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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Stronger Than Fear" )

 

directed by Mark Robson
USA 1950

 

When Edge of Doom was first released, audiences turned away from it with the coldest of shoulders. It was yanked out of circulation so that a pair of bookends could be shot, in which the story becomes a kind of parable told by a wise old rector (Dana Andrews) to a younger priest undergoing a pastoral crisis. The filmmakers shouldn't have bothered: Edge of Doom remains one of the bleakest, least comforting offerings of the entire noir cycle (no mean feat), and probably the most irreligious movie ever made in America.

When Farley Granger's devout but tubercular mother dies, it precipitates a rampage against everything that makes up the prison of his life: his ugly urban poverty; his penny-pinching employer who offers promises rather than a raise; the Church, which once refused burial to his father, a suicide, and is now refusing his mother the "big" funeral he thinks he owes her; the smarmy, sanctimonious undertaker. Long story short, he ends up murdering a crusty, hell-and-brimstone priest. The police nab him for a robbery he didn't commit but end up with a different murder suspect. But compassionate pastor Dana Andrews (now in flashback) suspects the truth.... There's something almost endearingly Old Left about the savagery of the indictment leveled against society's Big Guns: Church, police and capitalism. The slum where Granger lived with his mother makes Ralph and Alice Kramden's Chauncey Street digs in Brooklyn look cozily inviting (Adele Jergens, as the slatternly wife of a neighbor, observes, "Smart people don't live here"); outside, the nighttown is noir at its most exhilaratingly creepy. It's easy to see why the public, on the cusp of the fabulous fifties, shunned this movie, whose unprettiness is uncompromised. But it's as succinct a summing up of the noir vision as anything in the canon.

Excerpt of review from Bill McVicar for imdb.com located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 3 August 1950 (USA)

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

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:37:12
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.83 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

Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� None

DVD Release Date: February 9th, 2016
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Chapters 13

 

 

 

Comments

The Samuel Goldwyn Company produced only one classic film noir, Edge of Doom that became one of the bleakest films in the entire film noir cannon. Directed by Mark Robson (The Seventh Victim, Champion, The Harder They Fall, Valley of the Dolls, Earthquake), the film stars Farley Granger (They Live By Night, Side Street, Strangers on a Train) as a troubled youth Martin Lynn who goes to war with religion and society after death of his mother. Dana Andrews (Boomerang, Where the Sidewalk Ends) plays a sympathetic priest who attempts to bring the young man back to God. Martin's girlfriend is played by Joan Evans who was discovered by Goldwyn and already played Granger's love interest in Roseanna McCoy and Our Very Own. The film costars familiar noir character actors - Robert Keith (Woman on the Run), Paul Stewart (The Window), Mala Powers (City That Never Sleeps), Adele Jergens (Armored Car Robbery). After disastrous first screening, Charles Vidor of Gilda fame directed bookends of the story with Dana Andrews telling the story of Martin to a young priest (Robert Karnes) who has a crisis of faith of his own. The new scenes and narration was written by Ben Hecht and Charles Brackett, but that did not save the picture and despite several positive reviews, the film was a failure at the box office.

Until this release by Warner Archive, Samuel Goldwyn Company did nothing with the picture - it was never released on DVD by HBO or MGM when they were releasing the studio's library. The made-on-demand single layered disc released by Warner under their "Samuel Goldwyn Classics" banner features a new, progressive transfer. There are a few scenes with a noticeable drop in contrast, but most of the time the trasfer looks excellent, with little damage and deep blacks. The mono soundtrack is serviceable. There are no other extras on the disc. This is another fine release by Warner Archives of an essential film noir on DVD.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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