DVD/Blu-ray News #76: 23 Paces To Baker Street (1956).


Directed by Henry Hathaway
Starring Van Johnson, Vera Miles, Cecil Parker

This hard-to-see Henry Hathaway picture came up on my other blog yesterday, since it’s being features in the 54th New York Film Festival’s Henry Hathaway retrospective.

The good news continues, as Kino Lorber has just announced its release on DVD and Blu-ray in early 2017. Hathaway was great with CinemaScope, so this new 4K transfer’s gonna be a real treat.



Filed under 1956, DVD/Blu-ray News, Henry Hathaway, Kino Lorber

17 responses to “DVD/Blu-ray News #76: 23 Paces To Baker Street (1956).

  1. A nice movie adapted from Philip MacDonald’s novel Warrant for X.


  2. john k

    Great to see Colin join the H8 fan club..what next…..
    Blake Lucas perhaps!
    As mentioned over at FWOTF 23 PACES TO BAKER STREET is
    the closest we will get to see what a Hitchcock film would have looked
    like in CinemaScope. Hitch never used widescreen 2.35 or indeed
    70mm,he seemed to prefer the VistaVision high definition process.
    As stated over at FWOTF Hitchcock was the only major (or A list)
    director of the Fifties/early Sixties not to use the widescreen process.
    While doing a bit of cursory research regarding this,I thought,what
    exactly is a major director. In Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide
    most of the highly regarded directors are listed,plus a few who have
    achieved “cult” status like Ed Wood and William Castle.
    BTW Castle as far as I know never used CinemaScope-a homage to
    Interestingly,there are a few missing names from Maltin’s list namely
    Hathaway,Richard Fleischer,Allan Dwan and most oddly Raoul Walsh.
    Our friend Blake Lucas likes to list in order of preference (and genres)
    his favorite directors and that’s fine. I tend to group directors as far
    as they are generally perceived- many of them being grossly
    underrated.Certainly Hathaway and Fleischer are very underrated
    and both adapted to the CinemaScope medium with outstanding
    compositions from their earliest widescreen efforts.
    I always remember reading circa 1962 a wonderful piece in Films &
    Filming regarding SHANE-which at the time regarded a classic had not
    yet reached the iconic status it shares today. The name of the writer
    escapes me but I do remember that he stated that SHANE was the
    only time Alan Ladd had worked with a major director. I remember
    thinking at the time how Raoul Walsh could not have been considered
    a major director.
    As much as I admire Mr Maltin I did find Walsh’s name a major
    oversight in not being on his list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Castle never did a Scope picture. Probably more about money than a Hitchcock tribute.


    • John, I think some of those directors you mention have only begun to get a bit more recognition, especially among English-language critics. I quite agree that Walsh is a pretty startling omission from any list of significant directors but again, I think his status was much higher in other territories (I’m think of France in particular here) and that is possibly still so.


      • john k

        Colin-as you mention France it’s interesting that
        Carlotta have a 3 Blu Ray Richard Fleischer set due
        in November.The three films are also available to buy
        separately, They are 10 RILLINGTON PLACE (also out
        on Twilight Time and coming soon on Powerhouse UK)
        two titles as far as I know are making their worldwide Blu Ray
        debut. THE NEW CENTURIONS is one of Fleischer’s best 70’s
        films a great cop thriller with George C Scott and Stacy Keach and
        a cracking supporting cast. BLIND TERROR is a good thriller
        with Mia Farrow scripted by Brian Clemens.
        I somehow cannot see a Fleischer set appearing in his home nation.
        It just bears out what you have stated regarding the French.
        Carlotta normally have removable subs,I might add.
        I’m still waiting,possibly in vain, for an Anthony Mann Universal
        Westerns collection though I do understand WINCHESTER’73
        on Blu Ray is a work in progress-but it would be wonderful to
        have the other two (BEND OF THE RIVER and THE FAR
        COUNTRY) on Blu Ray as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Anthony Mann films will show up sooner or later for sure.
        Speaking of Blind Terror, I watched that on DVD not that long ago and really enjoyed it. Brian Clemens’ writing sometimes comes in for a bit of criticism for being too formulaic but when it works well (as it does here under Fleischer’s direction) it’s very entertaining.


  3. john k

    Toby…….it’s certainly a good news day for everything H8

    Firstly Blu Underground have announced a Blu Ray release
    for Gary Sherman’s gleefully ghoulish DEATH LINE.
    (the USA title Raw Meat is horrible!)
    This will be the original UK uncut version.
    DEATH LINE is the best film ever shot on the UK underground (subway)
    or as us Brits like to call it “The Tube”
    Blu Underground’s discs are region free and everything I’ve had from
    them thus far has been top drawer image wise!

    Secondly those cats at Universal never ones to miss a trick in getting
    us to buy the same film multiple times-have announced a new line
    in their first string Horror Classics.
    These editions will have “glow in the dark” artwork and feature
    Blu Ray-Digital HD and UltraViolet discs.
    In the case of CREATURE FROM THE CLACK LAGOON we also get
    the 3D version.
    Question-do I have to buy a new player to show the digital HD version?


    • John —

      You’re right, all this H8 traffic is a great thing. Owe it all to Henry Hathaway, I guess.

      I saw a rack of the glow-in-the-dark Universal horror films the other day. They’re glorious! The Creature and Frankenstein are green, naturally. Dracula is a reddish pink. I don’t know the first about how the digital HD stuff works. At this point, I’m strictly a DVD/Blu-ray guy, rarely even venturing outside my Region code.

      Back to the monsters. I can’t wait for that Frankenstein Blu-ray set. Son Of Frankenstein in hi-def, with maybe my favorite set design ever, has got to be terrific.

      This has been a time for me to relive my childhood in high definition — Comanche Station, Horror Hotel, 13 Ghosts, The Gorgon (which showed up in my mailbox yesterday), Ghost & Mr. Chicken, Return Of Dracula, etc. All the stuff I rotted my brain with as a kid. It’s a very exciting time around here.


    • Death Line is a fairly fun film, if my memory isn’t cheating too much, so that’s welcome news.
      And the reports coming in regarding those new Uni horror Blu-rays is very heartening indeed.


  4. john k

    Colin- as mentioned before,great to see you being more regular
    at H8-long may it continue.

    Re the Mill Creek Hammer double bills-sadly they have been getting
    some bad press with only Glenn at DVD Savant giving them the thumbs
    up. My own opinion is that they are fine-I totally agree with Glenn’s
    review. The weakest of the four films is REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN
    but it’s certainly an improvement over the DVD. If I had a version of
    THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN in similar quality I would be very
    happy indeed. The currently available version of “Curse” is very faded
    and is by far the worst of all Hammer films currently available on Blu Ray.
    I hope the rumors are true that Warners are at some point going
    the restore/remaster “Curse”
    Returning to the Mill Creek doubles I thought the two widescreen
    films in particular looked fabulous.


    • Those Mill Creek doubles have been getting a real kicking by Hammer fans all over the place. I’ve only seen screencaps, which don’t look terrific but don’t look awful to me either.
      The odd insistence on 2:1 framing for films on the Universal 8 title Hammer set is a bigger problem I think.


  5. john k

    Yes Colin-I guess we all have different standards when viewing
    these things,but all I can say is that I’m well happy with
    both Mill Creek sets.
    Perhaps Toby will get around to reviewing them sometime especially
    as they have caused such diverse opinions.
    Interestingly Final Cut in the UK have a shortened version of
    the Universal set-at a higher price I might add-don’t know what the
    ratios will be there.
    The Mill Creek/Columbia Hammer films seems to be an on-going
    project-most of the Columbia Hammers seemed to be thrillers
    (TASTE OF FEAR,MANIAC) as opposed to Gothic Horror.
    There is some good Swashbuckler stuff in the mix,especially
    THE PIRATES OF BLOOD RIVER always a favorite of mine.
    I’m also very fond of STRANGLERS OF BOMBAY and TERROR
    OF THE TONGS which would make a spiffing Mill Creek double
    bill on Blu Ray.
    When all is said and done at least you cannot complain at the price
    Mill Creek are charging for them.
    Regarding the aforementioned Universal “glow in the dark”
    series I note some have been released in France,but in green “glow”
    only-at least the price is keen-furthermore they don’t seem to be
    on Amazon USA-at the moment at least.
    I DO have the Universal Hammer set on the “back burner” as there are
    several titles that I am missing-I guess I can live with the 2.0 ratio
    thing-I’ve heard nothing but good about the available Blu Ray’s of
    PARANOIAC and have not seen NIGHTMARE since it’s original
    release-I rather like the thought of having all these films in one set
    and I’m sure the price will come down time over time.


    • I very much like Hammer’s Sangster scripted mini-Hitchcock thrillers. They may not be what the studio became famous for but I still find them entertaining and enjoyable.
      I doubt if Ill be going for the new Uni Hammer set as Ive had the (very good quality) DVD version for ages now and I’m happy enough with that.


    • I’m working on reviews of the Hammer sets now. I was really impressed with them, a big improvement over the standards DVDs.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. john k

    Ha,Toby,Glenn Erickson and me vs the rest…I KNEW they were OK-
    some of these Hammer freaks tend to be a bit geeky regarding p.q,
    ratios and other stuff.

    Colin,off topic but have you noticed that Sidonis have announced
    BARABBAS and THE LONG SHIPS on Blu Ray,both making,I believe
    their Worldwide high def debut.
    I have e-mailed a new UK outfit Powerhouse Films to see if they
    might consider releasing these. Powerhouse are releasing a whole
    clutch of Sony/Columbia titles on Blu Ray.
    Furthermore Powerhouse DO reply to e-mails unlike UK outfits like
    Arrow and Eureka-if they cannot be bothered to communicate with the
    fans that support them then that’s too bad-I won’t bother to support
    them- unless they release something earth shattering.
    I’ve found USA imprints like Blue Underground and Mill Creek much
    more “customer friendly” regarding this
    It’s great all this traffic on this post-I hope it’s a sign of what’s to follow-
    who knows we may even get those ornery critters Blake and Jerry
    to join in the fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think Glenn makes a good point regarding the pricing of the Mill Creek sets – maybe they could look better but they won’t break the bank for anyone.
      The news about Powerhouse is most welcome – I hope to pick up the announced De Palma, Preminger and Welles titles in due course – and it’s great to see another indie label appearing in the UK.


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