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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Man Who Died Twice [Blu-ray]


(Joseph Kane, 1958)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Ventura Pictures Corporation / Republic Pictures

Video: Kino Lorber



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

Runtime: 1:10:21.550 

Disc Size: 21,004,607,874 bytes

Feature Size: 19,324,243,968 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.91 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: November 14th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



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)

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






• Audio Commentary by Film Historian Toby Roan





Description: An innocent woman must survive a murderous reign of terror by hired killers, drug lords and vice kings of the underworld. A nightclub singer (Vera Ralston, Hoodlum Empire) becomes mixed up in illegal drug dealings and the mob shortly after witnessing her husband s supposed death and the murder of a couple of narcotics agents. Republic Pictures veteran Joseph Kane (King of the Pecos) directed this suspenseful film noir gloriously shot in black-and-white and cinemascope by Jack A. Marta (The Shanghai Story) with a screenplay by Richard C. Sarafian (Vanishing Point). This exciting crime thriller co-starred Rod Cameron (TV's State Trooper and City Detective) and Mike Mazurki (Murder, My Sweet).



The Film:

After her husband, T. J. Brennon, the owner of the Blue Swan nightclub, is killed in an auto accident, Lynn Brennon returns home from the club one night and sees three men struggling on the balcony of her apartment. After one man pushes a second man over the railing and shoots the other, he runs up the fire escape to the roof and escapes. Meanwhile, two hired killers from Chicago, Hart and Santoni, check in to a local hotel and look up Brennon's address in the phone book. The men killed at the Brennon apartment were narcotics agents searching for heroin, and consequently, Capt. Andy Hampton and Chief Sloane of the narcotics division are called in to investigate. Soon after, T. J.'s long-estranged brother Bill comes to town in response to a telegram he received from T. J. asking for help. Alerted about Bill's arrival, Andy does a background check on him and learns that he works for the Kansas City police department. Upon learning that T. J. is dead and his widow is in the hospital suffering from shock, Bill goes to the hospital to meet Lynn, who had married his brother just three months earlier. When Bill questions Lynn about T. J.'s difficulties, she is baffled. Once Bill leaves the hospital, he is contacted by Andy, who explains that T. J. was involved with Minelli, a local gangster, in transporting heroin from Mexico to Chicago, and asks him to find out what Lynn knows about her husband's business.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

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

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The Man Who Died Twice is described as a 'Brand New HD Master from a 4K Scan.' I liked the look of this - not perfect contrast - a touch of green infiltration - but great depth and very fine grain. The widescreen is delicious. No noise, damage or speckles in Republic Pictures 'Naturama' process. It's single-layered with a high bitrate and looks sweet in-motion - probably better than the film has looked for 1/2 a century. This Blu-ray gave me a very pleasurable viewing in regards to the picture quality. Gorgeous!















Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1554 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. There are minor effects in the film - and no credited score although we do get the lounge songs 'There I Was In Love' and 'One Step From Nowhere' sounding consistent but modest in the lossless.  There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Aside from some trailers of other films, we get an audio commentary by film historian Toby Roan - who we usually associate westerns - but there lies a Rod Cameron link! It's great - he is prepared, knows his stuff and I enjoy hearing his insights. A valuable addition.



I had never seen The Man Who Died Twice. I enjoy noir-leaning 'B', fast and dirty, flics - and that's exactly what this is. It's a low-budget 50's crime drama - Mike Mazurki is a typically intimidating goon, Rod Cameron the investigating cop looking into his brother's death, and Vera Ralston is the nightclub-crooner witness - quasi-babe interest. Meh.  The Kino Lorber
Blu-ray shows the film in an appealing widescreen 1080P transfer - and has a commentary that emboldens appreciation. It's a short film but if, like myself, you feed on these Republic Pictures genre popcorners - the start of a 'Dark Cinema' double feature night? - it is very desirable! What a title too!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 33% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

October 25th, 2017



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