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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Noose Hangs High [Blu-ray]

 

(Charles Barton, 1948)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Abbott & Costello Productions Inc.

Video: Classicflix

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:16:36.341

Disc Size: 20,323,160,214 bytes

Feature Size: 19,162,644,480 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Chapters: 21

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 15th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1558 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1558 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

Original theatrical trailer (2:17)
Image gallery with rare stills, posters and other promotional material (7:19)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In their first independent production, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello deliver a “greatest hits” of many of their best routines, including “Mustard,” “You’re 40, She’s 10,” and “Hole in the Wall.”

Two window washers (Bud and Lou) are mistaken for messengers by bookie Nick Craig and sent to collect a $50,000 gambling debt. However, the sore loser has no intention of paying off and instructs two henchmen to rob the boys. To evade the thugs, Bud and Lou quickly decide to mail the cash to Nick, but it accidentally ends up in the hands of a woman named Carol, who spends most of it before they find her. Nick gives the trio just 36 hours to come up with the loot, which he owes to J.C.McBride, a mysterious millionaire whom he has never met and who never loses a bet. With time running out, can Bud and Lou parlay the remaining money into $50,000 in time?

A remake of For Love or Money (1939), The Noose Hangs High finds Bud and Lou in the very best of form with an excellent supporting cast featuring Joseph Calleia (Touch of Evil), Cathy Downs (My Darling Clementine) and Leon Errol (Mexican Spitfire).

 

 

The Film:

For their first independently-produced vehicle, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello chose to appear in a remake of the 1939 Universal programmer For Love or Money. Bud and Lou are cast as Ted and Tommy, two bumbling window washers hired by gangster Mike Craig (Joseph Calleila) to collect a $50,000 gambling debt. The boys manage to pick up the money, only to deliver it to the wrong person, a pretty private secretary named Carol (Cathy Downs). Ordered to retrieve the money within 24 hours "or else," Ted and Tommy trace the cash to Carol, who has mistakenly distributed it amongst the entries in a mailing list. As our heroes desperately concoct methods of escaping Craig's wrath, eccentric gambler Julius Caesar McBride (Leon Errol), the man who "never loses," comes to the rescue. Despite its seeming complexity, the plot exists merely as a peg on which to hang several of Abbott and Costello's best routines, including "Bet you 10 dollars you're not here," "Hole in the Wall," "Packing and unpacking," "Getting Arrested," and, best of all, "Mudder and Fodder." Beyond the seven credited actors, the huge unbilled supporting cast includes such reliable laugh-getters as Benny Rubin, Murray Leonard, Elvia Allman, Herb Vigran, Fred Kelsey, James Flavin, Lyle Latell, Isabel Randolph and Paul Maxey.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

The comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, who hovered near the top of the list of box-office attractions in the 1940s, chose The Noose Hangs High (1948) as their first independently produced vehicle after a string of hits for Universal. Under a new contract with that studio, the pair were allowed one outside film a year, and this one was shot at Eagle Lion. It's a remake of Universal's For Love or Money (1939) starring Robert Kent and June Lang. Because The Noose Hangs High was not part of the package when Abbott and Costello's Universal releases were syndicated for television, it has been little seen in recent years.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

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

The single-layered Classicflix Blu-ray of The Noose Hangs High looks has a high bitrate and looks quite pleasing in 1080P. Contrast seems well-layered in the original aspect ratio and, while the image isn't crisp, it does have some decent detail in close-ups. The source is clean, and I noticed no noise. This Blu-ray gave me a very watchable, and pleasurable, viewing in regards to the picture quality.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Classicflix use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (24-bit) in the original English language. There are slapstick-related effects in the film - and a score by Walter Schumann (notable for composing for the film The Night of the Hunter and the Dragnet TV series theme) that sounds very penetrating via the lossless. The dialogue was easily discernable and there are optional English subtitles offered (see sample above). My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Extras consist of an original theatrical trailer and an, extensive, image gallery with rare stills, posters and other promotional material.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Noose Hangs High is plenty of fun with Abbott and Costello. A cute premise with some thrills and a generally fun, family, time. It rates in the upper tier of the team's work together. The Classicflix
Blu-ray is the only way to see this comedic cracker in 1080P. Fans of the boys and those into a pleasant, enjoyable, entertainment film from the era can't really go wrong! Recommended. 

Gary Tooze

August 11th, 2017

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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