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The Scar/The Limping Man [DVD]

Release Date:09/30/2003
VCI Entertainment's two-on-one DVD of Steve Sekely's The Scar (aka The Hollow Triumph, 1948) and Charles de Latour's The Limping Man (1953) is a better-than-decent representation of both movies, with an edge in quality on The Limping Man, which is also the more important and compelling of the two films. The movie has been reasonably well transferred -- despite a few small flaws and digital anomalies -- and generally the image is stable, with rich contrasts and lots of detail. The sound is mastered at a suitably high volume and is fairly consistent throughout. The audio levels and clarity in the exterior scenes are a little lower than in the interior scenes. There is some mild, intermittent soundtrack distortion for a few seconds in two spots (at nine and ten minutes into the movie), and there is an awkward edit (apparently in the original assembly of the movie) at 72 minutes in, but this isn't a bad presentation in most respects, considering that The Limping Man hasn't turned up in decades. The 76-minute movie has been given 12 chapters that are well placed within the plot developments to break the action down properly. The Scar is in slighty worse shape from the opening six minutes, where it is dark and grainy and has more prominent blemishes, along with some slight focus and contrast problems. These elements improve some seven minutes in, but at 19 minutes, they reappear and pretty much stay for most of the rest of the movie, along with a slight graininess. None of this is enough to significantly reduce the value of the disc, but the deficiencies are worth noting. The primary bonus feature is "Dark Stranger," a 1954 episode of the television anthology series Henry Fonda Presents the Star and the Story, guest starring Edmond O'Brien and Joanne Woodward in a tale of a mystery writer (Henry Fonda) tormented by the vision of a heroine that he creates and then destroys in his writing. Another bonus feature is a gallery of film noir posters, which moves forward at a moderate speed to musical accompaniment. A series of trailers devoted to other VCI titles is more entertaining, at least those associated with lesser known movies, such as Slightly Scarlet. A few don't look like original trailers at all, but they're enjoyable. The movies have each been given a dozen chapters and the supplements are easily accessible through an easy-to-use menu.
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    Special Features

    • Film noir TV episode "Dark Stranger" (1954) from The Star and the Story series, starring Edmond O'Brien and Joanne Woodward


    The Scar
    John Muller (Paul Henreid), an intelligent, arrogant criminal who has been a medical student and a phony psychoanalyst, believes that people are only interested in themselves and do not notice what is happening around them. Paroled from prison to a boring job, Muller is more interested in a big score, and along with his old cronies robs a crooked gambling joint owned by Rocky Stansyck (Thomas Brown Henry). Although he gets away with the money, some of his men are caught by Stansyck and identify John as the ringleader. On the run from Stansyck's gang, he is mistaken for Dr. Bartok, a psychiatrist also played by Henreid. Curious, Muller goes to the doctor's office, and meets Bartok's secretary and lover, Evelyn Nash (Joan Bennett). Needing to avoid capture, he assumes Bartok's identity, but first must scar his face like the doctor's. Working from a photograph printed from a reversed negative, he applies the scar to the wrong side. Though fooled at first, when Evelyn discovers the truth, she decides to leave, although she is in love with Muller/Bartok. Steve Sekely's Hollow Triumph (aka The Scar) is a film that requires an exceptionally hefty suspension of disbelief in its reliance on coincidence and the literal acceptance of Muller's cynical view of human blindness. ~ Steve Press, Rovi

    The Limping Man
    His Hollywood career temporarily in the doldrums in 1953, Lloyd Bridges headed to Britain to star in The Limping Man. Bridges plays an ex-GI who arrives in London to visit his wartime amour (Moira Lister). Before anyone knows what's happened, our hero is mixed up in a murder case. The victim was killed by a mysterious "limping man," who is also an expert sharpshooter. Just when it seems that events have overwhelmed the GI and his lady love, the story suddenly. . .well, that would be tattling, wouldn't it? The Limping Man was released Stateside by Lippert Productions. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Paul Henreid
      Paul Henreid - John Muller
    • Joan Bennett
      Joan Bennett - Evelyn Nash
    • Eduard Franz
      Eduard Franz - Frederick Muller
    • Leslie Brooks
      Leslie Brooks - Virginia Taylor
    • John Qualen
      John Qualen - Swangron

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