Affair in Trinidad (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray B - United Kingdom - Powerhouse Films
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (27th January 2021).
The Film

Our second Columbia Noir box set takes a dive once more into the studio’s archives and the world of film noir – a world of undercover detectives (The Mob) and emotionless hitmen (Murder by Contract), a world where film is inspired by real-life criminal activities (Tight Spot, based loosely on Virginia Hill’s testimony against Bugsy Siegel) and real-life criminal activities are inspired by film (711 Ocean Drive, which attracted the unwanted attention of mobsters), and a world where Glenn Ford finds himself unwittingly embroiled in murder – twice (Framed, Affair in Trinidad).

All six films are presented for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK, with The Mob, Tight Spot and Murder by Contract making their world Blu-ray premieres. This stunning collection includes newly recorded commentaries on each film, assorted bonus materials, including six short films starring the Three Stooges, lampooning the tropes and themes of the features, a 120-page book, and is strictly limited to 6,000 numbered units.

Video

Apparently this made more dosh than Gilda (1946) but is far less well known and it's understandable. It's all a bit meandering and underwhelming with mostly rather dull characters. It's technically polished but a little overlong and padded out with a couple of Hayworth musical numbers where she's dubbed by someone else. She's supposed to be this shit-hot dancer that every man she meets worships, but her dancing is embarrassingly naff. Entertaining but no world beater despite a change of direction late in the film that takes the plot to another level; too little, too late and the weakest film thus far in this set.

Yet another monochrome Columbia film shot in 1.37:1 academy ratio; like the three prior films in the set this has the strongest of presentations with all being equally good and following similar grades and looks. As I said for 711 Ocean Drive and The Mob ...

Beautifully shot in monochrome 35mm in the Academy aspect ratio (1.37:1). Beautiful deep blacks with bags of shadow detail and no crush; the elements have been kept in good nick. No damage, no digital tinkering and contrast is supportive; highlights also contain as much detail as the blacks. And, perfectly balanced gamma with no colour bias creeping in.

As with Framed and 711 Ocean Drive a top notch transfer from a great HD master.

1080/24p / AVC MPEG-4 / 1.37:1 / 98:09

Audio

English LPCM 1.0
Subtitles: English HoH

This is a typical mono track from the period. Sound design is limited as is the range. It's mainly designed to allow the dialogue to come through loud and clear which it does at all times; music is also well adjusted in the mix. Some tracks of this era can be a little muffled or even tinny, but I noticed none of that hear. It's about as good as it can be for 1.0.

Subtitles for the hearing impaired have been provided and re meticulous.

Extras

Audio commentary with Lee Gambin (2021)

Gambin is nothing if not energised and enthusiastic on all of his commentaries and they're packed with information, well researched. This one is no different. Lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.

"The End of the Affair: Peter Ford on the Life and Career of His Father, Glenn Ford" 2021 (2012) featurette (24:05)

A 2012 interview repurposed for this 2021 featurette in which Peter Ford discusses his father's career. 1080/60i 1.78:1 with lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo.

"Caribbean" 1951 short film (25:01)

UK-produced short is a documentary piece about the Caribbean. 1080/24p 1.37:1 with lossy Dolby Digital 1.0.

"Saved by the Belle" 1939 short film (17:24)

40th Three Stooges short (out of 190) and one directed by the great Charley Chase looks clean and damage free with plenty of lovely grain in 1080/24p 1.85:1 with lossy Dolby Digital 1.0

Theatrical Trailer (2:48)

Vintage promo in 1080/24p with lossy Dolby Digital 1.0.

Affair in Trinidad Image Gallery: Original Promotional Material (50 images)

Very solid gallery in 1080/24p.

120-page liner notes booklet

As of writing, the PDF of this hasn't arrived so will update the review when it does. I'm sure it'll be superb as usual for Powerhouse Films' booklets.

Packaging

Single disc card digipack for each film in a hard card slipcase.

Overall

Solid but underwhelming noir from Columbia; fourth in Powerhouse Films' Columbia Noir #2 has excellent image and sound with great extras. It continues with the level of polish as the others and doesn't let the set down. Highly recomended!

The Film: C+ Video: A+ Audio: A+ Extras: B Overall: A-

 


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