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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Lewis Allen

USA / UK 1948

 

Olivia Harwood (Ann Todd) is a missionary's widow who meets Mark Bellis (Ray Milland), a charming artist and rogue, on the ship taking them back to Victorian London. When Olivia opens a boarding house, Mark becomes her lodger, but then quickly graduates to become her lover. Soon Olivia falls completely under the spell of Mark and casts aside her religious scruples to fall in with Mark's ambitious and immoral schemes of theft and blackmail. But perhaps his schemes are too ambitious when he attempts to swindle their own friends, leaving Olivia to decide whether to completely fall in with the devil - or redeem herself by betraying the man she loves...

***

Taking advantage of Paramount's "frozen funds" in Britain, producer Hal Wallis was able to film much of So Evil My Love in London. Based on a novel by Joseph Shearing, whose previous Gothic romances included Moss Rose and Blanche Fury, the film stars Ray Milland in his first (but hardly his last) all-out villainous characterization. Milland is cast as charming scoundrel Mark Bellis, or at least that's what he's calling himself at the moment. Escaping his latest criminal escapade by boat, Bellis falls victim to a malaria epidemic.

***

An innocent woman falls under a villain’s spell in So Evil My Love, a captivating film noir thriller of obsession and deceit starring Ray Milland. In the late 19th century, English widow Olivia Harwood (Ann Todd) meets Mark Bellis (Milland), a charming-but-dangerous criminal and lets him board in her home. Hopelessly in love with a man who is playing her for a fool, Olivia soon descends into a life of crime as Mark persuades her to steal from her friend Susan Courtney (Geraldine Fitzgerald), the wife of a wealthy peer. Discovering a packet of scandalous letters that could ruin the Courtneys’ socially, Olivia blindly follows the scoundrel’s biddings leading down a path of blackmail and murder.

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 3rd, 1948

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Screenbound - Region 0 - PAL vs. Universal 'Vault Series' - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

 

Bonus Captures:

Distribution

Screenbound

Region 0 - PAL

Universal - Region 0 - NTSC Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:48:28 (PAL -NTSC conversion)   1:48:44 1:48:48.730
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.8 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.23 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,658,443,167 bytes

Feature: 34,116,796,416 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

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

Bitrate Screenbound DVD:

Bitrate Universal DVD:

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio English 2.0 English 2.0

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 / DN -31dB

Subtitles None None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Screenbound

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• none

DVD Release Date:
March 21st, 2016
Amaray

Chapters 8

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• None

DVD Release Date: November 23rd, 2016

Keep case

Chapters: 12

Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.37:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 34,658,443,167 bytes

Feature: 34,116,796,416 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Imogen Sara Smith
Theatrical Trailer (1:59)


Blu-ray Release Date:
February 9th, 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 (January 2021): Kino have transferred Lewis Allen's So Evil My Love to Blu-ray. It is cited as being from a "Brand New 2K Master". It is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate and correspondingly exceeds upon the interlaced SD image(s) with the 1080P having over seven times the bitrate. Along with showing more information in the accurate 1.37:1 frame it improves in grain support and contrast looking solid via my HD presentation.

NOTE: We have added 45 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-track (16-bit) in the original English language. It is another advancement in the film's audio and varied orchestral score by William Alwyn (The Running Man, Green For Danger, So Evil My Love, Burn, Witch Burn, Odd Man Out, On Approval, A Night to Remember and The Fallen Idol) 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 Film Historian Imogen Sara Smith. She talks about why this 1948 luridly titled gas-light Noir is one of the best of its era. She talks about the novel the film as based; Gabrielle Margaret Vere Long credited as Joseph Shearing. She discusses how the story was inspired by Charles Bravo, the British lawyer who was fatally poisoned with antimony in 1876. She talks about the foreshadowing and 'doubling' utilized in the film, Milland as a 'homme-fatale', how the title phrase was never used in the film's dialogue and much more. She is excellent - always well-prepared and provides insightful analysis. I really enjoyed it. There is also a theatrical trailer for the film as well as a few other similar trailers. 

Lewis Allen's So Evil My Love is an excellent gas-light Noir. I always appreciate seeing it thanks to the murderous-edge, era atmosphere, adept direction and wonderful performances. The Imogen Sara Smith commentary add further value to the Kino Blu-ray. Strongly recommended to fans of the dark cinema cycle.

Gary Tooze

UPDATE: Universal Vault Series - December 2016 - Not too dissimilar - both ridiculously over-priced for a bare-bones, interlaced, DVD with marks and speckles. If forced to choose I'd give a short nod to the Universal (The Screenbound actually seems to be in NTSC timing but with all the artifacts and weakness of that incorrect transfer process). The UK disc may have some brightness boosting too.

An excellent film that I was very keen to see and that is the major attribute of these DVDs - their existence! Fans may wish to indulge even being aware of the disappointing deficiencies.

***

So Evil My Love is a grand Noir-leaning vintage gothic psychological thriller sometimes referred to as a "Gaslight noir" - referencing its 1890s Victorian London time period and not dissimilar to the atmosphere of The Lodger or Hangover Square. There are dark-cinema conventions; naive love, obsession, blackmail, embezzlement, murder and deception (and a few we won't divulge as they might be considered spoilers). Delicious!

I don't know of another DVD available for the film - although there might be one in Spain. Screenbound in the UK have access to a marginal source and the image is weak - interlaced, artifacts and plenty of marks. But I didn't see instances of Chroma and it is quite watchable if imperfect. Fans will probably be more forgiving considering this excellent film's lack of availability till now.

Audio matches the video - although may be a shade superior with only a few weak instances. The original score is by William Alwyn (Burn, Witch Burn, Odd Man Out, On Approval, A Night to Remember and The Fallen Idol) but is standard fare and not particularly remarkable adding some dramatic flourishes as the plot develops. As the SD transfer is watchable so the audio is listen-able and doesn't distract from the finer qualities of the film. There are no subtitles offered nor any extras and the disc is in the PAL format (region free).  

  - Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

Screenbound - Region 0 -  PAL

 

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


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

 

Subtitle Sample - Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 


 

1) Screenbound - Region 0 -  PAL TOP

2) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Screenbound - Region 0 -  PAL TOP

2) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Screenbound - Region 0 -  PAL TOP

2) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Screenbound - Region 0 -  PAL TOP

2) Universal - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

NOTE: Interlacing on DVDs

 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

 

Bonus Captures:

Distribution

Screenbound

Region 0 - PAL

Universal - Region 0 - NTSC Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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