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House of Secrets

House of Secrets

UPC: 089218420497

Format: DVD

Release Date: Jul 22, 2003

Rating: NR

Regular price $13.95 USD
Regular price Sale price $13.95 USD
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Roland D. Reed's The House of Secrets (1936) is a creaky old mystery that probably wouldn't have passed muster on television in the 1950s -- in that sense, this DVD edition from Alpha is a real artifact of the very distant cinematic past. There are some familiar faces present, including Leslie Fenton, Muriel Evans, Sidney Blackmer, Holmes Herbert, and Syd Saylor, of whom Blackmer (who is very good here) -- remembered for Rosemary's Baby, made 30 years after this movie -- is probably the best-known today. The source print is very scratchy over the credits and at the reel-change points, with some damaged frames in the midst of certain reels, but it's otherwise reasonably clean if somewhat soft and over-saturated with light elsewhere. Some of the shots in normal room light are almost whited out in spots. In a way, that's a shame because one of the enjoyable aspects of watching this movie is the art deco design of some of the sets, which would be easier to appreciate with a better transfer from a better source. Alpha's routine six chapters are adequate for a fairly complex plot, and there are no bonus features. The disc opens on a simple, easy-to-use menu. Officially the running time is 64 minutes, but the movie runs closer to 69 minutes.
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