Nowhere To Go (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus gets technical with another Ealing Classic released on DVD...
Paul Gregory (George Nader) is a thief and conman. He has come to London from Canada in order to rob Harriet Jefferson (Bessie Love of her rare coin collection. Having sold the coins, he puts the money in a safe deposit box and waits to be arrested, expecting to be out in five years. Sentenced instead to ten years, Gregory breaks out of prison with the help of Victor Sloane (Bernard Lee), planning to collect the money then leave the country. A series of accidents and double-crosses sends Gregory spinning through London’s criminal underworld, before he ends up on the run in the Welsh countryside with socialite Bridget Howard (Maggie Smith).
This movie hit our screens in 1958 and there's not much about this transfer to disguise it. There's an almost constant flicker to scenes, especially exterior ones and while the image is bright it's always soft and even softer when there's romance in the air. Given the right lighting, edges can begin to appear slightly sharper and some close ups offer some just above average detail but its never all that consistent and sometimes you really need to go looking for the good parts of the frame.
Much like many of the other Ealing releases, these black and white films look like they've had a bit or care taken for release but its far from a total overhaul. Flecks and dirt are apparent and there's very little to promote this as the best way to view the movie (even though it's pretty close to the only way). This is a video presentation that gives us a fifty five year old film exactly how you'd expect a British black and white film to look. This isn't a bad thing but it's not going to do anything to impress a fan of restoration for old classics.
From the get go there's a noticeable hiss to this timid track. The score sometimes lifts everything out of the limitations of the source material but for the most part even that doesn't do much to cause a stir within the mix. Dialogue is clear but hollow, sound effects range from tinny to shrill but widen the track with small things such as footsteps and opening doors. Once again fifty five years hasn't done much to Nowhere to Go except show its age and the audio track represents that in spades.
'Revisiting Nowhere To Go' (12:49) is actually very good despite it's shortness. Experts and makers of the film inform us it was one of the last Ealing Studios films and it was created under the banner of MGM, who had taken a struggling Ealing under their wing. This short featurette also provides a very good insight into the film's director and the story behind the film's creation.
For an Ealing Film, Nowhere to Go feels a little more Hollywood and judging by the extras this was the intention from MGM. It still has that English quaintness to it with an ever so easy prison escape and coin stealing but the twisting plot actually holds a great deal of charm thanks largely to George Nader's classic likeable rogue performance.
The disc is simply okay. With A/V much like you'd expect from an old British black and white film sneaking onto our shelves as a catalogue title. The 12 minute featurette is actually a great companion piece to the film but it's really the only real quality this release offers up.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Release Date: 14th January 2013
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Stereo 2.0 English
Extras: Revisting Nowhere To Go
Easter Egg: No
Director: Seth Holt
Cast: George Nader, Maggie Smith
Length: 99 minutes
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