• Someone Behind The Door (Kino Lorber) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Kino Lorber
    Released on: November 19th, 2019.
    Director: Nicolas Gessner
    Cast: Charles Bronson, Anthony Perkins, Jill Ireland
    Year: 1971
    Purchase From Amazon

    Someone Behind The Door – Movie Review:

    Laurence Jeffries (Perkins) is a neurosurgeon who is, like many medical professionals in older movies, completely absorbed by his work. This comes much to the dismay of his lovely wife, Francis (Jill Ireland), and eventually, she decides that she’s been neglected for far too long. Not at all surprisingly, she leaves him, off to take a trip, she tells him. He protests, but she’s made up her mind and takes off – she also doesn’t go where she tells him that she’s going, because she’s left him for another man.

    Left to his own devices, Jeffries meets a new patient only ever referred to as ‘The Stranger’ (Charles Bronson). He is to treat him for amnesia, and he very quickly warms to the man, even if the man himself is cold and rather distant. Regardless, Jeffries fosters this relationship as best he can, bringing this man into his home and treating him far more familiarly than a regular doctor should treat a regular patient. Of course, Jeffries has a plan, and it’s a rather sinister one at that. As this man has lost most of his memory, he sets out to convince him that Francis is in fact his wife and not only that, but she’s cheating on him. The hope here is that the man will take the violent revenge against her that Jeffries himself wants to take, all while leaving him with a bulletproof alibi.

    What is, on the surface at least, a great idea for a movie suffers from some convoluted storytelling at times, but the good outweighs the bad by a good enough margin that fans of quirky seventies thrillers and/or Bronson and Perkins will find enough to like about the film. There are moments where the audience is a bit too far into the head of Bronson’s character, making the story a little fuzzier than maybe it should be, but director/co-writer Nicolas Gessner co-writer Marc Behm do a very fine job of fleshing out the characters really well, which makes things hit appropriately hard when they do in fact hit.

    The acting here is quite strong. Jill Ireland, Bronson’s wife and a regular in his films, won’t ever likely be regarded as the greatest actress to have ever walked the Earth but here she’s perfectly fine. Not amazing, but more than good enough to handle what the movie throws at her. Better are the film’s two male leads. Perkins does quirky better than almost any of his contemporaries and this movie lets him embrace that aspect of his particular acting style and is all the better for it. And who Better than Bronson to play the strong silent type? He doesn’t show any more range here than he does in most of his movies but he plays the part well and this is a role that suits him very, very well. Add to that some nicely polished cinematography from Pierre Lhomme and a strong score from Georges Garvarentz and this one shapes up rather well indeed.

    Someone Behind The Door – Blu-ray Review

    Someone Behind The Door is presented on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition presentation framed in its original aspect ratio of 1.66.1 on a 25GB disc with the feature given just under 18GBs of space. Some scenes look a bit softer than others but this is clearly the way that the movie was shot. Most scenes look quite nice, showing very good detail and strong depth. Colors are well-reproduced here and we get solid black levels too. Skin tones appear nice and natural throughout and there are no noticeable issues with any visible noise reduction or edge enhancement. The 50GB disc gives the feature plenty of breathing room and the strong bit rate ensures that the picture is free of compression problems. All in all, it looks quite good… naturally grainy any very filmic in appearance.

    The English language 16-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono track sounds just fine. Dialogue is clear, there's a fair amount of depth and the score sounds pretty solid. Levels are balanced and there are no noticeable issues with any hiss or distortion. Optional subtitles are provided in English only.

    Extras start off with a commentary from director Nicolas Gessner that is a bit of a mixed bag. There are stretches where he narrates what’s on screen and occasionally lengthy areas where he goes quiet but when he’s on, he’s on. He speaks quite candidly about putting the film together, working with his cast and crew, collaborating on writing the story, the source material, what the leads were like to work with and more.

    Aside from that we get a trailer for the feature, a radio spot, and a nice selection of bonus trailers, many of them featuring Charles Bronson (Farewell Friend, Rider On The Rain, Cold Sweat, Mr. Majestyk, Breakheart Pass, From Noon Till Three, The White Buffalo, Cabo Blanco, Assassination, Five Miles To Midnight, The Champagne Murders, Winter Kills, Ffolkes and The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane). Menus and chapter selection are also included on the disc.

    Someone Behind The Door - The Final Word:

    Someone Behind The Door is less than a perfect film and it suffers from plotting issues. Still, Bronson and Perkins are excellent here and it does benefit from some genuinely atmospheric staging. Kino’s Blu-ray looks and sounds pretty decent and contains more extras than you might expect. This isn’t top tier Bronson but it is worth seeing for his, or Perkins’, many fans.

    Click on the images below for full sized Someone Behind The Door Blu-ray screen caps!