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I Wouldn’t Be In Your Shoes (Blu-ray Review)

This month from Warner Archive Collection sees a pair of classic noir tales being restored and brought to the Blu-ray format for the very first time. One of those is the 1948 American film noir I Wouldn’t Be In Your Shoes directed by William Nigh, starring Don Castle and Elyse Knox.  The film is based on the 1943 Cornell Woolrich novel of the same name. Warner Archive Collection is putting it out, like Step By Step, with a short film and a cartoon as bonus features. The film is making its debut to the Blu-ray format on July 20th. You can pre-order it using the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review.

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Film

I Wouldn’t Be In Your Shoes is a captivating tale about a down-on-his luck dancer set-up to be wrongly accused of murder (Don Castle), and the efforts of his devoted wife (Elyse Knox) to prove his innocence against all odds. Virtually unseen for decades, and now restored from original nitrate elements, this little gem of a film will impress new audiences and once seen, not soon be forgotten.

Future Oscar®-winning producer Walter Mirisch (In the Heat of the Night) broke into the film business at poverty-row studio Monogram Pictures, with his first film “FALL GUY” in 1947, based on a short story by Cornell Woolrich. The next year Mirisch brought another production derived from a Woolrich work to the studio, with this 1948 Film-noir with a modest budget, a little-known cast, and directed by screen veteran William Nigh. The result was “I WOULDN’T BE IN YOUR SHOES”.

There’s a good noir switcheroo that takes place in I Wouldn’t Be In Your Shoes. Typically females are left for being the girl next door or the dangerous woman with a doomed connection to the mystery. However, in this film, she’s the protagonist. She’s the one out, about, getting clues and trying to catch the one her framed her man. It plays a little more light hearted, but altogether works and provides some solid fun and a welcome change of pace.

This isn’t a perfect noir, but it delivers staples and isn’t afraid to usher in some nice comedy. The tone of this one isn’t quite as dark, but the good mystery is still there. There are also some good moments, though one in the prison doesn’t feel fitting of a noir, but its nice so I’ll take it. I’d never seen this one before, but it really did live up to its title and also delivered something unique to the genre and that you don’t see much from this era.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: I Wouldn’t Be In Your Shoes arrives on Blu-ray looking pretty gorgeous in its transfer. I’m certain its at least a 2K transfer as details were not provided. Its a rather well defined image, with a nice grain structure and terrific details all about.

Depth:  Depth of field showcases some good moments inside the prison and on the backlot alleyways and such to deliver a sense of spacing and scale. Movements are cinematic and smooth.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and provide a palette of many different shades and tints that hold on and carry good texture and pattern information throughout. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: N/A

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are a white/gray and are consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures are clear and visible from any reasonable distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio

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

Subtitles: English SDH

DynamicsI Wouldn’t Be In Your Shoes has a terrific mono track that makes this film feel very fresh in its old age. There’s a little hiss to provide an analog bass for a rather well layered mix with good depth and balance.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp with a bit of an analog hiss as a base.

Extra

Warner Short Drama: The Symphony Murder Mystery (HD, 21:27)

Warner Cartoon: Holiday For Shoestrings (HD, 7:22)

Summary

I Wouldn’t Be In Your Shoes is a neat little mystery that really does a good job of putting a female protagonist front and center in one of these noir movies for a change. Warner Archive’s presentation of the film on Blu-ray is terrific in both the video and audio departments. And I’m loving the short film and cartoon as bonus features on these noir releases. Check this one out if you’re a fan or noirs or wait on a sale to get it at the price more fitting for you.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a 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. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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