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Dead Reckoning [DVD] [1947]

Release Date:01/14/2003
John Cromwell's Dead Reckoning is one of the most complex and fascinating of the films that Humphrey Bogart made at Columbia Pictures; along with Knock On Any Door and The Harder They Fall, it is also one of trio of Columbia titles that closely resemble his Warner Bros. output on a thematic level. But it functions on deeper, darker, doom-laden psychological depths than all but one of his Warner titles (the appropriately named Dark Passage, which dates from the same year); more than any other of Bogart's features, the movie captures a palpable sense of fatalism that accompanied the end of the World War II, even for those who'd come through it well. The movie showed up on laserdisc relatively late in that format's heyday, but this DVD makes the latter look like the relatively pale, worn television prints that one used to see of this movie. It isn't perfect, with some thin but surprisingly obtrusive vertical scratches marring Leo Tover's otherwise gorgeous cinematography late in the first half-hour, in the first scene at Martinelli's club -- but most of the movie has beautiful, deep, velvety contrast throughout that reveals the necessary details even in the darkest scenes. In fact, the clarity and sharpness is a delight to the eye, making this disc generally a treat to look at as well as to watch. Columbia TriStar has given the DVD an extraordinary 28 chapters, which is exactly what this movie calls for. The plot description is fairly thorough, given its relatively short length. Only some annotation is missing, concerning the fascinating cast: Dead Reckoning offered just about the biggest role that Morris Carnovsky, a legend in the American theater who was later blacklisted, ever had onscreen; Wallace Ford, a highly underrated dramatic actor, and renowned radio actor Marvin Miller, were also present -- all of this beg for comment. The disc opens to a relatively simple menu offering a selection of a half-dozen subtitles, as well as some advertising art and trailers from The Caine Mutiny, Lawrence of Arabia, and Bridge on the River Kwai. The disc also contains the same four-minute account of Bogart's career, focusing on his Columbia Pictures output, that Sirocco contains.

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    Special Features

    • Digitally mastered audio & video
    • Remastered in high definition
    • Full screen presentation
    • Audio: English
    • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean
    • Vintage advertising
    • Bonus trailers
    • Interactive menus
    • Scene selections
    • Closed Captioned


    Dead Reckoning
    In Dead Reckoning, Rip Murdock (Humphrey Bogart) recites the film's plotline to a priest in the confessional. Murdock and Johnny Drake (William Prince) are Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, en route to Washington by train. Drake hops off and disappears, leading Murdock on a hectic manhunt. Upon meeting Drake's former girlfriend Coral Chandler (Lizabeth Scott), Murdock is thrown into a maelstrom of intrigue involving a crooked gambler (Morris Carnovsky) and a complex blackmailing scheme. The upshot of this is that Murdock finds himself the prime suspect in a murder. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Humphrey Bogart
      Humphrey Bogart - Rip Murdock
    • Lizabeth Scott
      Lizabeth Scott - Coral Chandler
    • Morris Carnovsky
      Morris Carnovsky - Martinelli
    • William Prince
      William Prince - Johnny Drake
    • Image coming soon
      Charles Cane - Lt. Kincaid

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.