangers on a  Train, The Men, Dial M For Murder, The Thing From Another World etc. etc.) and Frank Skinner (Magnificent Obsession, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, All That Heaven Allows, and The Naked City) and it sounds flawless with consistency and some atmospheric depth to heighten drama. There is a lossless German DUB (also DTS-HD Master) and subtitle option for English. The Blu-ray disc is region 'B'-locked.

The only extra for this disc (of the 3 disc set) is a 'gallery'.

The Dark Mirror is memorable (dual roles of Olivia de Havilland) and a Film Noir that you can really sink your teeth into with such a cool premise. I think this is a fabulous inclusion in this German Blu-ray package and it truns out to be the best presentation for this essential dark cinema gem presently available. Great work Koch!

***

ADDITION: Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - August 12': The Koch was a great DVD but the new Olive Blu-ray eclipsed it quite handily - despite being single-layered with a modest bitrate. It shows more information on all 4 sides, and contrast tightens the detail - it looks impressive. The usual story - it is marginally brighter with a hint of grain. The audio is lossless mono - consistent and clear - no subtitles and no extras.

The bonus for many will be having it in theatrical running time with no PAL speedup. Super Noir atmosphere and the 1080P exports a satisfying presentation. Certainly recommended!

***

ON THE DVD: The French DVD edition HERE of The Dark Mirror has been out-of-print for a long while but I doubt it could be as perfect visually as this dual-layered, progressive and impressively clean image from Koch Media. The incredibly high bitrate supports the pristine transfer with excellent contrast and solid detail. To tack on some superlatives it may be the best looking image of a film, of this age, that I can remember in SD-DVD. I hope the screen captures bear this out because the video presentation is near flawless.

2.0 channel audio is likewise strong and consistent even via Dimitri Tiomkin's score playing over the menus! There is an optional German DUB but no subtitles.

Extras consist of the spiffy looking digi-book case with an essay(? - in German) and some and a digital photo-gallery - but even these images aren't as impressive as the video transfer. This is an easy sell for Noir fans especially those with only the lacklustre Spanish release. Why The Dark Mirror still hasn't come to region 1 is beyond me. Koch have produced one impressive DVD...

Gary W. Tooze

 


 Menus
 

1) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL LEFT
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT
 

 

 

 

Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 

 

1) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE
3) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM
 


1) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE
3) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM
 


 

1) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray MIDDLE
3) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM
 

1) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP
2) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM
 
 
1) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP
2) Koch Media - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM
 
1) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM
 

 

1) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM


1) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL TOP
2) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


Box Cover

 

   

  

Distribution

Koch Media

Region 2 - PAL

Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray Koch Media
Region 'B' -
Blu-ray

 

 




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