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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by George Marshall
USA 1940

 

Screen greats Bob Hope (My Favorite Brunette, Road to Utopia) and Paulette Goddard (Nothing But the Truth, Reap the Wild Wind) co-star in another comedy-thriller, a year after their smash hit The Cat and the Canary. Ghosts and gags collide in this witches’ brew of laughs, with Bob Hope as a Manhattan radio commentator who finds himself marooned on an island of the walking dead! Larry Lawrence (Hope), sought in connection with a murder he did not commit, eludes New York police by hiding in a steamer trunk. Soon the trunk (and Larry) are aboard a ship bound for Cuba, where the trunk’s owner, pretty Mary Carter (Goddard), is sailing to take possession of a recent inheritance: a “haunted” castle. Sensing that Mary is in danger, Larry and his valet Alex (Willie Best, Whispering Ghosts) precede her to the island, which is inhabited by a ghost, a zombie and perhaps even a flesh-and-blood fiend. There’s romance, comedy and chills as Hope and Goddard contend with earthly and un-earthly foes—and try to keep from ending up as ghosts themselves. Director George Marshall (Murder, He Says) also directed the 1953 remake, Scared Stiff, starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. The stellar cast includes Paul Lukas (The Lady Vanishes), Anthony Quinn (Zorba the Greek) and Paul Fix (El Dorado).

***

After intrepid working girl Mary Carter becomes the new owner of a reputedly haunted mansion located on Black Island near the Cuban coast, a stranger phones warning her to stay away from the castle. Undaunted, Mary sets sail for Cuba with a stowaway in her trunkwise-cracking Larry Lawrence, a radio announcer who helps Mary get to the bottom of the voodoo magic, zombies and ghosts that supposedly curse the spooky estate.

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 7th, 1940

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Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Also, coming to Blu-ray, in a two disc edition with The Cat and the Canary, by Imprint in October 2020:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:25:04.682        
Video

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,112,843,442 bytes

Feature: 21,015,220,224 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.43 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1555 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1555 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

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

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,112,843,442 bytes

Feature: 21,015,220,224 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.43 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• NEW Audio Commentary by Author/Film Historian Lee Gambin
• TRAILERS FROM HELL with Larry Karaszewski (2:52)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:15)


Blu-ray Release Date:
September 15th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (September 2020): Kino have transferred George Marshall's The Ghost Breakers to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "Brand New 2K Master". Despite being made a year earlier, The Cat and the Canary, looks much better in 1080P. The Ghost Breakers has some heavy textures and overall 1080P presentation is not quite as consistent with speckles and scratches. I still enjoyed the film every much despite not being as sharp as its predecessor.

NOTE: We have added 62 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (16-bit) in the original English language. It is another advancement in the film's audio and a score credited to Dr. Ernst Toch (I Walk Alone, The Cat and the Canary, Address Unknown, Dr. Cyclops), and uncredited Victor Young (Strategic Air Command, The Sun Shines Bright, The Accused, Johnny Guitar, China Gate etc.)  sounding a bit deeper with more consistent dialogue. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Lee Gambin. I haven't listened to the entire thing but sampling it he does his usual thorough job is dissecting production details; the performers, the visual effects artist Farciot Edouart and the opening credits and mansion sequences - plus much more. There is also a Trailers From Hell piece with Larry Karaszewski (who was involved in 1994's Ed Wood - which I loved) and a trailer for the film.

George Marshall's The Ghost Breakers is as fun as The Cat and the Canary (although I may have liked the 1939 film a bit more.). See if you can see Robert Ryan as an uncredited 'intern' and of course early Anthony Quinn who is here briefly. These Hope / Goddard films really work well - it's a shame Kino could swing Nothing But the Truth to make a Blu-ray boxset. I had a lot of fun with both The Cat and the Canary and The Ghost Breakers. The genre mix has a unique appeal. We certainly recommend to vintage film fans!

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Bonus Captures:

Also, coming to Blu-ray, in a two disc edition with The Cat and the Canary, by Imprint in October 2020:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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