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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Hot Spot')

Directed by H. Bruce Humberstone
USA 1941

 

In this tense film noir thriller, Victor Mature (Cry of the City) plays Frankie Christopher, a sports promoter who's in the hot seat, relentlessly grilled by a ruthless detective after the murder of a fashion model he made famous. Weighing even more heavily against him is the fact that he's in love with the dead girl's sister (Betty Grable, Pin Up Girl). But Frankie's not the only suspect in this taut expose of New York's cafe society. The police detective also obsessively pursues Frankie's partner, a gossip columnist, and hotel night clerk. Filled with plot twists and turns, I Wake Up Screaming will have you guessing until its surprising ending. The amazing cast includes Carole Landis (Brass Monkey), Laird Cregar (The Lodger) and Elisha Cook Jr. (The Maltese Falcon). Wonderful direction by H. Bruce Humberstone (Wonder Man), with a screenplay by Dwight Taylor (Pickup on South Street), based on a novel by Steve Fisher (Dead Reckoning).

***

H. Bruce Humberstone was an amiable Fox contract director (Charlie Chan at the Opera, Sun Valley Serenade); this 1941 feature is his one film with something extra going for it, a tough little thriller with memorable atmosphere and character work. When model Carole Landis is murdered, suspicion falls on an innocent Victor Mature; he manages to convince the victim's sister, Betty Grable, to help him clear his name. But the picture is dominated by Laird Cregar, one of the finest character actors of the 40s (The Lodger, Heaven Can Wait). He plays the cynical detective on their trail, and his well-mannered creepiness was never used more effectively than here.

Excerpt of Dave Kehr's capsule in the Chicago Reader located HERE.

  Posters and Pulps

 

Theatrical Release: November 14th, 1941

Reviews                                                                                More Reviews                                                                   DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

   

  

Distribution 20th Century Fox Film Noir - Spine # 18 - Region 1 - NTSC Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:22:06  1:22:13.595  
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.91 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,489,959,206 bytes

Feature: 17,439,270,912 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 24.95 Mbps

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

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Mono)   DTS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS
Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, Spanish, None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Eddie Muller
• 'Daddy' Deleted Scene
• Hot Spot
• Still Gallery
• Theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: June 6th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 28

Release Information:
Studio: Kino

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 19,489,959,206 bytes

Feature: 17,439,270,912 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 24.95 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Audio Commentary by Film Noir Historian Eddie Muller

 Animated Montage of Image (3:32)
 Trailers  I Wake Up Screaming (2:16), He Ran All the Way (2:13), 99 River Street (3:13), Daisy Kenyon (2:45), Boomerang (2:30)

Blu-ray Release Date: November 1st, 2016
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 8

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray October 16': Kino's 2016 Blu-ray transfer looks good - but the DVD also looked very good. Lots of fine grain but something I didn't notice on the DVD was some, what appears to be, warping on reel changes (see sample last capture). It's only for a frame or two but you can see a 'jump' if you are tuned to the screen. I didn't find it a 'biggie' but felt we should mention. Otherwise it is quite beautiful - making the SD look a shade vertically stretched (longer faces). Contrast is very pleasing in 1080P.

Kino use a DTS-HD Master at 1554 kbps (16-bit). It exports the film's atmospheric effect sounds competently although its fairly passive. The score by Cyril J. Mockridge (Where the Sidewalk Ends, Thieves' Highway, Desk Set, The Ox-Bow Incident, The Dark Corner, My Darling Clementine, Nightmare Alley) seems to benefit although and the theme is noir-licious. There are no subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

Supplements have the same Eddie Muller commentary from the 2006 DVD, we lose the 'Daddy' deleted scene and there are trailers for I Wake Up Screaming, He Ran All the Way, 99 River Street, Daisy Kenyon and Boomerang.

Essential Noir looking very pleasing in HD. Reason enough to purchase, IMO.

***

ON THE DVD: This is a fabulous image. Wonderful detail, rich black levels and excellent shadow detail as well. I am very impressed - in only a couple of scenes it appears to be boosted blacks or heaviness (saturation?). Audio is consistent (I listened to the mono track - a 2.0 stereo bump is provided as an option). I haven't quite got to Muller's commentary but as far as Noir goes he is the best and I will report back after listening. I'm anxious to go through it.

The films is a real gem filled with great performances. I love the story's twists and turns. Primo Noir at a great price!

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus


 

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


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

 

Subtitle Sample - ONLY DVD offers subtitles

 

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Screen Captures

 

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

Warped frame or two at the beginning of reel changes


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

Box Covers

   

  

Distribution 20th Century Fox Film Noir - Spine # 18 - Region 1 - NTSC Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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