Classic Film Noir: the Limping Man/the Scar
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.