Friday, April 13, 2012

Inferno (US 1953) 3D

Inferno / Inferno. US 1953. PC: 20th Century Fox. P: William Bloom. D: Roy Baker. SC: Francis M. Cockrell – based on his story Water-Hole. DP: Lucien Ballard – Technicolor - Stereoscopic Clear-Vision 3D (dual 35 mm). Special effects: Ray Kellogg, L.B. Abbott. AD: Lyle R. Wheeler, Lewis J. Creber. Cost: Dorothy Jeakins. Wardrobe: Charles Le MAire. Make-up: Ben Nye. M: Paul Sawtell. ED: Robert L. Simpson. S: Arthur L. von Kirbach, Harry M. Leonard, Carlton W. Faulkner. Loc: Mojave Desert (California). C: Robert Ryan (Donald Whitley Carson III), Rhonda Fleming (Geraldine Carson), William Lundigan (Joseph Duncan), Henry Hull (Sam Elby), Larry Keating (Mr. Emory), Carl Betz (Lieutenant Mike Platt), Robert Burton (sheriff), Everett Glass (Mason, Carson's butler), Adrienne Marden (Emory's secretary), Barbara Pepper (waitress), Daniel White (Lee), Harry Carter (Fred Parks), Robert Adler (Ken), Charles J. Conrad (a man). Helsinki premiere: 14.1.1955 Tuulensuu, released by O.Y. Fox Films A.B. – VET 40874 – K16 – 2461 m / 83 min. A 3D 2K DCP reconstruction by Münchner Filmmuseum viewed in XpanD at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (3D), 13 April 2012.

IMDb synopsis: "A tough, hard-driving business tycoon suffers a broken leg and is left to die in the desert by his scheming wife and her greedy lover."

In our 3D retrospective, Inferno is like a combination of two other famous 3D movies: Robinson Crusoe (the man's survival adventure in a deserted place) and Dial M for Murder (a triangle drama with a "perfect crime"). In his introductory lecture show Stefan Drössler singled out Inferno as one of the best 3D movies. It indeed is. For me, 3D is an anti-realistic device, and in Inferno the 3D supports the sense of dizziness in the heat of the desert. It is also expressive of Donald's vertigo as he descends from the mountain. Even more thematically, it expresses the sense of a fundamental distrust in relationships. Donald's tragedy is his wealth: because of it he cannot know who really likes him. Finally, the 3D has a metaphysical function as an expression of a profound distrust in our senses and our perception of the world.

Roy Baker has a good sense of mise en scène. The screenplay starts in medias res. The characters are portrayed largely through action, while the dialogues and Donald's monologue are important, too. The single 3D effects (the rattlesnake, the cabin fire) are successful.

The 2K DCP reconstruction of Münchner Filmmuseum is successful. The use of Technicolor is subtle. No problem with image brightness.

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