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23 Paces to Baker Street [Blu-ray]
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Brand New 4K Restoration! Van Johnson (Battleground, The Caine Mutiny), Vera Miles (Psycho, The Wrong Man) and Cecil Parker (The Ladykillers, The Lady Vanishes) co-star in this Hitchcockian thriller directed by the great Henry Hathaway (Diplomatic Courier, Kiss of Death). A blind American writer living in London stumbles upon a criminal conspiracy involving a kidnapping and extortion. While drowning his sorrows at a local pub, Phil Hannon (Johnson) is convinced that he overheard a kidnapping plot. He immediately reports the incident to the police, but when they dismiss his suspicions, the courageous man takes matters into his own hands, using his four remaining senses to track down the criminals. Beautifully shot in color and in widescreen by legendary award-winning cinematographer Milton R. Krasner (Deadline U.S.A., Boy on a Dolphin).
Special Features: Audio Commentary by Film Historian Kent Jones | Trailers
- Aspect Ratio : 2.35:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 6.75 x 5.3 x 0.35 inches; 2.4 Ounces
- Item model number : 43449519
- Director : Henry Hathaway
- Media Format : Anamorphic, NTSC, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 46 minutes
- Release date : February 14, 2017
- Actors : Van Johnson, Vera Miles, Cecil Parker, Patricia Laffan, Estelle Winwood
- Subtitles: : English
- Studio : Kl Studio Classics
- ASIN : B01MSXPOTT
- Number of discs : 1
Best Sellers Rank:
#95,888 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- #3,141 in Mystery & Thrillers (Movies & TV)
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I was excited to see that one of my favorite films was finally released on DVD. I searched for it on Amazon. There it was. The cover even showed Van Johnson and Vera Miles - AND -- in very large print -- CHECK THE COVER IMAGE -- the very distinctive logo "CINEMASCOPE" right there on the lower right corner. Of course, I immediately ordered the DVD.
Well, got me again. Flip over to the back of the keep case. In printing, I'd estimate to be about 4 points high, there it is: "(pan & scan)." If I'd seen it before opening the package and placing the DVD in the player I would have returned it immediately. But no, I put it in the player, got the disclaimer about "edited to fit this screen" uh-oh, and sure enough, after the initial credits in Cinemascope (black box all the way around) the opening sequence -- which is supposed to be a beautiful view of the River Thames and London Bridge -- is a chopped up mess that looks like a tourist's home movie from 50 years ago.
Really, Fox? The opening credits are in correct proportion. I could watch it that way or very easily use the zoom feature on either the DVD player or the TV and see the movie as it was made and meant to be seen. So why chop up the rest of the film?
This is a very good film. Good plot, acting, directing. Doesn't assume the audience needs everything spelled out -- as is often the case in modern films.
I found a WIDESCREEN version for sale on Amazon UK -- Region 2. It has a predominantly RED cover, and says "The Hollywood Studio Collection" on the front. The best I can find for a company with this name is one registered with the California Secretary of State as an LLC with an address in Chatsworth and/or Northridge.
I have purchased the widescreen version. After it arrives, I will play it I will come back to this review to add a yea or nay on the Region 2 disc.
Fox needs to get with it. The type of people interested in these old films want to see them the way they were made. We are collectors and don't want JUNK copies in our collections.