With Britain in the thick of World War II, and America on the verge, air power is vital to the cause of freedom. But when a ring of saboteurs is thought to be interfering with the flow of American airplanes to the U.K., FBI agent Tim Hanley (George Brent) and his Scotland Yard counterpart Reggie Oliver (Basil Rathbone) are called upon to work together to expose the Nazi threat to liberty.
Hanley and Oliver’s suspicions soon fall upon Carla Nillson (Ilona Massey), a stunningly beautiful singer who is believed to be the principal agent responsible for passing along vital Allied secrets to the Axis “higher-ups”. As he trails Carla from London to Lisbon, and then to New York, Tim desperately wants to believe in her innocence… particularly since he’s fallen in love!
A crackerjack yarn of espionage and amour, International Lady (1941) spotlights three captivating performances by its star trio of George Brent, Ilona Massey and Basil Rathbone—with the banter between Brent’s Hanley and Rathbone’s Oliver providing an occasional lighter touch along the way.
For thoughts on International Lady, please check out our discussion on The Video Attic:
International Lady makes its Blu-Ray debut thanks to ClassicFlix with a 1080p master that for the most part is very pleasing. The fetching black-and-white photography sparkles in high definition with natural grain intact and only a bit variable in points. Black levels are very deep with no overwhelming occurrence of black crush or compression artifacts. The contrast is well defined, and the track only experiences the most minor specks of damage. Understandably, the stock footage utilized in a few spots is a step down in quality. There is a pleasing amount of detail present with nice textures on the clothing and within the production design. Some shots do seem to be presented with a hazy filtered aesthetic which reduces the clarity and detail. While not quite a 5-star effort, ClassicFlix has done some marvelous work here and any fan should be pleased with the quality.
The Blu-Ray comes with a good DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio track that serves this movie relatively well. Dialogue and background noises are represented in perfect harmony with all competing elements. The track does have an overall tinge of hollowness which can present with a lot of titles of this vintage. It also presents some amount of age-related wear and tear, mostly in moments of distortion in Lucien Moraweck’s score. The music never overpowers the dialogue or other important information. Even with some core source issues, ClassicFlix has done their best to provide the most stable track possible for this one.
There are no special features provided on this disc.
International Lady is a fine mix of spy intrigue and palpable romance that never really stands out nor disappoints. Lovers of the genre will find this to be a pretty enjoyable time thanks to its strong ensemble and steady direction from Tim Whelan. It even provides some well-timed humor to add some buoyancy to the mood of the feature. ClassicFlix has provided a Blu-Ray featuring a solid A/V presentation but nothing in the way of special features. If you are a fan of spy thrillers centered around World War II, this is worth a watch. Recommended
International Lady is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray and DVD.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: ClassicFlix has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.