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directed by Karel Reisz
UK 1964


In this thriller, Albert Finney stars as an innocent-looking but psychopathic killer named Danny, a Welsh bellboy who commits an axe murder near the home of Mrs. Bramson (Mona Washbourne), a well-to-do widow. Danny disposes of the body in a nearby lake and charms Mrs. Bramson and her maid, Dora (Sheila Hancock), into allowing him to stay with them. At Mrs. Bramson's home, Danny plays psychological games with Mrs. Bramson while seducing her daughter, Olivia (Susan Hampshire). As the authorities close in on Danny, he engages in strange rituals with the severed heads of his victims, which he keeps in a black hatbox.


Theatrical Release: 18 March 1964 (USA)

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

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:41:18

1.65:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.54 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 Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.65:1

Edition Details:
� Theatrical trailer (3:06)

DVD Release Date: November 4th, 2014
Keep Case

Chapters 26





After the success of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning director Karel Reisz and actor Albert Finney reunited next year to adapt Emlyn Williams play Night Must Fall, filmed earlier in 1937 with Robert Montgomery in Finney's role of Danny. Released theatrically by MGM, the film was panned by viewers and critics - no one wanted to see Finney turn from Tom Jones character to a murderous psychopath. The film is enriched by Freddie Francis' atmospheric black-and-white cinematography, excelled prior in Jack Clayton's The Innocents and later in David Lynch's The Elephant Man, and by Mona Washbourne, having a ball here as a wealthy elderly window competing with her daughter Olivia (Susan Hampshire) over Danny's attention.

The made-on-demand disc from Warner Archive looks excellent in an anamorphic progressive transfer. The aspect ratio is in 1.65:1 - close to the European standard for the British production and framing looks fine. There are occasional marks and scratches, but they never become intrusive. The musical score by Ron Grainer (Station Six-Sahara, Doctor Who theme, The Prisoner theme, To Sir with Love, The Omega Man) is clear in 2.0 mono soundtrack, but English subtitles would have been helpful due to Finney's Welsh accent. A poor quality 3-minute theatrical trailer is included as an extra and film gets generous 26 chapters. An interview with an actor who just turned 80 would have been a nice addition to the package. Even so, the film warrants a rediscovery and gets a fine release from Warner Archive.

  - Gregory Meshman


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DVD Box Cover

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC


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