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John Sturges
Lew Ayres, Teresa Wright, Victor Jory
Writing Credits:
Niven Busch

A badly injured fugitive explains to a priest how he came to be in his present predicament.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 91 min.
Price: $24.95
Release Date: 12/14/2021

• Audio Commentary with Film Historian C. Courtney Joyner
• “The Actress Next Door” Featurette
• “Man of Action” Featurette
• Booklet


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The Capture [Blu-Ray] (1950)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 3, 2022)

A few years back, a buddy got into an argument with his ex-wife’s boyfriend. This became so heated that the new beau threatened to tear off my pal’s arm and beat him to death with it in front of my friend’s boss.

This always struck me as an odd remark – beyond the psychopathic nature, of course. I guess this nutbag figured my friend would feel fine if he got his arm ripped off and then killed with this appendage… but dear God, not in front of my boss!

Why bring up this anecdote? Because the tag lines for 1950’s The Capture sport similar perplexing logic.

The ads read “Killing a man is one thing – Loving his wife is another!” So said person would be cool with his own death but an affair with this dude’s partner would be a bridge too far?

Weird promotional copy aside, The Capture offered some intrigue as a film noir entry. Add in the presence of noted director John Sturges early in his career and I figured I’d give the flick a look.

Injured and on the run from authorities, Lin Vanner (Lew Ayres) seeks refuge in the home of Father Gomez (Victory Jory). There he tells the story of how he ended up this way.

Lin worked in a Mexican oil field and aided in the apprehension of Sam Tevlin (Edwin Rand) when Tevlin became accused of payroll embezzlement. However, Tevlin dies in police custody, and Lin feels guilt about this.

Matters complicate when Lin visits Tevlin‘s widow Ellen (Teresa Wright). Lin falls in love with her and complications ensue.

Well, yeah – this wouldn’t be much of a thriller if nothing interesting occurred. As it stands, it doesn’t seem like an especially memorable tale even with the twists it involves.

Not that the film flops, as it comes with some appeal. In particular, Ayres functions well as our conflicted protagonist, as he brings some dimensionality to a potentially dull role.

However, Ayres can’t overcome the generally flat nature of the plot, though Capture starts off fairly well. The first act offers some intrigue, as it leads us into Lin’s tale with provocative material.

Once he meets Ellen, though, matters deteriorate and Capture loses momentum. The interplay between guilty party and widow lacks enough drama to make these parts of the film compelling.

Simply put, we get little chemistry between Ayres and Wright. Both boasted talent, of course, but their pairing fails to provide sparks.

Given how much of the film depends on their relationship, this becomes a problem. Once Lin settles into domestic bliss, the movie descends into a dull tone that it never sheds.

I do like the way Capture blends noir and Western, but the film doesn’t live up to its inherent potential. Instead, it just winds up as a slow and not especially dramatic affair, mainly because it doesn’t explore its psychological elements as needed.

The Disc Grades: Picture C/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

The Capture appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.37:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Expect a watchable but dull presentation.

On the positive side, the image lacked print flaws - mostly. It seemed clean the majority of the time, but some weird anomalies occurred around the 73-minute mark. At that point, the picture wobbled and showed a gauzy look that continued for a few minutes.

However, sharpness turned into a moderate weakness. While the film showed passable to good delineation, much of the film just felt softer than anticipated.

Neither jagged edges nor moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain felt fairly natural.

Blacks tended to seem too dense, while shadows could be somewhat opaque. Again, this remained an adequate version of the film, but it tended to come across as bland and a little mushy.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA monaural audio, it seemed perfectly acceptable given the film’s age. Speech could appear a bit muted, but the lines remained intelligible and reasonably natural.

Music and effects showed somewhat thin, trebly tones, but they lacked obvious distortion. No issues with background noise occurred, probably due to noise reduction techniques that gave the audio a bit of a flat vibe. Nothing here excelled, but the soundtrack was fine overall.

A few extras appear here, and we open with an audio commentary from film historians C. Courtney Joyner and Henry Park. Both sit together to offer a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, genre domains, cast and crew, and various impressions of the flick.

Overall, this becomes a good but not great discussion of the film. Joyner dominates, but Park contributes enough to earn his keep. They spend too much time on their thoughts about the film, but we still get enough useful data to turn this into a mostly informative track.

Two featurettes follow, and The Actress Next Door runs three minutes, 28 seconds. It provides a quick and perfunctory overview of actor Teresa Wright’s career, so don’t expect depth or insights.

Man of Action spans four minutes, 36 seconds and delivers a short biography for director John Sturges. Like “Door”, it feels passable but without more than basics.

The set concludes with a booklet. It mixes photos and an essay from author Don Stradley to end the package on a positive note.

As a mix of film noir and Western, The Capture comes with potential. Unfortunately, it pursues its tale in such a sluggish manner that it lacks drama. The Blu-ray brings adequate picture and audio along with a few bonus features. This ends up as a mediocre movie.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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