Dead Reckoning is a brutal, bitter, 1947, post-war film-noir thriller starring Humphrey Bogart. The story is very much in the Mickey Spillane mold, and was crafted by no less than five writers, which results in the narrative arc being ‘like Morse code’. Given the resumes of some of those involved the picture is somehow less than the sum of it’s parts, still, it’s unavailable on Blu-ray so I thought I’d have look at the iTunes HD version.
Dead Reckoning (1947) iTunes HD Review
Twenty three minutes and forty seconds into Dead Reckoning the entire movie jumps the shark with a song. Everything before that moment is pretty decent, everything after it – increasingly ridiculous. Bogart plays his part pretty well Lizabeth Scott as the Femme Fatale just couldn’t find her feet, perhaps the fault of the screenplay, but either way, the film drags when her character is on screen.
The rest of the story feels like the writers listed all the noir tropes they could think of and just threw them at the typewriter. Overall it was patchily enjoyable, the dialogue is certainly very clever, and Bogart was great as usual.
The iTunes HD edition of Dead Reckoning shows quite a lot of damage to the original element, with almost constant dirt and scratches, and at least one instance of fine vertical scratches on the screen for several minutes (when Bogart enters the nightclub).
Total runtime is 100 minutes and twenty-eight seconds (but it feels much longer). and the feature is presented at a ratio of 1.37:1. Audio is handled by a stereo 120kbps AAC track in mono. Average bitrate is 5.5mbps with peaks up to 12.6mbps. Grain is present, and looks to have not been messed around with. Despite the reasonably healthy bitrate, grain and dust conspire to give make visible artifacts an occasional distraction especially if you have the brightness (or gamma) turned up too high on your display device.
Dead Reckoning iTunes HD Screenshots
Five out of five: Great. What ? I hear you say. Five out of five for that piece of …. Remember – I’m not reviewing the movie, I’m reviewing the quality of the presentation, and in this case, it’s actually reasonable. Sure the film could do with some analogue clean-up, but it’s a warts and all presentation. A Blu-ray would probably look better if you have a larger display, but the iTunes HD presesntation of Dead Reckoning is pretty decent.
FTC disclosure: I am an iTunes and Amazon affiliate advertiser, if you click on one of the above links and make a purchase I make a very small amount of money.