A young Richard Basehart climbs out onto the ledge of his fifteenth-floor hotel room. He could jump at any moment. Paul Douglas is the traffic cop who is first on the scene, and becomes the only person Basehart will willingly talk to. Hour after hour goes by as the authorities do everything they can to bring the troubled young man in.
The premise is so simple it’s high concept, and the film wrings every conceivable drop of suspense from the situation. Will Basehart jump? Why is he …oing this? The strong cast includes Agnes Moorehead as Basehart’s terrifying mother (no wonder he’s suicidal) and among the bystanders whose lives are changed by what they see are the always luminous Debra Paget and, in her screen debut, Grace Kelly.
As is the norm for this series, you have your choice between the original mono and a stereo remix. The stereo doesn’t do much other than add a bit more warmth to the sound, but that’s to the good, overall, as there is little in the way of inappropriate wraparound sounds. The sound is very clean, and is free of hiss and static.
Very, very pretty. The print is in well-nigh perfect condition. The black-and-white tones are moody, and the blacks are as deep as the psychological torment of our hero. Grain is effectively non-existent, or as close to that as makes no difference, especially considering the film is over fifty years old. Edge enhancement isn’t a problem, and the image is very sharp.
Foste Hirsch’s commentary track is very much in keeping with the high standard set by this series – comprehensive, informative, insightful. The interactive pressbook gallery (one can select individual pieces for close-ups) is a nice little bonus beyond what one usual gets on these discs, the usual set of trailers is here.
A prime candidate for rediscovery, and an object lesson in how to build killer suspense around a very simple story.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Interactive Pressbook Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer