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(aka 'Dark Highway" or "La Maison dans L'Hombre")

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/nicholas_ray.htm
USA 1952

 

Robert Ryan plays Jim Wilson, a tough police detective embittered by years of dealing with low-life urban scum, in Nicholas Ray's moving film noir. After severely beating several suspects, Jim is assigned to a case far from the city to find the killer of a young girl. Joining the manhunt, in snow-covered terrain, Wilson finds himself paired with the victim's father, Walter Brent (Ward Bond), who plans to shoot the killer himself. When the two men come upon a cabin occupied by Mary Malden (Ida Lupino), a blind woman who is also the killer's sister, Wilson's life is changed forever. Mary, a generous and loving person who has cared for her mentally ill brother Danny (Sumner Williams) since the death of their parents, convinces Wilson to protect Danny from Brent. Wilson also promises to get help for Danny if he surrenders to him. Inspired by Mary's courage and recognizing Brent's rage as the mirror image of his own, Wilson gains the insight to free himself from his own blindness.

***

On Dangerous Ground (1951) seems like two movies. The first section takes place in the city, and features a tough urban atmosphere familiar to us in film noir. The second section shares the same protagonist, the tough cop played by Robert Ryan, but otherwise introduces completely new characters and plot. This second mystery case takes place in the countryside, in a frozen mountainous area referred to as "upstate".

 

Ray's Johnny Guitar, (1954) shows plot and character similarities with the second part of the earlier On Dangerous Ground (1951). Both films have a character who is driving the authorities forward to arrest someone for a crime: vengeance for a murdered relative. This character is fanatic, relentless and unsympathetic in both films. Both have a young criminal, who is just a teenage boy and who barely knows what he is doing. Both criminals are protected by a sympathetic woman, whose house is a central location in the film, and who has a romance with the hero. Although she is protecting criminals out an emotional attachment, she is honest herself in both films. There is also a mild mannered, easily influenced sheriff who tends to fade into the background of both movies. The hero in both films is an outsider, a stranger to the community. All of the others have known each other and lived in the same town, but he is a visiting newcomer. He is far more neutral and dispassionate than the others, viewing events calmly and with skepticism. He is also pretty macho: a gunslinger in Johnny Guitar, an obsessed cop in On Dangerous Ground. Both men are trying to recover from emotional problems brought on by excessive involvement with a violent job. Both heroes are played by tall actors who tower over the other characters in the film. These five characters are virtually the whole cast of the last hour of Ground. But in Johnny Guitar, they are expanded to a host of others who have no parallel in the earlier film. These include The Dancing Kid, the Borgnine character, and the employees as Vienna's place, plus Mercedes' brother. Admittedly, except for the Dancing Kid, these are all supporting types.

Excerpt from The Films Of Nicholas Ray located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 12th, 1952 - NY, NY - USA

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

Comparison:

Éditions Montparnasse (re-release) - Region 2 - PAL vs. Warner (Film Noir Collection 3) - Region 1, 4 - NTSC vs. Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray

French DVD screen captures courtesy of Herb Kane

1) Warner (Film Noir Collection 3) Region 1, 4 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Éditions Montparnasse (re-release) - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Warner  Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

   

   

Distribution Éditions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL Warner Home Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC Warner Archive
Region FREE  -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:21:41 1:21:52 1:21:55.952
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.53 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 27,251,412,296 bytes

Feature Size: 25,187,567,616 bytes

Total Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby)  English (original mono)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1789 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1789 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1884 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1884 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles French, None English, French, Spanish, None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: RKO / Éditions Montparnasse

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Introduction

DVD Release Date: September 21st, 2004

Slim Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33 

Edition Details:
Commentary by film historian Glenn Erickson
Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: July 18th, 2006

6 transparent slim cases inside a cardboard box
Chapters:
22

Release Information:
Studio:
Warner

 

Disc Size: 27,251,412,296 bytes

Feature Size: 25,187,567,616 bytes

Total Bitrate: 34.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG4 - AVC

 

Edition Details:
Commentary by film historian Glenn Erickson
Theatrical Trailer (2:10)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: October 11th, 2016
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters: 22

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Warner Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray October 16': One of the more memorable Essential Noirs - On Dangerous Ground makes to Blu-ray via the Warner Archive. It's hard to believe we once existed with the green, artefact-ridden, chroma-heavy SD transfer from Éditions Montparnasse over a decade ago. The transfer is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate and improves but the film's heaviness and luscious textures are retained looking occasionally soft, but authentic and film-like. It's brighter with richer black-levels - sweet.

Warner utilize a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 24-bits and the intense score by the great Bernard Herrmann (Cape Fear, The Magnificent Ambersons, Taxi Driver, The Wrong Man, Dressed to Kill, etc. etc.) sounds as overpowering as ever - dominating scenes with its orchestral drama. In the lossless it is reason alone to update to the BD. Warner offers optional English (SDH) subtitles on their region FREE Blu-ray.

Same extras as Warner's 2006 DVD boxset (Film Noir #3 reviewed HERE) with the excellent Glenn Erickson commentary and a trailer. This Blu-ray is a no-brainer for Noir lovers. A brilliant piece of thriller cinema from Nicholas Ray!                   

***

ON THE FRENCH DVD: Image looks a little hazy and dark with a slight sepia tone. No chroma that I am aware and heavy contrast. I'm sure this could look better. Original audio with an optional French DUB or French subtitles. No extras and only one menu again. out of

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus


Éditions Montparnasse (re-release) - Region 2 - PAL


Warner (Film Noir Collection 3) - Region 1, 4 - NTSC

 

Warner - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

 

 


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

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Warner (Film Noir Collection 3) Region 1, 4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner  Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Warner (Film Noir Collection 3) Region 1, 4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Éditions Montparnasse (re-release) - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Warner  Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Warner (Film Noir Collection 3) Region 1, 4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner  Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Warner (Film Noir Collection 3) Region 1, 4 - NTSC - TOP

2) Warner  Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Éditions Montparnasse (re-release) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Warner  Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Éditions Montparnasse (re-release) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Warner  Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Éditions Montparnasse (re-release) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Warner  Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Éditions Montparnasse (re-release) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Warner  Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Éditions Montparnasse (re-release) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Warner  Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Éditions Montparnasse (re-release) - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) Warner  Archive - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


Box Covers

   

   

Distribution Éditions Montparnasse - Region 2 - PAL Warner Home Video - Region 1, 4 - NTSC Warner Archive
Region FREE  -
Blu-ray


 


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