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The Leopard Man Blu-ray Review


“The Leopard Man” will appeal to fans of Jacques Tourneur.

Based on the novel “Black Alibi” and adapted for the screen by Ardel Wray, the 66 minute “The Leopard Man” is a Val Lewton production directed by Jacques Tourneur. The New Mexico set film begins with a man named Jerry who decides to borrow a leopard from a traveling show as a publicity stunt for his lover/dancer Kiki. Of course, the idea backfires and the leopard gets loose and begins to kill people. Jerry and Kiki begin to investigate the murders and learn that the leopard may not be solely responsible.

Many film buffs champion the work of filmmaker Jacques Tourneur, but I’ve always found him to be an overrated director. Like many of Tourneur’s films, 1943’s “The Leopard Man” relies heavily on sound, atmosphere and suspense and less on actually showing, well, anything. Under certain directors, this style is effective as the viewers are left using their imagination to fill in the gaps. Under Tourneur, you’re always left wanting more and not in a good way. Not only does it feel like Tourneur is constantly biding his time before the ending rolls around (which in this case was severely anti-climactic), but much of his work comes off as anything but scary. He may be a skilled director when it comes to creating a specific atmosphere, but having so many events happen off screen feels like a cheat for a visual medium.

Another aggravating thing about “The Leopard Man” is the actual story. The story set-up alone for this film is entirely ridiculous but it could be overlooked if there was a quality pay off in the end. There isn’t. The end reveal feels like a rush job and, frankly, unearned.


Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? The transfer of this B&W film is a little fuzzy but certain sequences look great.

Audio Track: DTS-HD MA Mono. How does it sound? This is a clean Mono track.

* Theatrical trailer for “The Leopard Man.”
* Still gallery
* 2 commentary tracks. A passionate track by famed director William Friedkin who analyzes the film and relays facts. The second track is by film historian and director Constantine Nasr who is a regular Scream Factory contributor.


July 14, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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