A Few Words About A few words about...™ Torn Curtain -- in Blu-ray

Robert Harris

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Torn Curtain (1966), is yet another film considered as "B" level Hitchcock, but being part of the set should force people to watch it, and those who do will find many pleasures.

With exteriors photographed in Berlin and Denmark, Hitchcock brought a most interesting European production designer into the fold -- Hein Heckroth.

Don't recognize the name?

Think Powell / Pressburger -- A Matter of Life and Death, and Black Narcissus, for which he was costume designer. The Red Shoes, Gone to Earth, The Tales of Hoffman -- for which he designed the production.

That Hein Heckroth.

While you may miss the Hitchcockian tones of Bernard Herrmann, you'll find the music of John Addison, and may hear a bit of Tom Jones.
Torn Curtain is a decent looking Blu-ray.

Image - 3.5

Audio - 5

Recommended.

RAH
 

Robin9

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For some reason which I've never understood Torn Curtain has always been regarded as "B level Hitchcock". I saw it when it first came out and thought it a brilliant exercise in suspense. I have never changed my opinion.
I have no intention of buying the entire box set but if Torn Curtain becomes available by itself, I'll snap it up immediately.
 

Robert Harris

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As an aside, the opera house set used in the film, is precisely that.

Stage 28 on the Universal lot, and the original set for the silent Phantom of the Opera, redressed for many other films.

RAH
 

bryan4999

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This film contains, in my opinion, the most harrowing depiction of homicide in cinema.
 

Powell&Pressburger

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Nice I had no idea Hein Heckroth worked on Torn Curtain at all. I think I watched this one back in the first DVD release and not since! I will pay closer attention to this one on blu. I loved his work on Tales of Hoffmann!
 

haineshisway

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Just out of curiosity, isn't this one that Nick gave poor or average marks to? The DVD of this looked swell, and I'm assuming after reading this report that this will look even better, which will make me very happy indeed.
 

ShellOilJunior

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Robin9 said:
For some reason which I've never understood Torn Curtain has always been regarded as "B level Hitchcock". I saw it when it first came out and thought it a brilliant exercise in suspense. I have never changed my opinion.
I have no intention of buying the entire box set but if Torn Curtain becomes available by itself, I'll snap it up immediately.
Agreed. It's quite enjoyable. I love the bus sequence and the murder scene (w/ the actress who looks like Liv Ullmann).
I think mostly people believe Newman was miscast.
As great as Newman is he doesn't quite sell it that hey may be siding with the bad guys.
 

NY2LA

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Robert Harris said:
As an aside, the opera house set used in the film, is precisely that.
Stage 28 on the Universal lot, and the original set for the silent Phantom of the Opera, redressed for many other films.
RAH
Including one about a small town girl out to marry her boss in NY, who takes her to a Vaudeville show featuring her future mother in law... and most recently The Muppets.
That stage was also used for the iconic scene in Jurassic Park when the T-Rex destroys the visitors center.
 

JohnMor

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I've always enjoyed this film and tend to watch it once every year or two. And I always get a kick out of spotting the Phantom set in other films, like Thoroughly Modern Millie Carter referenced above, or Midnight Lace with Doris Day.
 

Mikey1969

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The script is weak and Julie Andrews is miscast, but there's much to enjoy here, especially for Hitchcock buffs. I was impressed with the quality of the Masterpiece collection DVD and glad Uni didn't mangle the bluray too badly.
 

Robin9

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ShellOilJunior said:
I think mostly people believe Newman was miscast.
I do too. I don't think Julie Andrews was miscast although at the time this was a major change in her public persona. I think she was really good in Torn Curtain.
 

Mikey1969

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Both leads were pushed on Hitchcock by the studio for their perceived commercial viability, and neither were really suited for their roles. Andrews' character also had the problem of being fairly inert and confused for the majority of the film, which Andrews doesn't play convincingly. Newman is at least able to use his natural charisma and intelligence to sell his manipulations.
 

JohnMor

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I think Andrews fairs a little better than Newman, but both are enjoyable in their roles and give solid performances, even if not quite among their finest work.
 

Matt Hough

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Well, we know Newman was a "method" actor which Hitchcock never seemed to get. Julie may have needed more direction than Hitchcock was comfortable giving.
I actually think Julie is very good in the movie; Newman isn't quite convincing as a math genius.
 

haineshisway

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Can't agree with Mr. Harris on this one. Same transfer as the DVD (at least to my eyes) and it just doesn't look great to me. A new, fresh transfer off the actual camera negative would have produced a perfect Blu-ray. As it is, we're left with something a little sharper than the DVD, but not nearly enough. The problem is the DVD actually looked fine - but when you hi-def it suddenly you can really see the story, and, again for me, it's not what it should be. Not a disaster like Marnie of The Man Who Knew Too Much, but a disappointment nonetheless.
 

JohnMor

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I have always loved the lighting and cinematography of this film. Beautiful, even when what was being photographed was more banal. But for a "hi-def" transfer, there is precious little "def" at all on this blu-ray. I kept wanting to check the sharpness settings on my both my Oppo and my tv.
 

mikeyhitchfan

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I agree with the comments above. While it has a consistent look to it (like Marnie should) it never really looks that sharp. It looks like a DVD. I know that it was shot with a grey stocking filter and you can even see the grid pattern of this if you look at the blue sky in the scenes at the farm that Newman visits. A let down on this one.
 

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