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directed by Zoltan Korda

UK 1948

 

Country squire, Henry Maurier (Charles Boyer), is regarded as a saint for putting up with his neurotic, invalid wife Emily (Rachel Kempson). But when Emily s brother visits them with his voluptuous mistress, Doris (Ann Blyth), the ageing squire falls instantly in love with the young temptress. That very night Emily dies suddenly of chronic heart disease, and Henry is left free to seduce and later marry Doris much to the annoyance of their neighbour, Janet (Jessica Tandy) who has secretly loved Henry for many years. When a post-mortem shows that Emily's death was precipitated by arsenic, Henry is arrested for murder and placed on trial for his life. But is he guilty? Gripping drama directed by Zoltan Korda and written by Aldous Huxley.

***

A Woman's Vengeance concerns a "likely" murderer, Henry Maurier, played by Charles Boyer. It is no secret that Maurier is enamored with young Doris (Ann Blyth), but is his love for the girl motive enough for Maurier to murder his invalid wife? Only family friend Dr. Libbard (Sir Cedric Hardwicke) believes in Maurier, and it is Libbard who eventually extracts a confession from the real killer -- just seconds before Maurier is to be executed. Without giving the game away, we'll note that the supporting cast includes Jessica Tandy, Mildred Natwick, and John Williams (Rachel Kempson couldn't have played the murderer, inasmuch as she's the victim). A Woman's Vengeance was adapted by Aldous Huxley (the same) from his own story The Gioconda Smile.

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Theatrical Release: January 29th, 1948

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DVD Review: Screenbound Pictures - Region 2 - PAL

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Screenbound Pictures

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:31:54 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.20 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

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

Bitrate

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

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date: April 25th, 2016
Transparent Keep Case test

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

Quite a decent, bare-bones, single-layered SD PAL transfer from Screenbound Entertainment out of the UK. The film starts with a Universal logo. A Woman's Vengeance is an extremely well-made mystery/romance with excellent performances.

NOTE: The cover appears incorrect in that it states the name Cedric Humphreys where it should be either Cedric Hardwicke or Cecil Humphreys.

The video is quite strong - clean, reasonably tight and nice textures with some frame-specific damage/speckles occasionally surfacing. I found the image quality pleasing. It's in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and is the SD transfer provides a very watchable presentation.

The audio is clean and consistent in lossy Dolby, and the dramatic score is by the iconic Miklós Rózsa (The Killers, The Lost Weekend, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Double Indemnity) adding significant drama to the film experience. There are no subtitles on the region 2 PAL disc.

There are no extras at all.

The film has plenty of suspense. I appreciated A Woman's Vengeance's professional storytelling from Korda. It's a film worth a spin or two. Recommended to aficionados of vintage cinema and the performances of Boyer, Blyth and Tandy - which all advance the film's enjoyment. I was quite into my viewing.

  - Gary Tooze

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution

Screenbound Pictures

Region 2 - PAL

 



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