"The Big Clock" is a brilliant labyrinth of dark humor and cyclical twists and turns - rather like riding a funhouse car into the murky blackness of uncertainty but with the nervous expectation that you are about to be frightened out of your mind. The film is a taut, lean thriller that presents a curious predicament for its hero, George Stroud (Ray Milland). He's a star reporter who is assigned to cover the murder of a mysterious woman by his punctually obsessed editor, Earl Janoth (Charles Laughton). There's just one little wrinkle that needs to be overcome; the overworked Stroud not only knows the woman in question but spent the night with her before she met with her untimely demise. There's also something else to consider; the woman was Janoth's mistress. Now the question arises for Stroud: how to accurately cover the scoop, report all the facts, expose the killer and keep his own name out of the proceedings. Both men are feverishly working to solve the crime, unwittingly culminating in accusations that will expose both their prior relationships with the corpse. Elsa Lanchester appears as Louise Patterson, the high-strung painter whose sketch of the prime suspect slowly begins to take on the figure of George Stroud. "The Big Clock" was remade in 1987 as the Kevin Costner thriller, "No Way Out".
THE TRANSFER: The gray scale is solid, deep and rich blacks and very smooth looking whites. There are instances where contrast levels appear somewhat low and fine detail seems slightly out of focus. Often there's a muddy quality to the image. Occasionally pixelization breaks apart the background information - but only briefly and usually between dissolves. There's also a minor hint of edge enhancement that is barely noticeable. The audio is mono but very nicely cleaned up. There are no extras.