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directed by Lewis Allen

USA / UK 1948

 

Olivia Harwood (Ann Todd) is a missionary's widow who meets Mark Bellis (Ray Milland), a charming artist and rogue, on the ship taking them back to Victorian London. When Olivia opens a boarding house, Mark becomes her lodger, but then quickly graduates to become her lover. Soon Olivia falls completely under the spell of Mark and casts aside her religious scruples to fall in with Mark's ambitious and immoral schemes of theft and blackmail. But perhaps his schemes are too ambitious when he attempts to swindle their own friends, leaving Olivia to decide whether to completely fall in with the devil - or redeem herself by betraying the man she loves...

***

Taking advantage of Paramount's "frozen funds" in Britain, producer Hal Wallis was able to film much of So Evil My Love in London. Based on a novel by Joseph Shearing, whose previous Gothic romances included Moss Rose and Blanche Fury, the film stars Ray Milland in his first (but hardly his last) all-out villainous characterization. Milland is cast as charming scoundrel Mark Bellis, or at least that's what he's calling himself at the moment. Escaping his latest criminal escapade by boat, Bellis falls victim to a malaria epidemic.

***

An innocent woman falls under a villainís spell in So Evil My Love, a captivating film noir thriller of obsession and deceit starring Ray Milland. In the late 19th century, English widow Olivia Harwood (Ann Todd) meets Mark Bellis (Milland), a charming-but-dangerous criminal and lets him board in her home. Hopelessly in love with a man who is playing her for a fool, Olivia soon descends into a life of crime as Mark persuades her to steal from her friend Susan Courtney (Geraldine Fitzgerald), the wife of a wealthy peer. Discovering a packet of scandalous letters that could ruin the Courtneysí socially, Olivia blindly follows the scoundrelís biddings leading down a path of blackmail and murder.

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 3rd, 1948

Reviews                                                      More Reviews                                               DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL vs. Universal 'Vault Series' - Region 0 - NTSC

1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL LEFT

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Screenbound

Region 0 - PAL

Universal - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:48:28 (4% PAL speedup) 1:48:44
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.8 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.23 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 Screenbound:

Bitrate Universal:

Audio English 2.0 English 2.0
Subtitles None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Screenbound

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date: March 21st, 2016
Amaray

Chapters 8

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• None

DVD Release Date: November 23rd, 2016

Keep case

Chapters: 12

 

 

 

Comments

UPDATE: Universal Vault Series - December 2016 - Not too dissimilar - both ridiculously over-priced for a bare-bones, interlaced, DVD with marks and speckles. If forced to choose I'd give a short nod to the Universal (The Screenbound actually seems to be in NTSC timing but with all the artifacts and weakness of that incorrect transfer process). The UK disc may have some brightness boosting too.

An excellent film that I was very keen to see and that is the major attribute of these DVDs - their existence! Fans may wish to indulge even being aware of the disappointing deficiencies.

***

So Evil My Love is a grand Noir-leaning vintage gothic psychological thriller sometimes referred to as a "Gaslight noir" - referencing its 1890s Victorian London time period and not dissimilar to the atmosphere of The Lodger or Hangover Square. There are dark-cinema conventions; naive love, obsession, blackmail, embezzlement, murder and deception (and a few we won't divulge as they might be considered spoilers). Delicious!

I don't know of another DVD available for the film - although there might be one in Spain. Screenbound in the UK have access to a marginal source and the image is weak - interlaced, artifacts and plenty of marks. But I didn't see instances of Chroma and it is quite watchable if imperfect. Fans will probably be more forgiving considering this excellent film's lack of availability till now.

Audio matches the video - although may be a shade superior with only a few weak instances. The original score is by William Alwyn (Burn, Witch Burn, Odd Man Out, On Approval, A Night to Remember and The Fallen Idol) but is standard fare and not particularly remarkable adding some dramatic flourishes as the plot develops. As the SD transfer is watchable so the audio is listen-able and doesn't distract from the finer qualities of the film. There are no subtitles offered nor any extras and the disc is in the PAL format (region free).  

  - Gary Tooze

 


Screenbound DVD Menus (No Menus on the Universal)
 

 


Screen Captures

1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 

 


1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


 

1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


Interlacing on both DVDs

 

1) Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL TOP

2) Universal "Vault Series" - Region 0 - NTSC BOTTOM

 


DVD Box Covers

 

Distribution

Screenbound

Region 0 - PAL

Universal - Region 0 - NTSC



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