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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Calling Northside 777')

directed by Henry Hathaway
USA 1947

 

One of the most impressive of Fox's semi-documentary noir thrillers shot on location (here Chicago), this sees Stewart as a hard-boiled newspaper reporter latching on to a 'human interest' story of a woman slaving away for years to save the money which may help free her son from prison, and then setting out to prove the man innocent of murder. Besides the generally strong performances and Joe MacDonald's fine monochrome camera-work, what finally impresses about the film is Stewart's gradual development from skeptical scoop-hunter to a committed crusader for justice. Add to that the suggestion that the police are less than willing to be proved wrong in their conviction of Conte (it was a cop that he allegedly killed), and you have an absorbingly intelligent thriller....

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 1st, 1948

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

Comparison:

Fox - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Pidax - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Fox Home Video - Region 1- NTSC LEFT

Pidax - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

   

   

  

Distribution Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Pidax - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:50:52  1:51:00.153 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.51 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,585,947,000 bytes

Feature: 23,899,975,680 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.98 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 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0) 

Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB

DUB:

Dolby Digital Audio German 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB

Subtitles English, Spanish, None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Fox Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by authors and historians James Ursini and Alain Silver
• Fox Movietone news (motion picture stars attend premiere)
• Theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: March 15th, 2005

Keep Case
Chapters:
20

Release Information:
Studio: Pidax AG

 

1.33:1 1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,585,947,000 bytes

Feature: 23,899,975,680 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video


Edition Details:

US trailer (1:48)

• German Trailer (0:52)

Blu-ray Release Date: April 7th, 2017

Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters: 8

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Pidax (Germany) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - May 2017: The Fox DVD was pretty good and included a commentary. I was a bit ambivalent over this, single-layered, 1080P transfer and kept zooming in for edge-enhancement or digitization, but if any is there - it's reasonably buried. We've had similar suspicions on previous era Fox visuals, but I think this is more inherent than the result of a manipulated transfer. The Blu-ray loses a sliver of information on the left and bottom edges. Other than that the contrast is more layered and it looks quite good in-motion. Certainly superior to the SD, actually displaying instances of depth.

Unfortunately, only lossy audio - original English or a German DUB. So the score by Alfred Newman (Cry of the City, The Diary of Anne Frank, Bus Stop, Blood and Sand, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Panic in the Streets, The Song of Bernadette etc. etc.) doesn't get an uncompressed bump but the audio is clear without sync issues (we sometimes see in these foreign Blu-ray releases) on the English-language track. No subtitles are offered. The disc is region 'B'-locked.

Only a US and German trailer as extras.

Still a methodical, captivating Noir with great performers. I was very pleased to see it in 1080P and will certainly watch again. Recommended to 'Dark Cinema' Blu-ray completists and aficionados.

***

ON THE DVD: Seems on par with the Laura transfer. A little inherently soft but quite good overall. Nice of Fox to include the original mono audio with the Stereo bumps in these Noirs. I haven't made it all the way through the commentary yet, but I expect it is the same flavor as "Panic in the Streets". Fox has done some work with these DVDs. Bravo. out of       

Gary W. Tooze


 

 

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Distribution Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Pidax - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


 


 



 

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