• The Web (Kino Lorber) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Kino Lorber
    Released on: July 13th, 2021.
    Director: Michael Gordon
    Cast: Edmond O'Brien, Ella Raines, Vincent Price, William Bendix, Fritz Leiber, Maria Palmer
    Year: 1947
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    The Web – Movie Review:

    Directed by Michael Gordon and released by Universal Studios in 1947, The Web tells the story of Leopold Kroner (Fritz Leiber), a man who has just been released from prison after doing a half decade behind bars for embezzlement at Colby Enterprises, the company he used to work at.

    Andrew Colby (Vincent Price), is none too keen to learn of Kroner’s release and soon starts telling others that the newly freed man has been threatening him. He brings a lawyer named Bob Regan (Edmond O’Brien) onboard to protect him, seemingly quite convinced that Kroner really does have it in for him. And wouldn’t you know it, a short time later Colby comes face to face with a pistol wielding Kroner with Regan arriving just in time to shoot him dead. With Kroner out of the picture, you’d think Regan would go back to his regular life, but instead he falls fast in love with Noel (Ella Raines), Colby’s drop dead gorgeous secretary.

    As Regan and Noel explore their blossoming relationship, facts are uncovered about the details of Colby’s relationship with Kroner that begin to make Regan think he’s been setup.

    A very strong thriller with elements of romance and drama thrown liberally into the mix, The Web is a legitimately gripping film that does a great job of holding out attention from start to finish. Of course, the fact that it has such a strong cast certainly helps, the acting here is top-notch across the board. Price plays Colby with Price’s typically cool demeanor, never hamming it up or chewing the scenery as he could occasionally do. He’s very good here. Leiber’s good in his role but is out of the picture before the plot really gets moving, while Edmond O’Brien plays his tough guy character with style and class. He has good chemistry with Ella Raines, who acts as good as she looks in this picture. The supporting players all do fine work here as well. Look for Maria Palmer in a supporting part as Mrs. Martha Kroner, she’s very good in her part and William Bendix is a lot of fun here as a cop named Damico.

    Michael Gordon directs with admirable control over the film’s pacing. Information is relayed to the audience with expert timing, ensuring that we don’t find out too much too soon but that we do get enough to keep us guessing. Production values are solid, with Irving Glassberg’s atmospheric and moody cinematography ensuring the visuals are strong and the score from Hans J. Salter proving very effective and evocative.

    The Web – Blu-ray Review:

    The Web, which makes its home video debut with this release, comes to Blu-ray from Kino Lorber framed at 1.37.1 in AVC encoded 1080p high definition taking up 28GBS of space on the 50GB disc. The transfer is a good one, there’s very little print damage here, just some small white specks here and there. Contrast on the black and white image is good and there’s frequently some impressive detail on display here. The picture gives us nice depth and is free of any obvious compression artifacts, edge enhancement or noise reduction. No complaints here at all.

    Audio options are provided in 16-bit English DTS-HD 2.0 Mono with optional subtitles offered up in English only. The score sounds fine, with some nice depth noticeable in the score and some decent power behind the gun shots that occur in the movie. Dialogue stays clean and easy to follow throughout and there’s very little hiss or distortion here.

    The main extra on the disc is a new audio commentary by Professor and Film Scholar Jason A. Ney that covers all the bases. He explores how the movie exploits its different themes in interesting ways, discusses its place in the noir movement, talks about what makes some of the characters in the film unique and offers up some welcome critical analysis as the movie plays out. Along the way he also offers up plenty of information on the cast and crew, puts certain scenes into their proper social and historical context and quite a bit more. Lots of food for thought in here.

    Aside from that, the disc includes a theatrical trailer for the feature, bonus trailers for a few other Kino Lorber releases (Alias Nick Beal, Shield For Murder, Calcutta, The Sleeping City, Kiss The Blood Off My Hands, O.S.S. and Thunder On The Hill), menus and chapter selection.

    The Web – The Final Word:

    Great stuff! Kino Lorber are to be commended for saving The Web from obscurity with this release, and giving this excellent dramatic thriller a really nice high definition release. The presentation is excellent and the commentary quite good, while the movie itself is a gem. Highly recommended!

    Click on the images below for full sized The Web Blu-ray screen caps!