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Directed by James Whale
USA 1933

 

From James Whale, the legendary director of Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, Show Boat and The Man in the Iron Mask, comes this daring drama with a touch of the macabre starring Nancy Carroll (The Woman Accused), Frank Morgan (Fast and Loose), Paul Lukas (The Lady Vanishes) and Gloria Stuart (Secret of the Blue Room.) When Walter Bernsdorf (Lukas) kills his wife for having an affair, lawyer Paul Held (Morgan) takes on the case. Suggesting that Walter could be acquitted by means of temporary insanity, Paul not only realizes that this defense may work but that also some of the behavioral patterns Walter’s wife showed in regard to her infidelity are appearing in his own wife, Maria (Carroll). Paul realizes that if this defense could work once, it might work a second time. The Kiss Before the Mirror is a riveting pre-Code thriller beautifully shot in glorious black-and-white by the great Karl Freund (The Last Laugh, Metropolis, Key Largo).

***

When a famous doctor kills his adulterous wife, he is defended by his best friend, an attorney who suspects that his own wife is having an affair.

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 4th, 1933

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

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:08:34.151        
Video

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,984,212,324 bytes

Feature: 20,940,711,936 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.89 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 1553 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1553 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: 21,984,212,324 bytes

Feature: 20,940,711,936 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.89 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
Trailers


Blu-ray Release Date:
February 2nd, 2021
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 (December 2020): Kino have transferred James Whale's The Kiss Before the Mirror to Blu-ray. It looks exceptionally strong - in the upper-tier or Pre-code films-to-1080P. Rich grain and deep black levels permeate the HD presentation. There is no damage and the texture and contrast are the highlights of the film visually on Blu-ray. The hour+ long film is on a single-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. High marks for the video transfer.

NOTE: We have added 28 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 suffers from the original production limitations and can sound hollow but is consistent and clear with a score by W. Franke Harling (Blonde Venus, Trouble In Paradise), sounding tinny. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray offers a new commentary by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (author of 1000 Women In Horror, 1895-2018). She discusses the "objectification of women", "moral indulgence" in the film, the expert cinematography of Karl Freund, examples of Pre-code dialogue (see below), Gloria Stuart - notable for her role, and Oscar nomination, in James Cameron's Titanic plus a lot of Jean Dixon's character of 'Hilda Frey' as a queer or androgynous representation. She talks about Whale's homosexuality quoting from Harry Benshoff's book Monsters in the closet: Homosexuality and the Horror Film. It's very interesting and she has an appealing, even, voice (and Aussie accent) for commentaries. Worth the indulgence. There are also trailers although none for the film.

James Whale's The Kiss Before the Mirror is excellent - pre-code adultery, murder with a suspenseful court room drama sequence - all fabulously realized by the director's deft storytelling abilities. I enjoyed the revealing Alexandra Heller-Nicholas commentary adding further value to this Kino Blu-ray package. This is very strongly recommended - Whale fans shouldn't miss it.

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


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Example of Pre-Code dialogue

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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