Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Film Noir Classic Collection Vol 4 |
Act of Violence / Mystery Street / Crime Wave / Decoy / Illegal / The Big Steal / They Live By Night / Side Street / Where Danger Lives / Tension
Actors: Robert Mitchum, Claude Rains, Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, Gene Nelson
Directors: André De Toth, Anthony Mann, Don Siegel, Fred Zinnemann, Jack Bernhard
Genres: Classics, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Ex-World War II pilot Frank Enley (Van Heflin) is a respected contractor and family man. Then his troubled, gimp-legged bombardier (Robert Ryan) shows up with a gun and a score to settle. Perhaps neither man is what he see... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
10 lesser-known but excellent Film Noirs make it to DVD
calvinnme | 04/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collection is the DVD debut for all ten of these films, and I don't even know if any of them are available on VHS. I've only seen them thanks to Turner Classic Movies playing them at odd hours, along with other cable channels presenting them over the years. They are excellent but not well remembered film noirs. I would rate them all between 4 and 5 stars. I thought I would list their descriptions, stars, and special features below, not in any particular order:
Crime Wave: (1954) Starring Sterling Hayden and Gene Nelson. An ex-con is trying to go straight, but circumstances force him into crime one more time. Gene Nelson plays a hard-nosed cop. Note a young Charles Bronson playing a minor role.
Commentary by James Ellroy and Eddie Muller
Crime Wave: The City is Dark
Decoy: (1946) Starring Gene Gillie and Edward Norris. Sci-Fi meets Film Noir in this story of a woman who will stop at nothing to retrieve 400K stolen in a robbery. Gillie would make Barbara Stanwyck proud as she chews up man after man in her quest.
Commentary by Stanley Rubin and Glenn Erickson
Decoy: A Map to Nowhere
Illegal: (1955) Starring Edward G. Robinson and Nina Foch. Robinson plays a D.A. whose upwardly mobile career faces a train wreck when a man he convicted is executed and then found to be innocent. After he hits bottom he resurrects his legal career, this time as a criminal attorney. The plot can be hard to follow, but Robinson's performance is great.
Commentary by Nina Foch and Patricia King Hanson
Illegal: Marked for Life
Behind the Cameras: Edward G. Robinson
The Big Steal: (1949) Starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer. The lead duo from "Out of the Past" trade wisecracks and insults in a cross-country chase over a suitcase full of stolen money. For once, Mitchum is actually not the bad guy. Almost too much fun to be considered Film Noir.
Commentary by Richard B. Jewell
The Big Steal: Look Behind You
They Live By Night: (1948) Starring Cathy O'Donnell and Farley Granger. The story of an escaped convict trying to live a normal life with the help of his girlfriend. Granger plays the convict who isn't entirely bad, but not entirely reformed either.
Commentary by Farley Granger and Eddie Muller
They Live By Night: The Twisted Road
Side Street: (1950) Starring Cathy O'Donnell and Farley Granger. Granger plays a struggling husband trying to make ends meet when he spots some cash lying around in an office one day. He takes the money, but finds out it is much more than he thought. When he tries to return the money, he gets caught up in a murder mystery. Hitchcock-like in its twists and turns.
Commentary by Richard Schickel
Side Street: Where Temptation Lurks
Where Danger Lives: (1950) Starring Robert Mitchum and Faith Domergue. The plot is somewhat unbelievable, even for Film Noir, but Mitchum gives a strong performance that makes it worthwhile. Mitchum plays a doctor who becomes taken with a patient. Due to a concussion, his judgement becomes clouded and he believes he has murdered the patient's husband. He and the woman go on the run, have some strange adventures, and then Mitchum realizes what kind of illness his new girlfriend was being treated for in the first place.
Commentary by Alain Silver and James Ursini
Where Danger Lives: White Rose for Julie
Tension: (1950) Starring Richard Basehart and Audrey Trotter. Basehart plays a mild-mannered man whose salary and disposition are not enough for his wife. She leaves him for a tough and wealthy man. Why Basehart would want her back is anyone's guess, but he does and plans to murder his wife's new boyfriend. The tough guy is murdered, but not by Basehart's character.
Commentary by Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward with Audrey Trotter
Tension: Who's Guilty Now?
Act of Violence: (1948) Starring Van Heflin and Robert Ryan. Van Heflin plays a family man trying to adapt to life after the war and internment in a prison camp. Enter Robert Ryan, who plays a man with Terminator-like determination in his quest to murder Heflin's character for something that happened during their joint stay in the German prison camp.
Commentary by Dr. Drew Casper
Act of Violence: Dealing With the Devil
Mystery Street: (1950) Starring Ricardo Montalban and Sally Forrest. Montalban plays a detective who, working with a forensics expert, tries to solve a murder case and exonerate the lone circumstantial suspect. One of the first films I know of to use science to help solve a murder decades before DNA made this aspect of crime solving so interesting and important.
Commentary by Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward
Mystery Street: Murder at Harvard
Fun collection...excellent transfers GREAT extras!!
Richardson | Sunny California USA | 07/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay...I'll let others go into the actual films..
I enjoy them all for different reasons but am a noir fan and a big fan of Mitchum and Sterling Hayden who appear here so I didn't need convincing to purchase. Lets not forget these are directed by Andre De Toth, Nicholas Ray,Don Siegel, Anthony Mann,John Sturges and Fred Zinnemann...legends all. Its also fun to see Charles Bronson as a bit player in "Crime Wave" along with Gene Nelson (not singing or dancing in this one) as well as a young Janet Leigh in "Act OF Violence".
I'd like to review the DVDs themselves...(having just made my way through much of this).
first ...the transfers are excellent (typical for WB's older titles)
The extras...commentaries are by legit experts who know the films and add real value.The commentary by James Ellroy on Crime WAve is the most unbelievably NONPC and hysterically funny/interseting one I've ever heard PERIOD. The short featurettes are also enlightening and give extra value to the project as well as info on the films which added to my enjoymment. These featurettes which feature folks like Oliver Stone, show film clips and the interview subjects are shot/lit very noirish which ads to the flavor and class of this presentation.
I picked this up for $39...thats $4 per film!! If you are a noir fan its simply a no brainer and if you aren't ...why are you reading this(not being smart , sincere). If you have an interest you will not be dissapointed with the quality of the presentation on these films. I agree with the other reviewer..after a slight misstep on NOIR 3..WB is back on the ball...great job!
Carl Tait | New York, NY USA | 08/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Whoever put this collection together should get a promotion, a raise, and a personal letter of thanks from every serious noir fan. This is an absolutely wonderful assortment of moody, gritty noirs that deserve to be better known. Of the ten (yes, TEN!) movies in this collection, none except "The Big Steal" has ever been on commercial VHS, much less DVD. "Decoy" is so scarce that the only version generally circulating before now was taken from a European TV broadcast, complete with Croatian subtitles.
Before anyone gets the wrong idea: these are not masterpieces. They are, however, very good movies and quintessential noir. The selection has been made with care and affection. This set is ideal for newcomers to noir who have seen a number of the genre cornerstones and want to further steep themselves in the essential style without the glitter of A-list productions. Dedicated noirphiles, of course, have been awaiting official high-quality transfers of these films for years.
I can't say enough good things about this set. The intelligent mini-documentaries for each film and the insanely low price tag are the icing on this ten-layer cake. We can only hope the same people will be in charge of Volume 5 of this series! Maybe we'll get a similar assortment of worthwhile "Never on home video" films such as The Breaking Point, Cry of the City, The Locket, My Name is Julia Ross, Nightfall, The Prowler, Screaming Mimi, Talk About a Stranger, The 13th Letter, The Unsuspected, The Verdict, and more. (Okay, I didn't bother to check who owns the rights to those movies, but you get the idea.)
After a mis-step with volume 3, Warners gets back on track
Brucifer | Boston, MA | 07/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I as a little annoyed with Volume 3 in the series. The films were all good choices (let's face it, I'm a noir completist, so just about any classic noirs making it to DVD qualify as good choices to me), but the packaging was irritating - the titles were not sold individually and they were packaged in dinky slim cases not in keeping with the rest of the series. Now, not only has Warners gone back to the original packaging, but they are generously offering 10 films as double features for the same price as the previous 5, all of them great lesser-known choices (the top of the heap here being Crime Wave, They Live by Night, Act of Violence, and Where Danger Lives), plus commentaries and short documentaries for each and every feature and the original trailers for many of the films. Here's hoping for Volume 5 - I can't imagine there's much left in the vaults, but then again I believe Warners owns the whole RKO catalog, so there are probably enough additional titles to make another set. Note to Warner's - please release ALL of your noir holdings. And don't forget about some of the espionage films that fall loosely into the noir category - perhaps a separate box set of those?"