They Made Me a Fugitive

Overview

Alberto Cavalcanti's They Made Me A Fugitive (1947) has been released by Kino International in what has to be its best looking incarnation in several decades. A production of Warner Bros.' British unit, the movie has been preserved as part of England's National Film Archive and transferred from an extremely sharp, bright source. There are some blemishes and signs of wear, as well as a single shot that looks solarized, but the video master has captured Otto Heller's brooding cinematography of the setting in Soho's...
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Overview

Alberto Cavalcanti's They Made Me A Fugitive (1947) has been released by Kino International in what has to be its best looking incarnation in several decades. A production of Warner Bros.' British unit, the movie has been preserved as part of England's National Film Archive and transferred from an extremely sharp, bright source. There are some blemishes and signs of wear, as well as a single shot that looks solarized, but the video master has captured Otto Heller's brooding cinematography of the setting in Soho's sleazy shops, taverns, and back alleys. Even the night shots reveal useful picture information, and the clarity allows one to fully appreciate the care with which every shot of this drama was devised, down to the most seemingly insignificant edit. This is a movie that operates on several levels, as an intense story of betrayal and revenge, and also an extremely clever visual tour-de-force by Heller and Cavalcanti; some of those shots, such as the meeting between Clem(Trevor Howard) and Sally (Sally Gray) at the prison, are constructed so cleverly, that they will quietly dazzle the viewer; others, such as the scene in which Narcy (Griffith Jones) beats up Sally, are a little too arty for their own good. But that particular sequence is so brief as to be forgivable. The clarity also allows one to appreciate fully the startling physical transformation that Trevor Howard evidently underwent for this role -- he looks as though he starved himself for at least a week to get into convincing shape as a convict on the run; coupled with what could be the best acting performance of his whole career, all of it seen in optimum condition on these film materials, this is a DVD that offers multiple (indeed, compound) rewards. The sound has been mastered at a very healthy volume which audiences will doubly appreciate, given the amount of very quiet dialogue and thickly accented British English used throughout. There's a momentary flaw in the visual transfer at around 71 minutes, but it lasts for a fraction of a second. The 96 minute movie has been given 16 chapters that are well chosen and nicely outline the key points in the plot -- there are no bonus materials, but the movie makes a full disc on its own. The annotation is reasonably thorough, though it does rather undersell the film -- along with Cavalcanti's documentary-style, neo-realist approach to the story are some visual set pieces that would have been worthy of the work of Powell and Pressburger.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/22/2003
  • UPC: 738329030124
  • Original Release: 1947
  • Rating:

  • Source: Kino Video
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Time: 1:36:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 88,914

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sally Gray Sally
Trevor Howard Clem Morgan
Renee Ray Cora
Mary Merrall Aggie
Vida Hope Mrs. Fenshawe
Ballard Berkeley Inspector Rockliffe
Phyliss Robins Olga
Eve Ashley Ellen
Charles Farrell Curley
Jack McNaughton Soapy
Michael Brennan
Peter Bull Fidgetty Phil
Sebastian Cabot Proprietor
Maurice Denham
Lynn Evans
Griffith Jones Narcy
Cyril Smith
Bill O'Connor
Technical Credits
Alberto Cavalcanti Director
N.A. Bronsten Producer
James Carter Producer
Marius Francois Gaillard Score Composer
Otto Heller Cinematographer
John Hollingsworth Musical Direction/Supervision
Noel Langley Screenwriter
Andrew Mazzei Art Director
Margery Saunders Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Titles [1:55]
2. Narci's Gang [3:27]
3. Clem & Ellen [6:33]
4. Framed [4:45]
5. Surprise Visitor [2:48]
6. Sally [6:33]
7. On the Lam [4:45]
8. More Trouble [6:24]
9. In Hot Water [7:53]
10. Homecoming [7:25]
11. Lead-Free [8:35]
12. The Law [9:49]
13. Live Bait [8:43]
14. R.I.P [12:19]
15. Starcrossed [4:01]
16. Closing Credits [:40]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Select Scenes
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