Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by David Miller
USA 1952

 

Gargoyle thriller from 1952, with Joan Crawford (in her high garish period) as an heiress who discovers her husband (Jack Palance, the perfect iconic match) is planning to kill her. The film was a product of RKO desperation and didn't do especially well on first release; its anomalous success as a revival (in 1987, in 35-millimeter restoration) seemed largely a matter of fidelity to archetype (as a clear-lined suspenser) and kitschy iconographic tastes, though Charles Lang's glossily noirish cinematography may have had something to do with it, too.

Excerpt of Pat Graham's review at the Chicago Reader located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 6 August 1952

 

Reviews                                                                         More Reviews                                                                          DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Kino - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Cohen Media Group - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the DVD Review!

1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT

2) Cohen Media Group - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 Box Covers

   

    

For an extensive savings Kino are offering the 5-disc Film Noir - The Dark Side of Hollywood boxset with Sudden Fear / The Long Night / Hangmen Also Die / Railroaded and Behind Locked Doors.

             

Distribution

Kino

Region 0 - NTSC

Cohen Media - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:50:52 1:51:11.665
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.25 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,100,792,326 bytes

Feature: 33,008,394,240 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono)

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps

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

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: August 13, 1999
Keepcase

Chapters 17

Release Information:
Studio: Cohen Media Group

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,100,792,326 bytes

Feature: 33,008,394,240 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• 
Audio Commentary by Jeremy Arnold

Re-release Trailer (1:20)

• 8-page liner notes with photos and credits

Blu-ray Release Date: December 13th, 2016
Transparent
Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 12

 

 

 

Comments

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

 

ADDITION: Cohen Media Group - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (November 2016): Cohen's new 1080P transfer of Sudden Fear is a massive improvement over the 1999 Kino SD. The 2K restoration, on a dual-layered disc with max'ed out bitrate, has clarified the image in every category with more layered and pure contrast, tighter detail, more information in the frame, grain support, depth and it doesn't have the egregious deficiencies of chroma, interlacing and artifacts found on the dark, muddy, greenish DVD. Charles Lang's cinematography is much more a part of the presentation really showcasing the shadowy lighting and dark aura utilizing mirrors, blinds and staircases. This is a thick, pleasing image. Wonderful!

 

The audio was also a big problem on the DVD and it, too, has had some restoration work sounding significantly improved via an uncompressed linear PCM track (24-bit) which is much cleaner - most notable in the dramatic score by Elmer Bernstein (The Comancheros, The World of Henry Orient, Kings of the Sun, Hud, To Kill a Mockingbird, Summer and Smoke). It actually sounds better than the video! There are optional English subtitles (sample below) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

As an extra we get an excellent audio commentary by Jeremy Arnold author of Turner Classic Movies: The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter. He provides great information about the production, the San Francisco locations, Crawford and the filmmakers. There is also a re-release trailer and the package has an 8-page liner notes leaflet with photos and credits.

 

Sudden Fear is an Essential Noir and it embodies much of what we love about the dark cinema. Joan Crawford and Jack Palance are great - as is one of my favorite femme-fatales Gloria Grahame. I am so pleased with the improvement of this Blu-ray after living with the horrid a/v of the DVD for years. Our highest recommendation!

***

ON THE DVD: Sudden Fear is a stylish noir melodrama with very good performances by its 3 stars. Kino disc was distributed originally by Image and re-released in 2003 with the same content from 1999. DVD doesn't fare well compared to the output from major studios and even smaller studios like VCI and Dark Sky Films that charge half of this disc's price for better efforts. Chroma and ghosting are evident in the transfer and the print has some damage (and cue blips visible). The sound is full of pops and background noise. There are no extras, not even a trailer. A disappointing release that should have a price drop to get any remote recommendation.

 - Gregory Meshman

 


DVD Menus

 

Cohen Media Group - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample - Cohen Media Group - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Cohen Media Group - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Cohen Media Group - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Cohen Media Group - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Cohen Media Group - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Cohen Media Group - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Cohen Media Group - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Kino - Region 0 - NTSC TOP

2) Cohen Media Group - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

NOTE: Combing from interlaced transfer on the DVD

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 


Recommended Reading in Film Noir (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

 
 Box Covers

   

    

For an extensive savings Kino are offering the 5-disc Film Noir - The Dark Side of Hollywood boxset with Sudden Fear / The Long Night / Hangmen Also Die / Railroaded and Behind Locked Doors..

             

Distribution

Kino

Region 0 - NTSC

Cohen Media - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 




 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!