Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 16th, 2016
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1954
Directors: Howard W. Koch, Edmond O’Brien
Writers: Richard Alan Simmons, John C. Higgins
Cast: Edmond O’Brien, Marla English, John Agar, Emile Meyer, Carolyn Jones, Claude Akins, William Schallert, Robert Bray, Richard Deacon
BluRay released: June 21st, 2016
Approximate running time: 82 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.75:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Kino Lorber
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: A corrupt detective finds himself the prime suspect when 25,000 dollars goes missing from the suspect he killed in the line of duty.
Shield for Murder was co-directed by its star Edmond O’Brien whose other notable films as an actor include, The Killers, White Heat, D.O.A., The Hitch-Hiker and Seven Days in May. Key collaborators on Shield for Murder include, screenwriter John C. Higgins (He Walked by Night, Robinson Crusoe on Mars) and composer Paul Dunlap (Shock Corridor, The Naked Kiss).
Content wise, this film has everything anyone would want and expect from a Film noir. This film features a well-constructed narrative that keeps things moving along at a brisk pace from revelation to the next. With one of this film’s greatest strengths being the disintegration of this film’s protagonist. Very early on it is made crystal clear where this character stands morally and they only further contribute to their own downfall as the more they try to cover-up their initial crime. Another strength of this film is when it comes to the characters and their motivations they are well defined.
Other areas where this film excels include its strong visuals which reinforce the protagonist plight as their world is closing in on them. With this most striking moments being its opening murder sequences and the film’s finale where the protagonist fights desperately for their freedom. Not to be overlooked is this film’s in your face depiction of violence and no scene better epitomizes this then the deaf mutes’ death scene.
Performance wise the entire all good in their respective roles. With this films stand out performance coming from Edmond O’Brien in the role of a corrupt Detective Lt. named Barney Nolan. He delivers an utterly convincing performance that dominates very scene he appears in. Other notable performances include, Carolyn Jones (The Big Heat, “The Addams Family”) in the role Beth aka girl at the bar and David Hughes (The Grapes of Wrath) in the role of deaf mute witness.
Shield for Murder comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. This film has been newly remastered in HD and the source used is in great shape. Contrast and black levels remain strong throughout and details look crisp. Also there no issues with compression and DNR has been kept in check.
This release comes with a one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. There are no issues with background noise or hiss, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include, trailers for Shield for Murder, Hidden Fear, He Ran All the Way and 99 River Street. Overall Shield for Murder gets a first rate audio / video presentation from Kino Lorber.
Note: This film is also being released by Kino Lorber on DVD.