Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on August 1st, 2007
Edward G. Robinson is the war crimes investigator on the relentless hunt for the fugitive Nazi who masterminded the Final Solution. He arranges for the one man who knows his face to escape imprisonment, and follows him to a small Connecticut town. There he loses his quarry, but evidence soon points to Orson Welles, who, under the identity of Charles Rankin, is now a college professor and new husband to Loretta Young. Welles stops at nothing, including murder, to protect his secret, but little by little Young is forced to realize who her husband really is.
Wellesâ€™ third film as a director is far more conventional than Citizen Kane or The Magnificent Ambersons, and it isnâ€™t quite up to its predecessors. Robinson is terrific as a detective who must become almost as cold-blooded as his prey, but Wellesâ€™ performance is too big: his character might as well be wearing a â€œNOT A NAZI WAR CRIMINALâ€ name tag. That said, the suspense is powerful, and the cinematography pure, gorgeous noir.
The original mono works just fine here, with no distortion on the dialogue, and no gurgle to the music. Overall, this track is preferable to the 5.1 mix that was offered on the version included in the Citizen Welles release from a few years back, in that there is no annoying static emerging from the speakers.
The transfer appears to have used the same print as the one used by the Citizen Welles version, in that the flaws are very similar. For the most part, the film looks great, with very sharp images, fine tones and little to no grain. But there are sequences where the print is noticeably rougher, with the tones especially becoming washed out. There are not, however, the transfer flaws that plagued the earlier release â€“ motion is smooth throughout.
Though still not a perfect package, as far as picture and sound goes, this is the best release of the film yet.