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DEAD RINGER ($20) is a wonderfully over-the-top, melodramatic thriller featuring the incomparable Bette Davis in a juicy dual role. In DEAD RINGER, Davis portrays the wealthy Margaret DeLorca and her financially challenged identical twin sister Edith Phillips. After not having seen each other for two decades, the sisters are reunited by the death of Margaret’s husband. As it turns out, Margaret stole the only man Edith ever loved and Edith returns the favor by murdering her and assuming the identity of the wealthy Mrs. DeLorca. While Edith is generally up to the challenge of pretending to be her sister, the arrival of Margaret’s lover, Tony Collins (Peter Lawford), causes serious complications for our little murderess. The cast of DEAD RINGER also features Karl Malden, Philip Carey, Jean Hagen, George Macready and Estelle Winwood.

Warner Home Video has made DEAD RINGER available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. DEAD RINGER has been provided with a very nice 1080p black and white presentation. The image is highly film like and displays an appropriate level of grain throughout. The image is crisp and provides a very good level of detail and texturing. Some shots are diffuse enough to disguise the leading lady's age, and some of the process work is a bit soft, but for the most part, the image is spot on. Black are accurate, whites are crisp and the grayscale produces a good range of variation. The film elements used for the transfer are in very good shape for its age, showing only a smattering of blemishes.

DEAD RINGER is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Most of the background hiss and noise have been cleaned up in the mastering process, leaving the film with a smooth sonic quality. Fidelity is good for a film of this vintage, with André Previn’s fun; harpsichord flavored musical score coming across in a pleasant enough manner. Dialogue sounds crisp and is always totally understandable. No other language tracks have been included on the disc, but English, French and Spanish subtitles are provided.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as, as well as the supplements which have been ported from the previous DVD release. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with Davis aficionados- entertainer Charles Busch and author Boze Hadleigh. Next up is Double Take: A Conversation With Boze Hadleigh, a twelve-minute program, in which the author talks about Davis, the production and the supporting cast of DEAD RINGER. The vintage featurette Behind The Scenes At The Doheny Mansion and a Theatrical Trailer close out the supplements.

DEAD RINGER is an over-the-top melodramatic thriller that is so much fun to watch because of leading lady Bette Davis. The Blu-ray presentation is really quite nice. Recommended to Davis fans.


Dead Ringer [Blu-ray]


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright © 2012 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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