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directed by Norman Foster
USA 1950

A lost gem rediscovered! Thanks to the efforts of the Film Noir Foundation, this terrific 1950 film noir, the only American print of which was burned in a 2008 fire, has been rescued and restored to its original luster. Join the wild chase around San Francisco as a man goes into hiding after witnessing a gangland execution. Police bird-dog his wife Eleanor (Ann Sheridan), certain she ll lead them to her husband, whose testimony against the killer could bring down a crime kingpin. But Eleanor and her hubbie are Splitsville she never wants to see him again. When roguish newspaperman Danny Leggett (Dennis O Keefe) charms Eleanor into helping him track down the hidden husband there are unexpected, stunning, and poignant results. This nervy, shot-on-location thriller is a witty and wise look at the travails of romance and marriage, and perhaps the best cinematic depiction ever of mid-20th century San Francisco.

Flicker Alley is honored to present this world-premiere Blu-ray/DVD dual-format edition of Woman on the Run, completely restored by the Film Noir Foundation in conjunction with UCLA Film & Television Archive, with special thanks to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Charitable Grant Trust and the British Film Institute. Together with Too Late For Tears, this film marks the first collaboration between Flicker Alley and the Film Noir Foundation.

***

Frank Johnson, walking his dog alone on a dark and deserted San Francisco street, witnesses a gangland murder. The police ask him to testify to the Grand Jury, but instead he goes into hiding. Trailing him is Inspector Ferris and Johnson's wife, Eleanor (Ann Sheridan), who thinks her husband is running away from their failing marriage. Newspaperman Danny Leggett (Dennis O'Keefe) joins in the hunt, promising to pay Eleanor $1,000 if she'll give him Frank's story when they find him.

Eleanor and the reporter start gathering clues to Frank's whereabouts. An unexplained suicide and unidentified corpse keep them on the run, dodging the police, private eyes and the mysterious killer - all of them trying to get to Frank first. Along the way Eleanor finds out things about her husband's life that she never knew. By the time she realizes where he's hiding and who's really behind the gangster hit, it might be too late.

Poster

Theatrical Release: 29 November 1950

Reviews                                                                More Reviews                                                                 DVD Reviews

 

Comparison: 

Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Glass Key - Region 2 - PAL vs. Flicker Alley - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Alpha Caps Review!

 

1) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT
2) Glass Key - Region 2 - PAL -
SECOND

3) Flicker Alley - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 Box Covers

  

Distribution

Alpha

Region 0 - NTSC

Glass Key

Region 2 - PAL

Flicker Alley - Region FREE - Blu-ray Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:16:36 1:16:42 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:18:04.971 1:18:04.971
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.18 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.5 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,891,524,400 bytes

Feature: 19,993,301,952 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,891,524,400 bytes

Feature: 19,993,301,952 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate : Alpha

Bitrate Glass key

Bitrate: Flicker Alley Blu-ray

Bitrate: Arrow Blu-ray

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles None None English (SDH), None English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Alpha

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Trailers for Alpha New Cinema Films

DVD Release Date: January 25, 2005
Keepcase

Chapters 7

Release Information:
Studio: Glass Key

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date: April 6th, 2009
Keepcase

Chapters 6

Release Information:
Studio: Flicker Alley

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,891,524,400 bytes

Feature: 19,993,301,952 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

 Audio Commentary Track By author, cinema historian, and noirchaelogist Eddie Muller.
 Love is a Rollercoaster: Woman on the Run Revisited Produced by Steven Smith and the Film Noir Foundation, this mini-doc offers a look into the making of the film, from script to noir classic. (16:50)
 A Wild Ride: Restoring Woman on the Run Produced by Steven Smith and the Film Noir Foundation, this stranger-than-fiction document of the film's restoration is a thriller in itself. (5:08)
 "Woman on the Run Locations Then and Now" - City Sleuth (aka Brian Hollins) leads a virtual tour around San Francisco hunting down the many locations used during the production of Woman on the Run (6:59)
 NOIR CITY A short documentary directed by Joe Talbot about the annual NOIR CITY film festival presented by by the Film Noir Foundation at San Francisco s historic Castro Theatre (9:51)
 24-Page Souvenir Booklet Featuring rare photographs, poster art, original lobby cards, and an essay by the one and only Eddie Muller

DVD

Blu-ray Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Transparent
Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 13

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,891,524,400 bytes

Feature: 19,993,301,952 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

 Audio Commentary by author, historian, and noirchaeologist Eddie Muller
 Love is a Rollercoaster: Woman on the Run Revisited a new featurette on the making of the film, from script to noir classic, produced by Steven Smith and the Film Noir Foundation
 A Wild Ride: Restoring Woman on the Run a stranger-than-fiction document of the film s restoration, produced by Steven Smith and the Film Noir Foundation
 Noir City a short documentary directed by Joe Talbot about the annual Noir City Film Festival presented by the Film Noir Foundation at San Francisco s historic Castro Theatre
 Gallery featuring rare photographs, poster art and original lobby cards
 Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin
 Booklet featuring new writing by Eddie Muller

 DVD

Blu-ray Release Date: June 13th, 2016
Transparent
Blu-ray Case

Chapters:

 

 

 

Comments

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

ADDITION: Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray (May 2016): The Arrow is the exact same disc as the Flicker Alley - exact same disc size. feature size, running time to the 1000th of a second - same extras - same menus. Our review details below will be identical for the Arrow. Only the cover is different... it seems the package used the duplicate restoration and they decided to share in the Blu-ray production. It is also region free. This still gets a massive recommendation!

***

ADDITION: Flicker Alley - Region FREE - Blu-ray (May 2016): This is such an anticipated releases as we have suffered for decades with the inferior quality of sub-standard public domain releases. Thankfully it has been saved from obscurity with this new restoration. the film's poor quality stems from the fact that no one really owned the print. It was lost in the Universal warehouse fire and that was thought to be the last copy. But an extensive effort went into getting the best elements and, unfortunately, although not ideal (plenty of speckles and marks throughout), you can see the dramatic improvement over the older SDs. We can see occasional rounded corners and frame-specific punch holes (see last capture.)  However, I am so grateful because, as you can see, the previous incarnations were unwatchable and this 1080P image (high bitrate) is delicious - warts and all.

Audio has imperfections too but fares a shade better - a linear PCM mono track is used. The dialogue is audible and the score by Arthur Lange (Cry Danger) and Emil Newman (Hondo) certainly adds more to the atmosphere than the horrid DVDs (both with PAL timing). Flicker Alley also add optional English subtitles to their region FREE Blu-ray disc.

Extras include another wonderful audio commentary track By author, cinema historian, and the 'Czar of Noir' Eddie Muller giving great background and pointing about lesser known themes. Love is a Rollercoaster: Woman on the Run Revisited is a 17-minute piece produced by Steven Smith and the Film Noir Foundation, offering a look into the making of the film, from script to noir classic. A Wild Ride: Restoring Woman on the Run is also produced by Steven Smith and the Film Noir Foundation and gives a 5-minute story of this stranger-than-fiction document of the film's restoration - a thriller in itself. "Woman on the Run Locations Then and Now" spends 7-minutes with City Sleuth (aka Brian Hollins) leading a virtual tour around San Francisco hunting down the many locations used during the production of Woman on the Run. It is interesting. NOIR CITY is a 10-minute short documentary directed by Joe Talbot about the annual NOIR CITY film festival presented by by the Film Noir Foundation at San Francisco s historic Castro Theatre. The package also contains a 24-Page Souvenir Booklet Featuring rare photographs, poster art, original lobby cards, and an essay by the one and only Eddie Muller. There is also a DVD included.

You didn't need my endorsement... a must-own for Noir fans. Don't hesitate for a moment. Pure 'dark cinema' joy...
 

***

ON THE DVDS - ADDITION: Glass Key - Region 2- PAL - April 09: Our suspicions were correct and any minor hopes we had were flushed right down the toilet. 'Glass Key' and their Film Noir Collection are nothing but Public Domain bandits - no better than 'Alpha Video' - their North American counterpart. This may be the worst transfer I've ever seen. It is totally unwatchable. Improper standards conversion and heavy interlacing have produced an image filled with artifacts and indiscernible visuals. Tack onto that no subtitles or extras and barely decipherable audio. I think we've learned all we need to about Glass Key DVD. This is a fine Film Noir and I'm disgusted with the lack of effort that went into this DVD - it's the same digital master that's been kicking around for free download online (same Cue Blip markers). Thanks but no thanks.

Gary Tooze 

***

Making its home video debut, Woman on the Run is in pretty poor shape. The image is full of dirt and scratches, but the biggest problem is interlacing. The film was transferred from tape, so any kind of movement is full of combing. It's especially evident in the exciting ending on the roller-coaster when Ann Sheridan's face becomes nothing but a blur. The only extras are a few trailers for current independent films from Alpha New Cinema Series. The film is highly recommended, but the disc is very poor, but inexpensive.

 - Gregory Meshman

 

 


DVD Menus
 

(Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT vs. Glass Key - Region 2 - PAL RIGHT)
 

 

Flicker Alley and Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 


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

 

Flicker Alley and Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray Subtitle Sample

 

 

1) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP
2) Glass Key - Region 2 - PAL -
MIDDLE

3) Flicker Alley and Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP
2) Glass Key - Region 2 - PAL -
MIDDLE

3) Flicker Alley and Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP
2) Glass Key - Region 2 - PAL -
MIDDLE

3) Flicker Alley and Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP
2) Glass Key - Region 2 - PAL -
MIDDLE

3) Flicker Alley and Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP
2) Glass Key - Region 2 - PAL -
MIDDLE

3) Flicker Alley and Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP
2) Glass Key - Region 2 - PAL -
MIDDLE

3) Flicker Alley and Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP
2) Glass Key - Region 2 - PAL -
MIDDLE

3) Flicker Alley and Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

rare visible frame-specific damage (a cue blip?)


Recommended Reading in Film Noir (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 

 Box Covers

  

Distribution

Alpha

Region 0 - NTSC

Glass Key

Region 2 - PAL

Flicker Alley - Region FREE - Blu-ray Arrow - Region FREE - Blu-ray
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