Appointment With Crime (Blu-ray Review)

Appointment-With-CrimeDirected and written by John Harlow (Dangerous Cargo), Appointment with Crime stars William Hartnell (TV’s  original Doctor Who or “the first doctor” for us fans) & Raymond Lovell (49th Parallel).  The stylish British noir co-stars Herbert Lom (A Shot in the Dark) as the reptilian crime lord Gregory Lang and Joyce Howard (Shadow of the Past) as Carol Dane, a woman drawn to the dangerous Leo Martin.  The good folks over at Olive Films will be presenting this on Blu-ray June 21.  Check out our review below and if you’re interested, go ahead and pre-order it from the link at the bottom.



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Leo Martin, a “smash & grab” thief working for crime boss Gus Loman, is caught by the police during a robbery gone wrong that leaves his wrists broken. Abandoned by Loman at the scene of the crime, Martin vows revenge against the boss who left him to shoulder the blame.

There was one reason and one reason only I had interest to check out Appointment With Crime; William Hartnell.  As a Doctor Who fan, I know him as the original Doctor that started this whole thing off.  However, I was not familiar with any of his work outside of the television series.  So, needless to say when I see “1940s film noir starring William Hartnell” I become very intrigued.

The film itself is a devious little one.  Rather than featuring someone stumbling upon some corruption or trying to escape a mob, it features a member setting out to get his revenge on them.  All the while, none of them know who is pulling off these murders.  Its a film that features elements, stylistic choices and character tropes you come to love in the genre.  My real beef with it comes in the form of the pacing and the fact that the plot’s structure starts to become rather repetitive.

How’s Hartnell in it, though?  That’s the question.  He’s quite spooky, honestly.  The man is 17 years away from playing the Doctor and is much much younger.  His appearance still looks like the man.  Its in his performance that he is pretty much unrecognizable.  Its astonishing how good he is as this evil mob goon.  Pretty impressive and makes me believe this guy has mad talent that us in the United States really haven’t seen because his work is mostly British and so very old and likely unavailable.

This film is rather so so.  I’m a pretty big fan of noir and this one really wasn’t all for me aside from checking out Hartnell.  I’d say mostly this one would be for Doctor Who fans to check out and maybe film noir enthusiasts.  A pretty niche crowd in the recommendation.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1

Clarity/Detail:  Appointment With Crime comes to Blu-ray from Olive Films with a pretty impressive transfer that I wasn’t expecting.  The film’s print used looks rather clean looking with little sign of age or wear.  Detail comes through moreso than you’d expect.  It also has a pretty crisp image.

Depth:  Decent.  There’s smooth movement with minimal blur and the spacing between actor, object and set is adequate.

Black Levels:  Blacks are rather above average here.  No real detail lost, still present on clothing and such.  No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  N/A

Flesh Tones:  Facial details come through pretty solid in closeups and most medium shots, showing texture and features.

Noise/Artifacts:  Some grain, minimal specs/dirt.

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Audio Format(s): English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  Appointment With Crime’s original mono mix sounds quite lovely and gives an accurate sounding presentation to how it likely stood theatrically back in the day.  You can hear normal old analog recording sounds in the mix, but that’s part of the charm.  The track isn’t wowing, but it does the trick.

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue has an analog his to it, but is set to a good volume with plenty of clarity.

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Appointment With Crime contains no supplemental material.

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Basically, this is a film noir brought about to check out a Doctor Who actor before he was cast in the iconic role.  To me, at least, that was the interest.  I’d never heard much about this film before.  It was neat to check out, but I think that’s about all I can do with it.  Olive Films gives it a really good presentation.  For the price its currently at, if you’re a super collector and curious, check it out.



Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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