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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'The Secret of the Blue Room')

 

Directed by Kurt Neumann
USA
1933

 

A deadly secret from the past returns to haunt a young woman and her loved ones in Secret of the Blue Room. Irene von Helldorf’s twenty-first birthday celebration is eclipsed when her father shares the dark details of his estate’s guest room: twenty years earlier, three people were killed there and their murders remain unsolved. Hoping to prove their own bravery and win Irene’s love, each of her three suitors agrees to spend a night in the room… and a new string of deadly mysteries is set into motion.

***

This tight little melodrama opens with a group of wealthy people staying at a luxurious European mansion. According to legend, the mansion's "blue room" is cursed--everyone who has ever spent the night in that room has met with an untimely end. The three suitors of the heroine (Gloria Stuart) wager that each can survive a night in the forbidding blue room. The first to brave the room is a callow young man (William Janney) in whom the heroine has no real interest. A scream is heard in the middle of the night; when the other guests investigate, the young man has vanished, and the available clues suggest that he has met with foul play. Within the next several months, more murders occur in the blue room, prompting the lord of the manor (Lionel Atwill) to belatedly summon the authorities. A police inspector (Edward Arnold) solves both the mystery of the missing guest and the series of murders. Veteran moviegoers will be able to guess the outcome without even trying, but somehow Mystery in the Blue Room was deemed worthy of two remakes: The Missing Guest (38) and Murder in the Blue Room (44) (a musical!) Though not publicized at the time, Murder in the Blue Room was Universal's least expensive non-western feature film of 1933,

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 20th, 1933

Reviews                                                                      More Reviews                                                                    DVD Reviews

 

DVD Review: Universal 'Vault Series' - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Universal - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:05:46 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.99 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   
Bitrate:
Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• None

DVD Release Date: October 16th, 2014

Keep Case
Chapters: 9

 

Comments:

I enjoyed Secret of the Blue Room - it's a simple murder-mystery with  a fair amount of suspense - but the Universal MoD DVD has some issues.

The disc is single-layered and has no menus, or extras, and the transfer is interlaced (see combing in bottom capture) but the more distracting issue is the consistent chroma bug (notable in the title sequence above). There are a few speckles, some contrast flickering but the flecks of spectrum-like chroma should have no part in this presentation.

The audio is indicative of the era - a shade scattered - but dialogue is certainly audible. Heinz Letton's score is unremarkable. There are no subtitles and the media is region free.

The DVD weaknesses really suck the value out of this package. No extras and the film is a kinda of a fun throwaway. Certainly we say ]Pass' for now. 

Gary Tooze

 

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


Combing from interlaced transfer
 

 


DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Universal - Region 0 - NTSC




 

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