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The Fearmakers
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • English Mono
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • None

The Fearmakers

MOD
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Jacques Tourneur
Starring: Dana Andrews, Dick Foran, Marilee Earle,
1958 | 85 Minutes

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $19.98 | Series: MGM Limited Edition Collection
Fox Home Entertainment

Release Date: May 2, 2011
Review Date: June 20, 2011

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SYNOPSIS

A Korean veteran cooperating with a Senate committee uncovers subversives.


PICTURE

Jacques Tourneurís The Fearmakers debuts on DVD through MGMís burn-on-demand series, the MGM Limited Edition Collection. The film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on a single-layer DVD-R.

My third disc of this type, Iím again a bit surprised by what we get. My first experience was with MGMís How I Won the War, which presented a botched presentation; despite a decent looking print the digital transfer was laced with artifacts that significantly impacted viewing. But with Park Row and now The Fearmakers Iím starting to warm up to these discs.

The Fearmakers looks rather good, maybe even better than Park Row in some respects, which I thought looked great all things considered. Its source is actually in far better shape with very few marks scattered about and the digital transfer actually looks a bit sharper. There are areas where it looks to be smoothed over but in general definition and detail is very strong, particularly in close-ups. Blacks and whites are decent and there are times where blacks can come off fairly inky. There are some noticeable halos here and there, but nothing anywhere near as bad as How I Won the War and they are easily dismissed.

In all a pleasant presentation and a bit of a surprise.

7/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The 2-channel mono track is adequate and not much else. Dialogue is clear and easy to hear but the track is generally flat and lifeless, and the music is a bit edgy. Some noise is noticeable in spots but its rather clean overall.

6/10

SUPPLEMENTS

There are no supplements to speak of for this release.

0/10

CLOSING

I was curious about this one since it was directed by Tourneur (Out of the Past) and I have to say itís not particularly great but interesting enough. It shockingly reflects our present time rather well, its plot centering on lobbyists and polls manipulating popular opinion to aim the public towards certain political ideals, and in ways it plays like an early Manchurian Candidate, though I should stress a very poor distant cousin to that film. And while this aspect is interesting the film is unfortunately nothing more than your typical piece of ďRed ScareĒ propaganda and has aged poorly in this regard (the villains want world peace! Those damn Commies!) The ending is also a bit of a stretch, cleaning everything up nicely. Itís also, in all honesty, a bit of a bore, coming off too stagey. But Mel Torme is surprisingly good in this film!

Yet again Iím still questioning these burn-on-demand discs as they are expensive and look cheap: the disc is an obvious DVD-R and the artwork looks to be printed off of a cheap inkjet. But the quality of the presentation is rather good, well above average and for those who want to pick up the film they certainly shouldnít worry about the presentation.




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