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THE DARK CORNER ($15) is one of those great classic film noirs that this reviewer fell in love with when he was still a kid and getting his Hollywood education while watching old movies on afternoon television.  What initially drew that kid to THE DARK CORNER on an afternoon many decades past was the presence of Lucille Ball and the implication that the film might contain some comedy.  Of course, I quickly discovered that THE DARK CORNER was no comedy, with "Lucy" playing it straight as Kathleen, the plucky Girl Friday who works for Mark Stevensí hard-boiled detective Bradford Galt.  The plot THE DARK CORNER finds Galt setting up shop in New York City after his association with his former west coast partner left our hero recovering from an undeserved stretch in the pen.  Unfortunately, Galt canít seem to escape his past, especially when his crooked former partner turns up dead in the detectiveís apartment.  The terrific cast of THE DARK CORNER also features Clifton Webb, William Bendix, Kurt Kreuger, Cathy Downs, Reed Hadley and Constance Collier.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made THE DARK CORNER available on DVD in a very nice looking black and white transfer that frames the film in its proper 1.37:1 full screen aspect ratio.  The image appears sharp and is rather nicely defined.  Blacks are deep and inky, whites are crisp and the picture boasts terrific contrast and grayscale.  The film elements are if great shape for their age and display few blemishes and other signs of wear.  There is a modest grain structure that reminds one they are watching a film and not a video.  Digital compression artifacts are well contained.

The remixed Dolby Digital stereo soundtrack holds up pretty well for its vintage.  Directionality is virtually nonexistent, but the sound does spread nicely through the listening environment.  Most instances of background hiss and surface noise have been cleaned up in the mastering process, although some minor distortions creep in a couple of times.  Fidelity is decidedly limited, but the music is never tinny or thin sounding.  Dialogue is crisply rendered and easy to understand.  An English monaural track is also present on the DVD, as are English and Spanish subtitles.

The basic interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a running audio commentary featuring Alain Silver and James Ursini, as well as Fox Noir trailers for THE DARK CORNER, CALL NORTHSIDE 777, LAURA, NIGHTMARE ALLEY, PANIC IN THE STREETS, HOUSE OF BAMBOO and THE STREET WITH NO NAME.

THE DARK CORNER is a classic film noir that has been given a fine presentation on DVD by Fox.  If you are a fan of the genre of the stars, this disc is a must have.  Recommended.



The Dark Corner (1946)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2005 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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