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Directed by Joseph Pevney
USA 1955

 

Screen legend Joan Crawford (Daisy Kenyon) stars as Lynn Markham, a widow who moves into a beach house where the former owner had fallen to her death. What had seemed like an accident turns to suspicion of murder as Lynn finds herself drawn into a torrid affair with a handsome beachcomber (Jeff Chandler, Ten Seconds to Hell) who may be harboring a sinister secret. Wonderfully directed by Joseph Pevney (Foxfire), Female on the Beach is a stylish showcase for Crawford’s intense performance and features a stellar cast that includes Jan Sterling (Man with a Gun), Cecil Kellaway (Marty) and Natalie Schafer (TV’s Gilligan’s Island) in key supporting roles.

***

This movie is ideal for those in the mood for something steamy, overwrought and wonderfully trashy. Billed as a mystery, it centers on hapless Joan Crawford as a wealthy gambler's widow who exchanges the lights and excitement of Vegas for the anticipated serenity of the isolated beach house that she leased sight unseen. Unfortunately she soon discovers that she gets a lot more than she bargained for when she learns that the previous tenant, fell or was pushed off a balcony to her death. She also finds herself contending with a handsome and persistent beach-bum gigolo. Though she knows he is a bum in more ways than one, she cannot help but fall in love with him. Unfortunately, she stumbles across the deceased tenant's diary and learns the ugly truth, forcing her to choose between self-preservation and unbridled passion. 

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 19th, 1955 (New York City, New York)

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:37:03.776        
Video

2.0:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,007,447,562 bytes

Feature: 21,343,414,272 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.74 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

2.0:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,007,447,562 bytes

Feature: 21,343,414,272 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.74 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Kat Ellinger
NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian David Del Valle, moderated by Filmmaker David DeCoteau
Image Gallery (15:45)
Theatrical Trailer (2:24)
Reversible Art


Blu-ray Release Date:
December 11th, 2018
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Firstly, this was available on DVD in TCM's Women in Danger: 1950s Thrillers (reviewed by Gregory HERE.) It looked great in SD and the Kino Lorber Blu-ray transfer also looks impressive with both grain and depth with well layered contrast. It's on a single-layered Blu-ray in 1080P with a supportive bitrate. It can look a shade clunky with the excessive texture but film fans will appreciate the heavy film-like visuals. There are minimal speckles and the HD presentation is a very positive one. 

The film is presented in 2.0 channel mono 16-bit DTS-HD Master Audio track. There are minimal aggressive effects but a seething noir-ish score by uncredited 
Heinz Roemheld (Dangerous, The Monster that Challenged The World, The Land Unknown, The Mole People, 1933's The Invisible Man) and, credited, Herman Stein (This Island Earth, It Came Fom Outer Space, War Arrow, Tarantula, There's Always Tomorrow, The Incredible Shrinking Man) that adds some suspenseful flavor to this often campy thriller. The dialogue is clear and audible and there are optional English (SDH) subtitles on this Region 'A' Blu-ray.

Firstly, I really enjoyed the, first, audio commentary by film historian Kat Ellinger who discusses Crawford's career and personal life, control issues, affairs (including Jeff Chandler) and much more to appreciate the leading lady and this occasionally odd crime-drama effort. Her well-researched commentaries get better and better. There is a second audio commentary, also new, by film historian David Del Valle, moderated by filmmaker David DeCoteau. I look forward to indulging in this one later. There is also a 1/4 hour image gallery in slideshow fashion with wardrobe test shots etc. Lastly, is a theatrical trailer and the package has reversible art.

This is wonderful as Noir hybrid and the strong independent characterizations of, studio queen, Joan Crawford! The Blu-ray transfer is very pleasing and there are invaluable supplements with the two commentaries. Fans of the Dark Cinema or the performers (I've always been keen on Jan Sterling) should click this into the cart! So much value here.

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

    

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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