Stanley Kramer’s Not as a Stranger, a 1955 medical melodrama is an odd film.
Not great, but certainly interesting enough to warrant two hours of your time.
The independent production boasts a superb cast, and a plethora of secondary and bit players that will have you repeating, “where do I know that face from?” I’m referring to the likes of folks from Jesse White to bits by Carl Switzer, and Nancy Culp.
There are connections to be found.
Switzer was in It’s a Wonderful Life, with perennial bad-girl, Gloria Grahame, also found here in the bad-girl role.
Some of the great Swedish-American actors are also here. The likes of Harry Morgan, Virginia Christine, and Olivia de Havilland.
And more players…
Lon Chaney, Jr., Broderick Crawford, Lee Marvin, Whit Bissell, Mae Clarke (Franksenstein, Public Enemy).
And the leads, Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra, and one of my personal favorites, Charles Bickford.
The Blu-ray from an MGM master, courtesy of Kino Lorber, also brings up an age-old question, first asked by Robespierre.
If a film has wear and damage — ie. tears into image, tape, etc — and also dirty dupes, optical printer functions created before the advent of wet-gate printing, should it be cleaned and removed?
All of it?
Some of it?
Does one leave the optical dirt, or remove it, since it’s been there since day one, and is a part of the film?
Some feel that you clean all of it, creating a pristine image.
I can go either way.
Allow the old dupe dirt to remain, or not, but certainly fix the damage and detritus printed through the original negative and fine grains.
The interesting point here, is that neither have been cleaned. Does’t seem as though the master was touched.
Missing bits of frames and tears across multiple frames?
A veritable smorgasbord of dirt and damage problems.
But the base material, short of the dupes, looks terrific.
A nicely balanced black & white image, with superb shadow detail, nice blacks, and beautiful grain.
The final result looks as a print would, if one were struck recently.
What to do?
It looks like fillum.
Image – 4.5
Audio – 5
Pass / Fail – Pass
Upgrade from DVD – Yes