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Category:    Home > Reviews > Film Noir > Drama > The House On 92nd Street (Film Noir)

The House on 92nd Street


Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: B†††† Film: B+



The House on 92nd Street (1945) was one of the first films to incorporate real locations for itís principal photography and also added a documentary texture to itís palette, likewise that same year Roberto Rosselini was doing the same type of thing with his war drama Open City.Oddly enough both deal with Naziís.However, where Open City goes for a realistic documentary style The House of 92nd Street uses that same technique in a narrative that is relying on itís Film Noir conventions.Thus the film makes its way as part of Foxís Film Noir series and is a welcome addition to DVD.


Personally I think that the films title does not help make this film memorable and it should have perhaps went with Now It Can Be Told, which is an alternative title that the film went by.The film deals with how the U.S. apparently cracked the Nazi spies who were hot on the trails of the Manhattan Project secrets.The film highlights the FBI and actually used some real officers in another attempt for realism.


William Eythe is excellent in the double agent role likewise is Lloyd Nolan and Signe Hasso, however the direction for the film by Henry Hathaway is a real key ingredient and he would follow this film up with yet another Noir that also contains a strange title Call Northside 777, which is also a Fox Noir film that has been reviewed on this site as well.


Norbert Brodineís old-school camera techniques prove successful here as the film breaks into a whole new era of realism and texture.Not only that, but the transfer here from Fox keeps that grainy feel and does not attempt to overly clean up the print.Although a bit soft with some minor scratches here and there, the film still holds up after all these years and preserves the full-frame image well.While the image is not nearly as staggering as perhaps some of the other titles in their Noir series, this happens to be one of the stronger titles.


The audio is presented in a Dolby Digital 2.0 restored version of itís original monophonic release, as well as a slightly more spread out Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix that does enhance the feel a bit more with a tad more prominence.There is still a fair amount of static noise in the audio presentation in either monophonic or stereophonic form, but since this is a dialogue-based film there is little need to turn up the playback on the film.


Film Noir historian Eddie Mullerís helpful insights on the commentary track prove as a great extra and a terrific reason to track down this disc.Likewise other important titles such as some of the other Fox Noir classics and Anthony Mannís T-Men reviewed on this site.Great films deserve great commentary.Also included is a photo gallery and the filmís original press booklet.A highly recommended disc!



-†† Nate Goss


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