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The Window and A Night At The Opera Blu-ray Reviews

One underrated film noir. One comedic masterpiece.

When it comes to classic movie releases, Warner Archive is among the best. With the 2 recent releases of “The Window” and “A Night At The Opera,” film fans get an underrated and somewhat obscure film noir title and one of the all-time comedy movie greats.

1949’s “The Window,” the story revolves around Tommy- an imaginative and energetic kid who is prone to telling big lies and stories. One night, Tommy witnesses a murder by his upstairs neighbors (the Kellersons). Tommy tells his parents and even the police, but nobody believes him. The Kellersons learn that Tommy might know something which could prove fatal for Tommy.

“The Window” is a highly unusual film noir in that it stars a child character. That’s also what makes it so effective. Seeing an innocent child being preyed upon by criminals heightens the tension (of which there is a lot of). Clocking in at 73 minutes, the Ted Tetzlaff directed film wastes no time and gets straight down to business which makes it all the more effective.

On a side note, this cautionary tale about lies, truth, and voyeurism obviously plays like a variation of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” but it also acts as a precursor to “Rear Window.” It’s no surprise then that the story “The Window” is based on (“The Boy Who Cried Murder”) is written by “Rear Window” author Cornell Woolrich. The script was perfectly adapted for the screen by Mel Dinelli.

Cast wise, Barbara Hale and Arthur Kennedy shine as Tommy’s parents, but it’s Tommy (played by) Bobby Driscoll) who steals the show. Not only did he receive an honorary Oscar for his work here, but he really carries the story from start to finish which is a tough ask of any young actor. Paul Stewart also delivers an eerie performance as the murderous Joe Kellerson.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? Simply put, this is a beautiful print.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Expect a nice clean audio track.

No extras have been included

1935’s “A Night At The Opera” revolves around a business manager (Otis P. Driftwood) for a wealthy widow (Mrs. Claypool). Mrs. Claypool ends up investing in a NY Opera Company run by Herman Gottlieb. The rest of the film is made up of plenty of comedic antics alongside plots involving a tenor named Rodolfo, a romance between a talented chorister (Ricardo) and a soprano (Rosa), an ocean voyage (complete with stowaways), and an opera sabotage.

“Duck Soup” is arguably the best Marx Brothers movie, but director Sam Wood’s “A Night At The Opera” is right up there. You don’t even have to like or even care about opera to be swept up in this hilarious madcap comedy. It’s a comedic masterpiece through and through.

Over the course of 91 fast paced minutes, viewers will undoubtedly find themselves laughing until it hurts. There’s so many great Groucho one liners here, the Chico Sanity Clause bit is a classic, everything Harpo does with his expressions and props cracks me up, and who doesn’t love scenes between Groucho and Margaret Dumont (an underappreciated staple of Marx Brothers movies). The real crown jewel here though is the cramped stateroom scene that gets more chaotic with each passing second. And who could forget the “And two hard-boiled eggs” moment? It’s a masterclass in comedy.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? This is a truly stunning hi-def print. It’s such a marvel to see these films in such great quality.

Audio Tracks: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? You can hear every zinger perfectly in this 2.0 track.

Extras:
* “A Night At The Opera” theatrical trailer
* 3 vintage short films titled “How To Sleep,” “Saturday Night At The Trocadero,” and “Los Angele: Wonder City Of The West.”
* Commentary by film critic Leonard Maltin.
* “Remarks On Marx”- A 34 minute documentary about the history of the legendary Marx Brothers, their comedy, and their films.
* “Groucho Marx On The HY Gardner Show”

October 27, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , ,

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