Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Amazing Mr. X (1948) Film Detective Blu Ray Review

The Amazing Mr. X (1948) The Film Detective 10/26/2021

Directed By: Bernard Vorhaus 

Starring: Turhan Bey, Lynn Bari, Cathy O'Donnell 

    

Disclaimer: The Film Detective has provided me with a copy of this film free of charge for the purposes of review. All opinions contained within are my own honest reflections. 

My Other Reviews:

Frankenstein's Daughter HERE
Hercules and the Captive Women HERE
Flight to Mars HERE
A Life At Stake HERE
Spanish Giallo The Fourth Victim HERE

     Though he never made a name for himself as a director Bernard Vorhaus makes one of the more stylish and memorable thrillers of the '40s. A window named Christine Faber (Lynn Bari) is trying to move on with a new man named Martin (Richard Carlson) when she meets a mentalist named Alexis (Turhan Bey) who may or may not be the real deal in this stylish thriller. Leave it to the wonderful folks at The Film Detective to unearth a film I had never heard of. Part noir, part drama wrapped in a spooky and slightly surreal coating, The Amazing Mr. X (1948) is a cool little discovery. As I said, the movie is less full on horror and more crime-film noir. Ian McLellan Hunter (co-writer of Roman Holiday) and Muriel Roy Bolton craft a interesting and engaging thriller that plays on misdirection with a nice amount of suspense 

     I will say that the movie could have use a tighter pacing and I think (and being vague for spoilers) there are certain narrative elements that could have used a polish. One of the big selling points of this movie is just how breathtaking it looks. Oscar winning photography John Alton (An American in Paris) truly drenches this movie in haunting atmosphere with creative camera work, soft dream like focus and expressionistic lighting. Visually its right up there with what Val Lewton was doing with use of striking set pieces that give a starkly beautiful yet heartbreaking quality. 

Though not quite a noir, Amazing Mr. X is a dream-like film that doesn't really fit on specific genre and 

Picture: Visually this movie is really 'amazing' therefore I am happy that Film Detective has provided a new 4k scan. And, yes, it is incredible. Amazing Mr. X is pristine looking without noise or artifacts present. Furthermore the black-and-white photography is really nicely balanced and contrasted. Clearly, a lot of work and resources have gone into giving fans a transfer that showcases just how lovely Alton's photography is. I didn't even really notice and blurring with overall sharp and consistent clarity throughout. 

Sound: Amazing Mr. X has a nice DTS 2.0 track. Dialogue and score comes through extremely nicely with no unwanted background noise or hiss. 

Extras: Film Detective provides a commentary by Jason A. Ney,  Mysteries Exposed: Inside The Cinematic World of Spiritualism (20mins) A great documentary produced by Ballyhoo and including great new interviews with Lisa Morton and C. Courtney Joyner.  Rounding out the extras is a nice booklet with an essay by Don Stradley. 


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