The Film (3.5/5)
Kino Lorber’s assault on releasing unreleased, obscure crime and Film Noirs that are part of the MGM vaults continues with their latest gem, Hidden Fear. John Payne, from 99 River Street (also released by Kino Lorber), stars as a cop, Mike Brent, who goes to Denmark to clear his sister’s name of a murder she didn’t commit. Working with Danish officers, he investigates the crime and discovers that she was involved with a man who was part of a group of counterfeiters. Brent spends the rest of the film going after the gang to prove her innocence, including getting into a few fist fights and some cat and mouse chase scenes; but also in his spare time gets to mingle and flirt with a few attractive Danish ladies. All in the line of duty as they said.
Hidden Fear is a movie I had waited months to see when it was first announced that it would be given a Blu-ray release and I was not disappointed at all. The film moves a nice pace, thanks to the direction of the brilliant director Andre De Toth (House of Wax), which includes a few fight scenes, a thrilling car chase, and a boat fight climax. John Payne is great as tough guy cop Mike Brent, using his forceful American style methods to solve the crime (which the Danish officers aren’t too fond of) as were the rest of the cast, which includes Alexander Knox (Two of a Kind, Modesty Blaise) and Conrad Nagel (One Million BC, The Divorcee). The females in Hidden Fear were also really strong and / or cunning such as Anne Neyland as Virginia Kelly.
Just as the case for Shield for Murder, Kino Lorber brings Hidden Fear out of the MGM graveyard of unreleased 50s crime films , and results are very good at best. It is presented in widescreen, 1:85:1, with an all new 1080p transfer, and an MPEG 4 AVC encode. Daylight scenes look terrific, but the dark scenes seem a little hazy in some spots, as it will not be the greatest contrast you will see, but it is certainly more than watchable. Grain is very present. My hunch is the film elements in Hidden Fear were not in the best condition and Kino did the best that could be done with what they had
The audio for Hidden Fear is what Kino Lorber uses for 99% of their releases, which is DTS-HD Master Audio English 2.0. The dialog and other sounds such as gunfire, and music are just fine.
There isn’t much in the way of extras which was the case for Shield for Murder, but that’s how it goes with some older releases. Not every film is going to be loaded with extras. We do get trailers for the following this movie along with Shield for Murder, 99 River Street, and He Ran All The Way
Hidden Fear just like Shield for Murder, and 99 River Street is another strong entry in Kino’s lineup of crime and Film Noirs. Even though the picture quality isn’t quite as good as some of their other releases with the already mentioned titles, it’s still a solid release, because you get a really good classic film to watch in HD, as MGM showed no interest in releasing it on home video. We have Kino Lorber to thank for getting movies like these on blu ray.