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directed by Edward A. Blatt
USA 19

Nazi bombs rain fire into an English port town. The smoke clears and a disparate group of human beings caught in the blast finds itself aboard a luxury liner headed...who knows where. They soon learn their one-way tickets are stamped Heaven. And Hell. A dose of World War II realism puts a gritty edge on this retelling of the early Talkie Outward Bound (starring Leslie Howard) that loses none of the prior version's ethereal power. A stellar cast - John Garfield, Paul Henried, Sydney Greenstreet, Eleanor Parker, Edmund Gwenn and more names evocative of a remarkable filmmaking era - bring their considerable talents to a tale of passengers who discover their true natures as they discover their destinations.


In this remake of Outward Bound, which updated the story to include topical references to the war still raging in Europe, Henry (Paul Henreid) and Ann (Eleanor Parker) are a couple from Austria hoping to escape Nazi bombings. They are en route to a ship leaving Europe when an explosion throws them from their car and leaves many passersby dead. Despondent and unable to meet the ship, the couple return to their apartment and decide to commit suicide by turning on the gas. They awake to find themselves on a ship shrouded in fog and carrying many passengers, among them Tom Prior (John Garfield), a wisecracking reporter who was also a witness to the earlier bombing. Henry and Ann discover that the ship is actually Limbo, a waiting station between Heaven and Hell, where Mr. Thompson (Sydney Greenstreet) will determine their final destination for eternity.


Theatrical Release: May 20th, 1944

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:51:48

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.86 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.


Audio Dolby Digital 1.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (2:16)

DVD Release Date: September 6th, 2006

Keep Case

Chapters 10





Between Two Worlds has wonderful charm and impressive performances (Garfield, Parker, Henreid and Greenstreet). The emotional interplay is top notch and a highly interesting story to boot. I was really enjoying this.

It's standard single-layered, progressive in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and looks exceptionally strong. I'll assume the source is in fine condition. This is an early-ish Warner Archive release and has some adept contrast (touch of grey/green) and very little in the way of damage or marks. The modest bitrate and SD transfer supports the film with a better-than-average presentation. A nice bonus on top of the high-level of vintage cinema.

The mono sound is decent but unremarkable and there are no subtitles offered. The only supplement is the film's trailer - looking a bit rougher.

TCM describes Between Two Worlds as "... it now holds more value as a prime example of the World War II "communal effort" film (see Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat [1944] for a similar example) in which characters of various social and financial strata are united to face a common obstacle in this case, the hereafter itself. " I occasionally indulge in some of the Warner Archive MOD disc but this was one of the better film-viewing experiences. Recommended!  

  - Gary Tooze



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