A few words about…™ The Big Clock — in Blu-ray

A fine film, in nice form, with a pleasingly cinema-like image, and quality audio. Appears to be derived from a fine grain master. 4 Stars

In terms of thriller / noir, John Farrow’s The Big Clock (1948), is not to be confused with the Judy Garland, Robert Walker film, The Clock, which concerned a smaller timepiece.

While Ray Milland is the technical lead here, Charles Laughton turns in a superb performance. Probably a good time to make note of one of the many extras, from Arrow, an interesting doc by Simon Callow on Mr. Laughton’s career. It’s worthwhile.

A fine film, in nice form, with a pleasingly cinema-like image, and quality audio. Appears to be derived from a fine grain master.

Nary a problem in sight, and absolutely worth your time, and effort.

I seem to be going through a slew of product recently, that either doesn’t stand the test of time, or was never terribly good in first release.

The Big Clock is a big exception.

Image – 4.5

Audio – 5

Upgrade from DVD- Without question

Pass / Fail – Pass

Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

28 Comments

  1. Robert Harris

    […]one of the many extras, from Arrow, an interesting doc by Simon Callow on Mr. Laughton's career. It's worthwhile.[…]

    Simon Callow is one heck of an interesting actor and guy.
    Mr. Callow originated Mozart for the stage version of "Amadeus"; and was also great in his supporting role of the film
    For "Four Weddings and a Funeral", I felt he should've captured an Oscar nomination, at the very least.
    Most intriguing was his commitment to penning four Volumes on Orson Welles; unless I've lost track and he's taking it to a fifth.
    I'll have to refresh my memory and research it; but I also believe that his credits have included his services as an acting coach.
    And now Mr.Callow has found even more time for Charles Laughton
    I would buy this disc just for the documentary, alone.

  2. When I first saw Roger Donaldson’s No Way Out in the eighties, I considered it an excellent, modern, spy thriller. I had no idea that the story was based on The Big Clock, which I saw for the first time many years later.

    It turns out that Roger Donaldson also knew nothing about its forerunner at the time he directed No Way Out.

    While I still enjoy No Way Out, I think The Big Clock is even better – beautifully shot, directed, performed and especially edited.

    Fun too watching Harry/Henry Morgan play a surprisingly sinister heavy.

    I have the Koch Media version of this on Blu from a few years ago – part of a noir three-pack. But I’ll also pick up the Arrow. If it turns out it’s the sameish transfer, I’ll console myself with Simon Callow’s doco.

  3. A fine film that some people might find implausible at times, but still very entertaining with excellent acting performances. For those of us in the States, the Arrow UK Release that is Region B locked is about $5.00 cheaper than Arrow's Region A release.

  4. Robert Crawford

    A fine film that some people might find implausible at times, but still very entertaining with excellent acting performances. For those of us in the States, the Arrow UK Release that is Region B locked is about $5.00 cheaper than Arrow's Region A release.

    Robert, someone on Amazon must have read your post, because now THE BIG CLOCK on Amazon UK is $26.89 USD while on Amazon US it's $26.42.

  5. lark144

    Robert, someone on Amazon must have read your post, because now THE BIG CLOCK on Amazon UK is $26.89 USD while on Amazon US it's $26.42.

    It was last week when I compared the pricing so I'm not surprise that Amazon has changed their pricing as they do it on a daily basis and sometimes more than once in a day.

  6. Robert Crawford

    It was last week when I compared the pricing so I'm not surprise that Amazon has changed their pricing as they do it on a daily basis and sometimes more than once in a day.

    Thanks Robert. I noticed that last week as well, but was waiting on reviews, as HD Masters from Universal can be all over the map. Anyway, the extras alone seem well worth the price of admission.

    In terms of plausibility, I think THE BIG CLOCK is way more plausible than a slightly later hybrid of screwball comedy and hardboiled noir also directed by John Farrow, HIS KIND OF WOMAN. Of course, in HIS KIND OF WOMAN, it's really hard to believe that Robert Mitchum and Raymond Burr wear the same suit size, let alone anything else that happens.

  7. lark144

    Robert, someone on Amazon must have read your post, because now THE BIG CLOCK on Amazon UK is $26.89 USD while on Amazon US it's $26.42.

    If you act quickly it can be had at deepdiscount for $21.24 (24.99-%15 Discount with code SPRING15 expires Wednesday May 15th NOON Central Time) Ironically to avoid paying for shipping you would need to add something else… literally $.01

  8. B-ROLL

    If you act quickly it can be had at deepdiscount for $21.24 (24.99-%15 Discount with code SPRING15 expires Wednesday May 15th NOON Central Time) Ironically to avoid paying for shipping you would need to add something else… literally $.01

    Noir Archives 1 is around $28 as a nice add-on — I'd call it a double feature, but that's not quite right either.

    FWIW FS is calculated after the coupon so closer to $4 add-on

  9. Scott D S

    This HTF member has had the good fortune of designing artwork for several Arrow Academy releases. I designed new artwork for this one but it couldn't be used for contractual reasons. Check it out here: https://scottsaslow.myportfolio.com/the-big-clock

    Some wonderful designs there, Scott. Thank you for providing that link.

    I discovered I have several of your work samples sitting on my shelf – including The Poetic Trilogy and My Name is Julia Ross.

    Love your Saul Bass-inspired designs for the Arrow Noir boxset.

    The first of your designs for The Big Clock (i.e. top left image on your linked page) is my favourite of the lot. Of the final production sleeves, I actually prefer the reverse cover than the designated front cover. I find that’s often the case with many Arrow sleeves.

    Looking forward to seeing more of your creations in future Arrow releases.

  10. Scott D S

    This HTF member has had the good fortune of designing artwork for several Arrow Academy releases. I designed new artwork for this one but it couldn't be used for contractual reasons. Check it out here: https://scottsaslow.myportfolio.com/the-big-clock

    Being an artist is the furthest thing from being a gift unless one gets to practice it, utilize it and fully realize it on a daily basis.
    I do believe that you are in the category of the latter. I class-clown a lot in rooms to which I'm surrounded by those who share my same passions; but in this rare instance, no jokes at all Mr. Saslow. I applaud your designs and think your work is great. Thank you for sharing this with HTF.

  11. Love the film. Love the source novel. Glad to hear that Arrow’s track record continues to be exemplary with their forays outside of genre films. My DVD is about to be replaced.

  12. RMajidi

    Some wonderful designs there, Scott. Thank you for providing that link.

    I discovered I have several of your work samples sitting on my shelf – including The Poetic Trilogy and My Name is Julia Ross.

    Love your Saul Bass-inspired designs for the Arrow Noir boxset.

    The first of your designs for The Big Clock (i.e. top left image on your linked page) is my favourite of the lot. Of the final production sleeves, I actually prefer the reverse cover than the designated front cover. I find that’s often the case with many Arrow sleeves.

    Looking forward to seeing more of your creations in future Arrow releases.

    Robert Harris

    Very nice work. Very Bassish, which is always a good thing.

    Thanks for the kind words!! It's funny… I don't post here as ften as I used to, but I've been a member since I was in high school. I'm 36 now… life takes you funny places! As far as Arrow, I do have one more title in the hopper.

  13. David Norman

    Noir Archives 1 is around $28 as a nice add-on — I'd call it a double feature, but that's not quite right either.

    FWIW FS is calculated after the coupon so closer to $4 add-on

    I tested it and with the code it said "$.01 to go for free shipping" … so I went with that. My memory is that I have been able to get under $25.00 total after coupon…or close to it …:cool: ..

    If you promise not to judge … here is an example I found of one of my Deep Discount orders where the total AFTER discount was less than $1.00 above $25.00 The code TVBOGO may have triggered the discount and it may not work for all codes.
    Product Qty Cost Total
    Glitter

    683904632685
    Blu-ray
    1 $4.83 $4.83
    Little House on the Prairie Season 4 Collection
    031398210788
    Blu-ray
    1 $20.79 $20.79
    Little House on the Prairie: Season 5 Collection
    031398215356
    Blu-ray
    1 $20.79 $20.79
    Subtotal
    Promo Code: TVBOGO
    Standard Shipping
    Total
    3
    $20.79
    $46.41
    ($20.79)
    $0.00
    $25.62

    Order Summary
    Today's Order $25.62
    Total to be charged to your credit card $25.62
    The order was placed on 02/26/2018 the policies may have changed. My recollection was that I put about the lowest bluray (I meant price-wise ;)) I could find that I didn't have already …and checked to make sure it worked before confirming the order

    Do not back up or severe tire damage may result
    I received my order today for The Big Clock and another Masterpiece of Film (made for TV) The DVD of Police Squad! -All Six Episodes – We return you now the the discussion of the Arrow Release of the Big Clock …

  14. So I thought I had seen this film before – and probably did on out PBS station's "Cinema Classics" show …

    I have to say this is an amazing film and Elsa Lanchester's performance is a hoot … And um Colonel Potter from TV's M*A*S*H makes an amazing performance with no lines.

    I can't recommend this film enough. There are some minor PQ issues at the beginning and grain that is appropriate to the film. Now I have to listen to the commentary.

    Dare I say Arrow Academy was right on target with this release!

  15. Great site love to hear about new film reissues. I have a region free player so I am always on the hunt.
    Dvd Beaver is a great comparison site as well for those interested. No I don't work there I just use it all
    the time.

  16. montyyclift

    Great site love to hear about new film reissues. I have a region free player so I am always on the hunt.
    Dvd Beaver is a great comparison site as well for those interested. No I don't work there I just use it all
    the time.

    It May be cheaper from Arrow direct or Amazon UK… many of their Blu-Rays are locked to a specific region but of course that does not apply if you are region free.

  17. B-ROLL


    I have to say this is an amazing film and Elsa Lanchester's performance is a hoot … And um Colonel Potter from TV's M*A*S*H makes an amazing performance with no lines.

    The first time I saw this film I thought "Why does that guy playing the mute Elisha Cook, Jr. part look so darn familiar?" while watching the film and then "Wait – Which part did Harry Morgan play?" when watching the closing credits. It took me a couple minutes to realize that these questions were related to each other. :laugh:

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