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directed by Ben Hecht, Lee Garmes
USA 1940

 

1940's "Angels Over Broadway" is actually a little play on words, since the name of one of the main characters is Engle, which in German means Angel (actually spelled Engel). Written by Ben Hecht, the film stars Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Rita Hayworth, Thomas Mitchell and John Qualen. It's an interesting and sweet film with very good performances, but you would swear it's based on a play because it is extremely heavy on dialogue.

The story concerns four people who wind up joining forces: a wheeler dealer named Bill O'Brien (Fairbanks Jr.), a suicidal man, Engle (Qualen), a lonely performer, Nina (Hayworth) and a drunken playwright, Eugene Gibbons (Mitchell). Engle needs to come up with $3,000 that he embezzled by morning; O'Brien thinks Engle is a rich sucker; Nina is looking to meet someone successful; and Gibbons has written another flop. They all are in the same nightclub. While intoxicated, Gibbons learns Engle's sad story and is determined to help him. His first move - taking back a piece of $12,000 jewelry from his girlfriend -- does not work as, after he takes it, she tells him it's paste. Though O'Brien had planned to bring Gibbons to a poker game so he could lose a lot of money to thugs and O'Brien could earn a bonus, it is decided that Engle should go instead and skip out after winning the initial money that the players will allow him to win to draw him into a false sense of luck. Nina goes along, interested in O'Brien, even after she finds out he's broke.

Excerpt of review from blanche-2 at imdb.com located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 2 October 1940 (USA)

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DVD Comparison:

Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC vs. Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for all the Screen Caps!

(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

  

 

 

  

 

Distribution

Columbia Tri-Star

Region 1,3,4 - NTSC

Mill Creek Entertainment
Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:18:57 1:18:54
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.4 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 2.93 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Bitrate:

 

Columbia Tri-Star

 

Bitrate:

 

Mill Creek Entertainment

 

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)

Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)

Subtitles English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Columbia Tri-Star

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Gilda trailer (2:08)
• On the Waterfront trailer (2:39)
• The Big Heat trailer (1:44)

DVD Release Date: August 20th, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• 8 films on 2 discs
 

DVD Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Keep Case

Chapters 4

 

 

 

Comments

Angels Over Broadway was released in DVD initially in 2002 by Columbia Tri-Star on single-layered disc, interlaced and with marks and specs on the print. The healthy amount of grain and good contrast makes that disc a good recommendation since it still can be found new or used at some retailers for cheap.

The 2.0 mono English soundtrack is fine, with no damage and the disc features a number of subtitles - English, French, Spanish and Portuguese - a great option for this dialogue-heavy proto-noir. The packaging mentions Portuguese soundtrack option, but it is not included on the disc. The disc is coded for regions 1, 3, 4. The disc went out of print back in 2006 and in January 2014 the film was released by Mill Creek in authorized edition as Silver Screen Romances with 7 other titles on 2 discs - The Solid Gold Cadillac, We Were Strangers, Music in My Heart, The Marrying Kind, It Should Happen to You, Adam Had Four Sons and Down to Earth. Each dual-layered disc features 4 films, with a low bitrate of 2.93 and each film is divided into 4 chapters.

There are no subtitles or any other extras. The transfer of Angels Over Broadway is exactly the same - interlaced and with the same damage spots. To fit over 6 hours on each disc the films are compressed and compression artifacts are visible on closer inspection. Grain structure is smoothed over and more pixilation is visible (see Rita's and Douglas' hands in the second capture). You get more bang for your buck, but you need to decide for yourself if shortcomings of this release worth the saving.

 - Gregory Meshman

 



DVD Menus
(
Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - TOP vs. Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)
Subtitle sample (not exact match)

 


(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - TOP vs. Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - TOP vs. Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - TOP vs. Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - TOP vs. Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - TOP vs. Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 


(Columbia Tri-Star - Region 1,3,4 - NTSC - TOP vs. Mill Creek Entertainment - Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

DVD Box Covers

 

  

 

 

  

 

Distribution

Columbia Tri-Star

Region 1,3,4 - NTSC

Mill Creek Entertainment
Region 0 - NTSC

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Columbia Tri-Star

Sound:

Columbia Tri-Star

Extras: Mill Creek Entertainment (8 films!)

 




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