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USA 1945


Basically a light-hearted mystery programmer in the style of the 1940s, Two O'Clock Courage claims attention by virtue of having been directed by Anthony Mann, before his legendary collaboration in film noir with cinematographer John Alton. It also happens to be a pretty good movie, of its limited type, in its own right.

It opens at the fog-shrouded intersection of Ocean View Drive and Arch Street where Tom Conway, looking and sounding eerily like his more successful brother George Sanders, bleeds from a head wound and can't remember who he is. Skidding to his rescue in a taxi comes game hack Ann Rutherford (a sister under the visor to On The Town's Brunnhilde Esterhazy), who becomes his sidekick even though it turns out he may be mixed up in a high-profile murder. Trying to establish his identity and what he might have done (or not done), the pair travel through a theatrical/nightlife milieu; the mystery concerns a plagiarized play written by a dead man, which shares its title with this movie.

There are the staple characters of the sub-genre: the befuddled butler, the snoopy landlady, the apoplectic editor. There's also, as a society floozy, young Jane Greer (billed here as `Bettejane'). Two O'Clock Courage doesn't show much of the flair Mann would later bring to suspense, even, the following year, to Strange Impersonation. But he keeps his eye on the ball, and never lets the unraveling of the mystery take a back seat too long to the farcical episodes (which mercifully he keeps from growing too extended or too broad).

Excerpt of review from Bill McVicar for located HERE


Theatrical Release: 13 April 1945 (New York City)

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

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:06:14

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.92 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 2.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� None

DVD Release Date: June 9th, 2015
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Chapters 9





Two O'Clock Courage, directed by Anthony Mann and produced by Benjamin Stoloff for RKO, is essentially a remake of Stoloff's 1936 murder mystery Two in the Dark, starring Walter Abel and Margot Grahame. The earlier film is now very hard to see and even online search did not produce any posters (just a lobby card and a press book). 1945 remake updates the story for the wartime period, with Ann Rutherford (Gone with the Wind, Orchestra Wives) playing a cab driver who helps Tom Conway recover his identity and solve a murder mystery in the process. The movie starts like an amnesiac film noir, in the foggy night, on the cross of Ocean View Drive and Arch Street, a lone figure of a man kneeling at a street light. As the film progresses, the unfortunate comic moments move the feature further and further away from the noir territory. Thanks to a game Rutherford and always reliable Conway, the proceedings are never boring. Supporting cast include early role for Jane Greer (billed as Bettejane Greer) and Conway's costar from The Seventh Victim Jean Brooks in a full on femme fatale mode. Conway, Greer and Brooks would cross paths in next year's The Falcon's Alibi.

The film debuted on DVD in Spain and France and eventually joined Warner Archives in 2015 under "Film Noir Archive Collection" banner. The strong progressive image on the single layered platter has some noticeable marks and specs, but this is expected from RKO feature of this vintage without undergoing extensive restoration. This seems like a new transfer, with strong blacks and good compression (the film is only 66 minutes, so bitrate is pretty high as expected). The mono audio featuring Roy Webb score (I Married a Witch, The Fallen Sparrow, The Window, Journey Into Fear, I Walked with a Zombie etc.) is fine, without any distortions. There are no subtitles or any extras, but the film itself gets our recommendation as a entertaining murder mystery and early feature by Anthony Mann.

  - Gregory Meshman


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Region 0 - NTSC



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