Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 25th, 2016
Theatrical Release Date: France / Italy, 1962
Director: Anatole Litvak
Writers: André Versini, Hugh Wheeler, Peter Viertel, Maurice Druon
Cast: Sophia Loren, Anthony Perkins, Gig Young, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Yolande Turner
BluRay released: July 26th, 2016
Approximate running time: 109 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Kino Lorber
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: Unhappy with her marriage, an Italian woman living in Paris wants to divorce her American husband. Things quickly take a turn for the worse shortly thereafter, when she discovers that the plane he was on crashed. Unfortunately, before she is able to move on from her unhappy marriage. She is forced to tie up some lose ends, like collecting her husband’s life insurance. Reluctant at first, she quickly changes her mind when her husband resurfaces demanding that she help him collect the life insurance money or he will continue to remain in her life. Will she turn her scheming husband into the authorities or will she help him one last time to gain her freedom?
Five Mile to Midnight was directed by Anatole Litvak whose other notable films include, The Snake Pit, Decision Before Dawn and Anastasia. Key collaborators on Five Miles to Midnight include, cinematographer Henri Alekan (Roman Holiday, La belle captive) and composer Mikis Theodorakis (Z, Serpico).
The best thrillers are those that when all is said and done, they truly surprise you with their outcome. Case in point, Five Miles to Midnight a meticulously constructed narrative that ensures not a single moment is wasted. Another strength of the narrative is its ample amount of twists and turns. And when it comes to pacing there are no issues as things move along at a good momentum and key moments are given just the right amount of time to resonate. Also when it comes to the main characters they are well defined and their motivations are never doubt?
From a production stand point there are no areas that are lacking. With the film’s visuals being one of this film’s more durable assets. Standout moments visually include, the scene where Lisa the wife discovers that her husband is still alive. Another standout moment is a scene where the husband is forced to find a new hiding place when unexpected guests show up to see his wife. This scene has a cat and mouse things going on and its ends on a sinister tone, when the husband character confronts a neighbor boy on the roof the apartments. Of course the most memorable moment is the film’s finale.
Performance the entire cast are good in their respective roles. With this film’s stand out performance coming from Sophia Loren (Two Women) in the role Lisa Macklin, the wife of the abusive husband who somehow survives a deadly plane crash. And her performance shines brightest during the final act when her character is pushed a breaking point. Other notable performances include Gig Young (The Shuttered Room) in the role of David Barnes, Lisa’s new love interest and Anthony Perkins (Psycho) in the role of Lisa’s husband Robert. Overall Five Miles to Midnight is a riveting thriller that leaves it best twist for its jaw dropping finale.
Five Miles to Midnight comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. For this release a brand new HD transfer has been created and the source used in in great shape. The image looks crisp, grain looks natural and black and contrasts levels look consistently strong throughout. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression.
Extras for this release include, reversible cover art, a trailer for the film (3 minutes 19 seconds) and an alternate French scene (7 minutes 49 seconds). Rounding out the extras are trailers for Sunflower (3 minutes 59 seconds), Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (4 minutes 12 seconds), Boccaccio 70 (2 minutes 20 seconds) and Marriage Italian Style (1 minute 50 seconds).
Overall Five Miles to Midnight gets a strong audio / video presentation from Kino Lorber.
Note: This film is also being released by Kino Lorber on DVD.