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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Relationships > Melodrama > Religion > Faith > Christianity > Woman's Film > Soap Opera > Sex > Mexi > Boy Downstairs (2017/MVD/FilmRise Blu-ray)/A Man Called Peter (1955*)/Hilda Crane (1956*)/Midaq Alley (1995/Film Movement Blu-ray)/Satan Never Sleeps (1962/*all Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-r

Boy Downstairs (2017/MVD/FilmRise Blu-ray)/A Man Called Peter (1955*)/Hilda Crane (1956*)/Midaq Alley (1995/Film Movement Blu-ray)/Satan Never Sleeps (1962/*all Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-rays)

Picture: B+/B+/B/B-/B+ Sound: B+/B+/B-/B-/B+ Extras: D/B/C+/C+/C Films: B+/B/C+/C+/B

PLEASE NOTE: The A Man Called Peter, Hilda Crane and Satan Never Sleeps Blu-rays are now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, are limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last from the links below.

Here's a new group of melodramas...

Diana (Zosia Mamet from HBO's Girls) just moved into the big city and it just so happens her ex-boyfriend is her neighbor living downstairs from her. After a series of awkward moments they decide they want to become genuine friends and good neighbors, but fate seems to always bring them together, forcing them to realize what their true feelings are ...can it be possible to fall in love with the same person twice?

In Sophie Brooks' The Boy Downstairs (2017), Diana is a young independent woman and has just moves to New York ...but it is more perfect than she knows when runs into her old flame and then discovers he is also her neighbor downstairs from her. They at first agree to be just 'friends', but they constantly run into each other all over the city, finding each other in same places at same times. Soon, they find themselves to be 'friends with benefits'. And while they constantly deny they are not in love, all their family and friends know them better than they know themselves, but in the end, when it comes down to commitment Diana is afraid ...she feels it is better to not be in love and risk getting heartbroken later... she ends up breaking up with Ben, but then totally regrets it and later begs for Ben to give her another chance.

This movie was all very sweet and romantic and all about second chances. Most of the scenes were about the sweet nothings and how two friends being able to flirt/joke with one another and enjoying each other's company. And like all romantic movies towards the end it get serious and is about the two character overcoming the odds to be together. Matthew Shear, Deirdre O'Connell, Sarah Ramos and Diana Irvine also star.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image looks nice, fine and smooth for a new indie production with no major flaws and plays as expected, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is recorded and mixed as well as a dialogue-driven film like this can be, so playback is good all around.

Henry Koster's A Man Called Peter (1955) is a cinemascope shot romance epic available for the first time on Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time. Starring Richard Todd and Jean Peters, the classic film follows the life of Peter Marshall (Todd) who goes from smalltime preacher to Chaplain to the Senate with national recognition. Based on true events and a book by Catherine Marshall, the film also stars Marjorie Rambeau, Jill Esmond, and Les Tremayne.

The film is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.55:1 and audio tracks in both English 4.0 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio, from the original 4-track magnetic stereo soundmaster) and English 2.0 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless, the transfer is nothing short of impressive. Alfred Newman's impressive score is front and scene in the mi and the film is a vivid look at the past. The CinemaScope format is nicely captured here with very nice composition and detail throughout.

Here's our coverage of the out-of-print limited edition CD from Film Score Monthly's soundtrack series...


Philip Dunne's Hilda Crane (1956) has Jean Simmons as the title character, back in a town that kept her unhappy and whose conformity held her back from success in this 'women's film' soap opera that is among the last before TV soap operas ended their need and reign. Made by men, is she a 'bad girl' or does want success mean she should be 'punished' and 'know her place' or could she just 'stay in the kitchen' or is something else going on here? Something almost similar?

I won't ruin that, but she has been divorced twice and is now is split between an exciting French writer (Jean-Pierre Aumont) and a local man (Guy Madison) who are both interested in her. What will happen? Will she make the 'right' choice? This is based on a play by Samson Raphaelson and the film, despite the surround sound and scope image, still remains a bit stagey throughout, even with money in the sets and clothes to the credit of the makers. It is amusing at times, but not a great film, yet worth a look just to see the near end of such a cycle of filmmaking, one that was becoming old hat quickly. The actors are good too, including Judith Evelyn, Gregg Palmer, Evelyn Varden and Peggy Knunsen, but even they cannot break through the corniness. However, if you are interested, it is worth a look.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the materials used, but this looks pretty good throughout, even if it tends towards a blue/teal look. At this point, Fox was producing most of their color films through their DeLuxe Lab, but in this case, we get 'Prints By Technicolor' meaning another lab besides Technicolor (most likely DeLuxe) developed the negative materials, et al, and the 35mm film prints were dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor version of the film. That means the color would be slightly different than Technicolor all the way through (Eastman Kodak negative film stock was used to shoot the film) and you get a good-looking film that may not be as 'glorious' looking as technicolor all the way through, but still better than it could have been.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (the better of the two) and 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes here to choose from are both derived from the 4-track magnetic sound with traveling dialogue and sound effects issued on better 35mm prints and played at theaters that could handle those tracks. This shows its age a bit more, but has some good sonic moments and David Raskin's score sounds good here and on the isolated music track in lossless DTS-MA as well.

Jorge Fons' Midaq Alley (1995) is based on Naguib Mahfouz's Nobel Prize-winning melodrama bout unhappiness in a small town near Mexico City with Salma Hayek, who is not the lead here, but stands out as a young gal who is falling in love with one guy, but lands up in an ugly situation with another using her for business purposes. We have a older married man who is a closeted homosexual, deciding to approach a man too young for him and somehow convinces him to get involved, but that becomes a disaster. His son does not know about this (yet?), but wants to leave the area ASAP and go to the United States.

Another older woman hopes to marry belatedly for the first time, reflecting how much so many of the characters have put their lives on hold for no good reason, like fake morality, conformity or other oppression. However, we also get more than a few cliches and the way it handles gay life is one for the Celluloid Closet documentary where gay men are either killers or simply deserve to die for being gay. All that makes the 140 minutes seem much longer and more dragged out than it needed to be, but that's what we get. Because of Hayek, the book and the fact that it is a film from another country are the curio points that make it worth being released on Blu-ray, but it is uneven at best.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image has some slight flaws and detail issues here and there, but it looks pretty good otherwise with consistent color, some nice shots and people who knew how to get the most out of the 35mm film stock. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix shows the age of the recording (obviously late analog on the set, et al), but has been cleaned up and made to sound as good as a dialogue-driven drama can be. Music is sparse, but not bad either.

Leo McCarey's final film, Satan Never Sleeps (1962), is an interesting film that I had never heard of before, but found to be quite touching. The film stars William Holden as a priest during Mao's 1949 Chinese Revolution in beautiful cinemascope. Stuck traveling with a young girl whose in love with him, Holden's misadventures against this historic time.

The film also stars Clifton Webb, France Nuyen, Athene Seyler, Martin Benson, Edith Sharpe, and Burt Kwouk.

Satan Never Sleeps is presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and audio tracks in both English 2.0 DTS-HD MA Master Audio and English 1.0 DTS-HD MA. The film is shot very nicely and has great production design and cinematography by Oswald Morris is fine when its on location however some of the rear projection is very outdated. This is a nice presentation of the film, however, that's very satisfactory.

Extras for all releases but Boy includes illustrated booklets on the film including informative text and all but Alley add more excellent, underrated essays by the great film scholar Julie Kirgo, while all releases but Alley have Original Theatrical Trailers. Boy adds a behind the scenes photo gallery, Peter, Hilda and Satan Isolated Music Scores, Peter also has an Audio Sermon by Peter Marshall and Fox Movietone Newsreels (Portions Silent), Hilda also has the Jean Simmons: Picture Perfect installment of A&E's Biography, and Alley has Behind The Scenes footage.

To order the A Man Called Peter, Hilda Crane and Satan Never Sleeps limited edition Blu-rays, buy them while supplies last at these links:




- Nicholas Sheffo (Hilda, Alley), Ricky Chiang (Boy) and James Lockhart



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