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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Black Tower" or "Suspense")


directed by Alfred Zeisler
USA 1946


In Fear, a medical student (Peter Cookson) is on the brink of abandoning school because his money has run out; in frustration, he murders a professor who moonlights as a pawnbroker. Questioned by the police, he ill-advisedly spouts warmed-over Nietzsche like the effete killers in Hitchcock's Rope. Then, out of the blue, a scholarly periodical to which he submitted an article sends him a check for $1000 (!) -- the most implausible occurrence in the entire noir cycle. He grows more reckless, and suspicion continues to grow....

Fear was a low-budget Monogram programmer (clocking in at just over an hour) but looks a lot better, angled and shadowed like more lavish productions. It won't satisfy the literal-minded, but it's a decent enough way to while away a dark hour.

Excerpt of review from Bill McVicar for located HERE


Theatrical Release: 2 March 1946 (USA)

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DVD Review: Grapevine Video - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Grapevine Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:07:30

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.99 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 English Mono
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Grapevine Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� None

DVD Release Date: July 7th, 2015
Keep case

Chapters 9





Monogram's Fear is an uncredited adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel Crime and Punishment, filmed many times, including 1935 Columbia adaptation directed by Josef von Sternberg. Fear strips the novel from all the extra characters, making it a story of a penniless student Larry (Peter Cookson, Don't Gamble with Strangers) murdering a pawn-broker and trying his hardest not to get caught by a Police Captain (Warren William, Skyscraper Souls / Employees’ Entrance) who suspects the student and enjoys playing mind games with him. Larry's love interest is played by charming Anne Gwynne (Weird Woman, Arson, Inc.). Directed with great noir flair by Alfred Zeisler (Parole, Inc., Alimony), the film is spoiled by a surprise ending that negates almost everything that proceeded before.

This being a Monogram production, the rights (and quality prints) are most likely with Warner. Grapevine Video, a studio specializing in silents and public domain classics, released the movie on DVD-R in 2015. The interlaced transfer, derived from 16 mm print or tape master, has many splices, damages and marks. The transfer is not stable - in one scene there are noticeable jumping frames as seen in the first capture. The mono audio is full of pops and hiss, but not distorted. There are no extras and the film is divided into 9 chapters. Overall, the disc is not up to the standards of Warner Archive releases, but more watchable than your average Alpha disc. It was nice to see this rare film noir on digital media and low pricing makes it attractive to die-hard noir fans, but hopefully a restored release from Warner is coming in the imminent future.

  - Gregory Meshman


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Grapevine Video

Region 0 - NTSC


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