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Directed by John Brahm

USA 1945

 

John Brahm, a baroque stylist of the 40s best known for The Locket and his remake of Hitchcock's The Lodger, directed this Victorian gothic (1944) about a high-strung and temperamental composer (Laird Cregar) who goes nuts when his mistress (Linda Darnell) betrays him. Bernard Herrmann, himself a high-strung and temperamental composer, contributed the score, and curiously Cregar is made up to look very much like him. With George Sanders and Glenn Langan; the lush and striking cinematography is by Joseph LaShelle.

***

From the star and director of The Lodger, - the great Laird Cregar (I Wake Up Screaming) gives a staggering nightmarish performance as an amnesiac London composer George Harvey Bone, who learns that a murder occurred during one of his blackouts and starts to worry that he himself may be the murderer. Although a Scotland Yard report proves his innocence, Bone's murderous streak reveals itself when a pub singer with ulterior motives betrays him. Featuring glorious black-and-white photography by Oscar-winner Joseph LaShelle (Laura) and startling direction by Hollywood veteran John Brahm (The Undying Monster). Also starring Linda Darnell (The Mark of Zorro), George Sanders (Witness to Murder), Glenn Langan (Dragonwyck), Faye Marlowe (The Spider) and Alan Napier (Driftwood), Hangover Square is a psychological chiller you won't soon forget.

Posters

Theatrical Releases: February 7th, 1945 (NY - Premiere)

DVD Reviews

Comparison:

 

20th Century Fox (3•disc) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

   

 

   

Distribution 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Time: 1:17:36 1:17:52.668
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.74 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,574,480,130 bytes

Feature: 18,796,861,440 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 28.41 Mbps

Bitrate:

Bitrate:

Blu-ray

Audio English (original mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  NOTE: Undying Monster offers a Spanish DUB

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1557 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1557 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps

Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1.33 

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Film Historian/Screenwriter Steve Haberman and Co-Star Faye Marlowe

• Commentary by Richard Schickel
• The Tragic Mask: The Laird Cregar Story (19:43)
• Hangover Square Vintage Radio Show - Performed by Vincent Price (28:49)

Advertising Gallery (click thru)
• Stills Gallery (click thru)



DVD Release Date: October 9th, 2007

3 Transparent Keep Cases inside a Slipcase cardboard box
Chapters: 16, 20, and 12

Release Information:
Studio: Kino
 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,574,480,130 bytes

Feature: 18,796,861,440 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 28.41 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Film Historian/Screenwriter Steve Haberman and Co-Star Faye Marlowe

• Commentary by Richard Schickel
• The Tragic Mask: The Laird Cregar Story (19:43)
• Hangover Square Vintage Radio Show - Performed by Vincent Price (29:38)

Trailers



Blu-ray Release Date: November 21st, 2017
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters:8

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray October 17': Kino's 2017 Blu-ray transfer follows both The Lodger, and The Undying Monster - from Fox's Fox Horror Classics Collection 2007 DVD set making the entire collection now on Blu-ray. The Kino image is advertised as a "Brand New 4K Restoration" and is authentically darker and does, notably, advance over SD in the overall appearance. There are plenty of shadow shots with atmospheric lighting and the layered contrast makes the visuals look tighter. There is a higher level of detail to some of the close-ups and there is some consistent grain texture.

The audio improvement is via a DTS-HD Master (16-bit) 2.0 channel.  Minor effects with some fire and, of course, the piano pieces (pieces written by Lionel Newman and Concerto Macabre) plus a typically intense score by the great Bernard Herrmann (Beneath the 12-Mile Reef, Cape Fear, The Magnificent Ambersons, Taxi Driver, The Wrong Man, Dressed to Kill, etc. etc.) is represented beautifully in lossless. The Kino does offers optional English subtitles (see sample below) and is region 'A'-locked Blu-ray.

NOTE: Paul says: "I believe that Bernard Herrmann wrote the entire music score including the piano concerto. It has been stated that Stephen Sondheim wrote to Herrmann after hearing his score and utilized some ideas for Sweeney Todd ..." (Thanks Paul!)

The Kino offers the same, excellent, commentaries, by Film Historian / Screenwriter Steve Haberman and co-Star Faye Marlowe and a second by Richard Schickel. Also repeated are Constantine Nasr's 2007 20-minute documentary The Tragic Mask: The Laird Cregar Story with Dr. Drew Casper, Steve Haberman, Steve Jones, Gregory W. Mank, Kim Newman and others. Also repeated is the 1/2 hour Hangover Square Vintage Radio Show performed by Vincent Price, Linda Darnell and Faywe Marlow. There are also three trailers

Vintage film fans continue to appreciate seeing some of these great films in the best possible home theatre representation. Hangover Square is very strongly recommended in this 4K-restored Blu-ray presentation!

***

DVD REVIEW of the Boxset: The 3 feature films of this boxset are housed in slim individual transparent keep cases (see image above) and they are not sold separately at this time. I believe these particular editions can only be obtained in Fox's Fox Horror Classics package at present.

Each are coded for Region 1 in the NTSC standard. The Undying Monster is single layered and The Lodger and Hangover Square are both on dual-layered discs. The transfers are progressive and in the original aspect ratios (1.33 for all). The audio is original English mono with a 2.0 channel stereo option and The Undying Monster has a Spanish DUB choice. There are optional English, French or Spanish subtitles.

Image quality: Fairly consistent although in descending quality for reverse chronological order with The Undying Monster , the oldest film, looking the best sporting sterling contrast and excellent detail, The Lodger also looking surprisingly strong and Hangover Square bringing up the rear in a slightly weak transfer with what appears to be some edge enhancement. At around 1 hour there is an awkward layer change and a light vertical scratch appears intermittently down the centre of the screen and a few frames of damage are noticeable. The audio also has a few lapses - like it is out of sync.  There is some minor digital noise in all three. There are no distracting damage marks excepting in one segment near the end of Hangover Square but it may have been the shadowy intent of the shot. I re-watched it over and over and couldn't tell. I think the captures below give a fair representation of how the DVD package looks. They are very watchable!

Audio volume was a bit quiet but I noted no significant dropout flaws or excessive background hiss (very minor now and again - unobtrusive). The audio is supported with optional English, Spanish or French subtitles.

 

Supplements, as per usual for Classic Fox releases - are excellent. Each disc has click-thru advertising galleries and stills galleries. The Lodger and The Undying Monster offer trailers and restoration comparisons. The Undying Monster has a 15 minute featurette called Concertos Macabre: The Films of John Brahm concentrating on the neglected director of every feature in this boxset. The Lodger has another excellent commentary by the film historians team of Alain Silver and James Ursini. Most have heard this pair working on notable Film Noirs and I feel quite comfortable listening to them share their encyclopedic knowledge of classic film which is always evident and they genuinely seem to enjoy their work (and each other). Also on The Lodger is a 15 minute featurette - Man in the Attic: The Making of The Lodger. It's a nice overview touching on some production details. The Lodger also offers an audio only segment - The Lodger Vintage Radio Show - performed by Vincent Price's recognizable voice. On Hangover Square there are two strong commentaries - a fairly lightweight -full of gaps - one with film historian/Screenwriter Steve Haberman and co-star Faye Marlowe but I preferred the professional Richard Schickel commentary - like Silver & Ursini - Schickel is a pleasure to listen to - the guy REALLY knows his stuff. Great to indulge in after the film - I strongly recommend it. We also have a 20 minute featurette - The Tragic Mask: The Laird Cregar Story and another half-hour audio only segment with Vincent Price. For the price - these extras are solid gold and the films are three fascinating gems. I found all three films here extremely enjoyable. This would be Feature DVD of the Month if the timing were better. I give it my strongest recommendation!

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus


 

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



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20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

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20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

 

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

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Box Covers

 

   

 

   

Distribution 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray




 

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