Quelqu'un derrière la porte

(Someone Behind The Door)

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Details At A Glance

Category Thriller Main Menu Audio
Scene Selection Animation
Charles Bronson Filmography
Photo Gallery
Howling III Trailer
Communion Trailer
Pterodactyl Woman From Beverly Hills Trailer
Rating m.gif (1166 bytes)
Year Released 1971
Running Time
91:10 Minutes
(Not 93 Minutes as per packaging)
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 1,2,3,4,5,6 Director Nicolas Gessner
Raymond Danon Films
Starring Charles Bronson
Viviane Everly
Henri Garcin
Case Alpha
RPI $24.95 Music Georges Garvarentz
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1?
Macrovision ? Smoking No
Subtitles None Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    It was with some fatigue settling in that I sat down to view Quelqu'un derrière la porte, or Someone Behind The Door as it was retitled in the USA, Two Minds For Murder as it was retitled in the UK. Based on the Jacques Robert novel of the same name, Quelqu'un derrière la porte is the story of The Stranger (Charles Bronson), who turns up in a hospital with amnesia, and a doctor named Laurence (Anthony Perkins), who tries to use him as a tool. Essentially, Laurence is a neurosurgeon with a cheating wife who takes this amnesiac into his home, then conditions said amnesiac to believe that the cheating wife is his own, and to take action.

    Anthony Perkins gives a performance in this film that you could put your drink, or your feet, on top of. You can forgive Charles Bronson's acting because he is Charles Bronson and he's actually meant to be acting like he doesn't know what he's doing here. Everyone else in the film may as well be a prop, and this arrangement does work reasonably well until the last couple of reels.

    Any more discussion of this film's plot is really pointless where this review is concerned, because this video transfer really gets in the way of the film. Regardless of how hard I tried to concentrate on the dialogue or the cinematography or something other than how bad the picture looks, I just couldn't get the picture out of my mind. It's enough to remind me of the first time I saw a VHS cassette that had languished on the shelves for ten years.

Transfer Quality


   The packaging claims that this DVD is "Digitally Re-Mastered From Original Print" - I don't think so. Just how bad is this transfer? Well, since the original release of Dune will soon be superseded by a special edition that is in the proper aspect ratio and will be distributed by Infogrames, I think this transfer is in with a pretty good chance of becoming the worst of the worst.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and it is not 16x9 Enhanced. Information on what ratio this transfer has been cropped down from is hard to come by, but the position of reel change markings in this transfer leads me to believe it is either 1.66:1 or 1.85:1, although I can't say for certain what ratio this film is supposed to be in.

    You can forget about sharpness in this transfer, because it reminds me of an old video capture that has been stretched to twice its normal size. Shadow detail is almost non-existent here, too, although it would probably be the best aspect of the transfer. Low-level noise is a serious problem for this transfer, and plagues the picture to an extent that leads me to believe that this is merely an upconverted VHS master.

    The colours are almost always completely washed out, with little to no variance between one shade and another. At 9:11, the colours fade into darkness and the entire picture almost turns grey with noise. You could be forgiven for thinking you were watching an old print of a 1950s film, the colours looked that bad through most of the feature.

    MPEG artefacts were not really a problem in this transfer, since the whole picture looks dull and washed out before the effects of the compression become noticeable. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some aliasing at 6:44, and some mis-aligned frames at 19:54. Film artefacts consisted of a vertical scratch at 19:51, and some reel change markings at 18:28 and 73:22, which appear in the extreme right of the picture. They appear to have been cut in half by the Pan & Scan cropping, but their solid black appearance, as much as the low-level noise will allow, and yellow outline make them hard to confuse with any other type of artefact. Overall, this is quite honestly the worst video transfer I have ever seen, and it would make an excellent two-pack with Howling III to demonstrate all the things that go wrong when DVD is done the wrong way.


    Well, if the video quality is dire enough to make me want to throw this disc at the wall, at least the audio quality is better. Not so much better that it can save this presentation, but at least it is passable. There is only one soundtrack on this DVD: the original English dialogue in Dolby Digital 2.0 with surround encoding. Again, it would appear that Avenue One have merely spliced together two Dolby Digital 2.0 mono mixes to create this soundtrack, rather than remixing the original soundtrack into a genuine matrixed mix.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times, a real credit to whomever produced this soundtrack, considering how heavily reliant upon dialogue the feature is. There are no perceptible problems with audio sync. Some hiss is present in the soundtrack from time to time, but this is a relatively minor problem that didn't distract too much from the film.

    The score music is credited to Georges Garvarentz, and sounds rather non-descript when it is present, which is not very often. I could only remember the music being present for a small portion of the film, which could very well be the same with or without this score, it contributes so little to the overall experience. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the score music was added as an afterthought.

    As with other Avenue One DVDs of this generation, there are no split surround or split stereo effects in this soundtrack, even of the limited kind that one might expect from a matrixed mix. This is largely because Avenue One have seen fit to take two 2.0 mono soundtracks and combine them into a singular 2.0 surround encoded mix, which seems to yield the effect of placing the output from the left and right channels into the centre channel and the monaural rear channel provided for by this format. Once again, it sounds like the soundtrack is coming from each channel in its entirety, rather than effectively separated between the channels, making the mix about as effective as a straight monaural soundtrack. The subwoofer was occasionally present to support something that was present in the soundtrack, but it didn't seem to have that much integration into the mix, merely producing an intermittent rumble.



    The main menu is accompanied by Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded audio, while the scene selection menus are animated. The menus are not 16x9 Enhanced, and give a good indication of the sort of quality, in terms of both plot and transfer, you can expect from the feature.

Charles Bronson Filmography

    A listing of the ninety-plus films that Charles Bronson has appeared in, which makes a nice check-list if you're a determined completist.

Photo Gallery

    A collection of unannotated stills from both behind the scenes of the film and from what looks like such events as the premiere.

Howling III Trailer

    This ninety-five second trailer is presented in the aspect ratio of 1.78:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. It is plagued by low-level noise, dot crawl, misaligned frames, and just about any other artefact relating to poor source material you care to name.

Communion Trailer

    Clocking in at fifty-four seconds, the video quality of this 2.35:1 trailer is just plain dire. The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is plagued with hissing.

Pterodactyl Woman From Beverly Hills Trailer

    This two-minute and ten-second trailer is presented in the aspect ratio of 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. The name of the film should give you a good idea of the sort of quality you can expect from this trailer.

R4 vs R1

    Lucky for them, Region 1 miss out on this disc.


    Someone Behind The Door is an average thriller that just didn't quite work for me, although I suspect this is because of the DVD's quality.

    The video quality is bad enough to make your eyes water.

    The audio quality is distinctly ordinary.

    The extras are minimal.

Ratings (out of 5)

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© Dean McIntosh (my bio sucks... read it anyway)
February 3, 2000 
Review Equipment
DVD Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output
Display Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm) in 16:9 and 4:3 modes, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built In (Amplifier)
Amplification Sony STR-DE835, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NS-C120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer