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While it is not the classic that LAURA is, WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS re-teams Otto Preminger, Dana Andrews and the lovely Gene Tierney in a gritty film noir that doesnít disappoint. In WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS Dana Andrews portrays police detective Mark Dixon, a cop with chip on his shoulder, who isnít above using excessive force on the criminal element. However, when Dixon tries to apprehend murder suspect Ken Paine (Craig Stevens), he is forced to defend himself from a drunken attack and Paine is accidentally killed. The situation goes from bad to worse when Dixon tries to cover up the accident, and make appear that Paine met his fate at the hands of Tommy Scalise (Gary Merrill), the hood responsible for the murder for which Paine is accused. The cast of WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS also features Bert Freed, Tom Tully, Karl Malden, Ruth Donnelly, Neville Brand, Oleg Cassini, Robert Simon and Harry von Zell.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS available on DVD in a pretty sweet looking black and white transfer that frames the film in its proper 1.37:1 full screen aspect ratio. The image is crisp and highly defined. Blacks are inky; whites are clean and completely stable. Contrast is excellent, as is the nicely varied grayscale. The film elements are in terrific shape for their age, displaying few blemishes. There is a noticeable grain structure to the image, but it is generally mild. Digital compression artifacts are well concealed.

WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS comes with a remixed Dolby Digital stereo soundtrack, which isnít bad when one considered the movie is fifty-five years old.  There is no real directionality to the track, 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, leaving the film with a fairly smooth sonic quality.  As expected, fidelity is pretty limited, but the music comes across without any significant problems.  Dialogue is clean and intelligibility is very good.  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 film noir historian Eddie Muller. A Still Gallery and theatrical trailers for THE DARK CORNER, NO WAY OUT and LAURA close out the extras.

WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS is another great film noir that has been beautifully served up on DVD by Fox. If you are a movie buff, genre fan this is another great disc to add to your collection.



Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)



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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