Knock on Any Door (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray B - United Kingdom - Powerhouse Films
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (29th June 2022).
The Film

A fifth foray into the film noir output of Columbia Pictures, but, this time, with a twist. Not only does this volume bring together six more gems from the studio’s archives, but it also serves as a showcase for the great Humphrey Bogart.

Having established his stardom in the gangster pictures of the 1930s, Bogart fit easily into the world of film noir, where he was equally at home playing troubled servicemen, slick-talking lawyers, black marketeers, gambling den owners, or hard-up journalists.

Columbia Noir #5: Humphrey Bogart brings together five of the iconic actor’s starring vehicles: John Cromwell’s Dead Reckoning, Nicholas Ray’s Knock on Any Door, Stuart Heisler’s Tokyo Joe, Curtis Bernhardt’s Sirocco, and Mark Robson’s The Harder They Fall, plus Henry Levin’s The Family Secret, a rarity starring Lee J Cobb and John Derek that was produced by Bogart’s Santana Pictures, an outfit that regularly delved into the seedy, shadowy world of noir.

Featuring a stunning 4K restoration of The Harder They Fall, and with Sirocco and The Family Secret appearing on Blu-ray for the first time anywhere in the world, this stunning collection includes newly recorded commentaries and critical appreciations, archival documentaries and short films, and a 120-page book. Strictly limited to 6,000 numbered units.


My comments for Dead Reckoning (disc one) apply to discs two (Knock on Any Door, 1949) three (Tokyo Joe, 1949), four (Sirocco, 1951) and five (The Family Secret, 1951) as they're all shot using the same format: Academy 1.37:1 monochrome by the same studio. Only disc six (The Harder They Fall, 1956) is presented in a matted widescreen circular lens format so that will have a different overall feel.

Gamma is perfectly balanced with no colour bias creeping in. Black levels are suitably dark and deep with plenty of shadow detail. Contrast allows detail to show through on all focal planes with only optical transitions showing detail loss but that's par for the course for productions made in the photochemical era. Grain is ever present, sometimes course but mostly fine. Coarseness increases during those optical transitions and in some sequences with low light.

I could see no signs of age-related wear and tear, the image is pristine which, frankly, is pretty typical for these Sony masters. The encode is superb and no digital tinkering has been used. Once again, the image is as good as can be short an UHD BD ('A').

1080p24 / AVC MPEG-4 / BD50 / 1.37:1 / 99:52


English LPCM 1.0 (48kHz)
Subtitles: English HoH

All of the discs in this set sound very solid despite lacking the range and depth we expect from modern mixes with their multichannel directionality. Everything is front and centre, unless the viewer pumps it through all channels at once. I heard no distortions beyond the usual slight variations caused by the limited range of sound equipment at the time and due to ADR wortk in post production. It's always clear and a strong track of era ('B').

The usual excellent hard of hearing subtitles are provided.


DISC TWO: Knock on Any Door

Audio commentary by Pamela Hutchinson (2022)

British journalist, writer and film historian Hutchinson covers in greater detail the origins of the 1947 book and the film under discussion. She initially discusses the key differences between the book and the film. The characters and cast come in for scrutiny as well as the film's themes. A solid, detailed track that covers all the bases one would expect and it's obvious Hutchinson knows the film well and has seen it several times. Presented in lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 mono.

"Nobody Knows How Anybody Feels: Geoff Andrew on Knock On Any Door" 2022 interview (19:10)

This kicks off discussing Nicholas Ray (Rebel Without a Cause, They Live By Night) and his closeness to the world depicted in the film, how the film came to be, it's literary source, the themes of the relationship of individuals to society and the beats of the story and the character motivation. Presented in 1080p24 1.78:1 with lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo.

Theatrical Trailer (1:37)

Vintage promo in 1080p24 1.37:1 with lossy Dolby Digital 1.0 sound.

Knock On Any Door Image Gallery: Original Promotional Material (59 images)

Solid HD image gllery.

"The American Scene, A Series Number XIII: Tuesday in November" 1945 short film (17:05)

Presented in 1080p24 1.37:1 this Library of Congress short has very tinny sound in lossy Dolby Digital 1.0. It sounds distant and hollow with the narration sounding like it's been phoned in. The short deals with election day in the USA in which a school room is being used for voting. We get a clear outline of the system and how the US government is constructed and works. The monochrome image is soft but clean with the odd speckle. It's well encoded and has genuine blacks with a small amount of crush. It's taken from a fine grin master.

120-page liner notes book with a new essay by Imogen Sara Smith, extensive archival articles and interviews, new writing on the various short films, and film credits

Knock on any Door gets six pages devoted to it amongst the other films in the set and some articles on Bogart and Bogart at Columbia.


Unspecified at the time of writing.


Disc two in the Columbia Noir #5 set themed around Humphrey Bogart contains Knock on Any Door (1949), a well regarded Nicholas Ray film. As with the other sets the range, image and sound is excellent and the extras are well done. This film is less of a noir in the traditional sense than Dead Reckoning on disc one but is a more highly regarded film.

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


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