Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Film Noir Double Feature Vol 2 The Chase/Bury Me Dead|
Actors: Robert Cummings, Michele Morgan, Steve Cochran, Lloyd Corrigan, Jack Holt
Directors: Arthur Ripley, Bernard Vorhaus
Genres: Classics, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Volume two in our series of Film Noir double-bills features three stars better known for their TV personas - Robert Cummings (Love That Bob), June Lockhart (the mom on Lassie) and Hugh Beaumont (the 'Beave's' dad on Lea... more »
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Pretty good, overall...
Michael C. Glancy | Clinton,OK United States | 10/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This dvd contains 2 films: THE CHASE (1946--85 min.) starring Robert Cummings, Michelle Morgan, Steve Cochran, and Peter Lorre. This is a pretty good movie about a guy who finds a mobsters' wallet, returns it to him, becomes the mobsters' chauffeur, then becomes dangerously involved with the mobsters' wife. A little on the surreal side but still a good film. This film is said to have the most dreamlike atmosphere of all the noir titles. The audio and video quality is pretty good also. Before the film starts, there is an explanation of how difficult the restoration was. It talks about finding only 1 good print and dealing with a soundtrack that had sprocket holes in it. I think they did a very good job of cleaning this film up and bringing it up to par for DVD audiences. The audio during the opening titles of this movie isn't too good, but it clears up once the story starts. This is the better movie of the 2 in my opinion.
The second film is BURY ME DEAD (1947--68 min.) starring Hugh Beaumont, June Lockhart, and Cathy O'Donnell. This is an OK film about a woman who shows up at her own funeral then tries to find out who wanted her dead. The audio and video quality on this film is not too bad. The clarity is somewhat soft and the audio has some static here and there. This is probably the best print of this film available. Let's remember that this was just another B movie that was made by PRC, a poverty row independent studio. We're probably fortunate that this film still exists.
As extras, there is a commentary on both films by Jay Fenton, a noirish Superman cartoon titled SHOWDOWN (1942), some film noir posters and trailers, and a 25 minute film called DEATH BY PROXY which is a condensed version of BURY ME DEAD. This looks to be a 16mm film bought from a catalog for home viewing years ago.
All in all this is a pretty good disc, especially for the price. This may very well be the best presentation that both of these films get on DVD.
2 killer noirs, plus great bonus features!
Dave | Tennessee United States | 07/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To begin with, the main reason I purchased the VCI Film Noir Double Feature Vol. 2 dvd was because I wanted a better-restored version of "The Chase". The Alpha dvd I owned of that movie was virtually unwatchable, and I was glad to see that VCI had vastly improved the picture quality. Although there's about a 60-second scene in the movie where the picture is terrible, other than that it's very clear. Unfortunately VCI could not fix the annoying audio problems with "The Chase" and that was a letdown, yet I doubt you'll ever find a better print of this movie anywhere. The same thing happened with "Bury Me Dead": impressive picture quality, terrible sound quality. Still, VCI did their best to restore these two underated noirs, and the bonus features make up for the poor audio quality of the films.
First, we have the bizarre, dreamlike "The Chase" from 1946, based loosely on Cornel Woolrich's novel _The Black Path of Fear_. Robert Cummings stars as Chuck Scott, a penniless WW2 veteran who happens to find a wallet filled with cash. But because he's a "sucker", he returns the wallet to it's owner, who happens to be Eddie Roman (Steve Cochran), a wealthy gangster. Eddie's right-hand man Gino (Peter Lorre) doesn't like or trust Chuck, but Eddie does, and he hires Chuck as his new chauffer. Chuck likes his new job but soon falls for Eddie's beautiful wife Lorna (Michèle Morgan), who desperately wants to escape her mean and violent husband. The next thing you know Lorna and Chuck have fled to Havana, Cuba, with Gino (and other henchmen) hot on their trail.
Several murders later, we find out that the whole thing's been a nightmare in the troubled mind of Chuck. By the end of the movie the viewer doesn't quite know what to believe, except that this is clearly the most bizarre film noir ever made! I'd already seen this movie twice, but I never understood it entirely until I watched it with the commentary by Jay Fenton. Of course, there were some oddities in the movie that even he couldn't explain! I can understand why many viewers might not enjoy this movie, but I love it more everytime I watch it. The acting was excellent, not just Robert Cummings and Michèle Morgan but also Steve Cochran and Peter Lorre, who always played villians to perfection.
"The Chase" is unusually violent, even by 1940's film noir standards. There's two scenes where women get slapped or punched, one where a man gets killed by a big dog, one with a woman getting stabbed, two scenes of people getting shot, and one with a car getting destroyed (with two people inside) by a speeding train!
Next, we have the odd noir comedy "Bury Me Dead" from 1947. June Lockhart stars as Barbara Carlin, who near the beginning of the movie attends her own funeral (how noir is that?!?). All she knows is that another woman is burried in her grave, and someone had tried to murder her. Now that her husband Rod (Mark Daniels), family lawyer Michael Dunn (Hugh Beaumont), and adopted sister Rusty (Cathy O'Donnell) know that she's alive, she carefully recounts the previous days (via flashbacks) to see which one had the best motive for trying to kill her. She trusts the family lawyer, but Rusty hates her and Michael had been having an affair with another woman, so she watches her back. It isn't long before another attempt on her life is made, and this time the killer won't mistake another woman for Barbara...
"Bury Me Dead" has a fine mixture of humor and suspense, but the thing that really makes it special is John Alton's incredible cinematography. This low-budget "B" film noir was one of many released by the short-lived Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC) during the mid-1940's, and in spite of the awful audio quality the movie is very entertaining. I first saw Cathy O'Donnell in "The Best Years of our Lives" and she was just as impressive in this, and both June Lockhart and Hugh Beaumont give exceptional performances. The bonus features are awesome and include several noir trailers, a poster gallery (which strangely includes many of Rear Window, a movie I've never considered to be a film noir), optional commentary with both movies, and biographies/filmographies of the main stars of each movie. You probably won't find better-quality prints of these films anywhere else, so I highly recommend this well-priced dvd for fans of film noir."
Worthwhile noir detour
rommyc | LOS ANGELES, CA USA | 03/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"2 strong B noir contenders on one disc, well packaged and presented. Jay Fenton's commentary is sometimes useful and sometimes obvious, the extras are a great bonus.
Bury Me Dead is part of an odd sub-genre I would call comic noir, the motifs and themes are the same but it's full of jokes, puns, and wisecracks. Also tries to be trendy by dragging psychoanalysis into the plot to no advantage. June Lockhart is pleasant enough to look at but, to quote a review of a more famous actress, her emotions run the gamut from A to B.
For the price and the rarity of these titles, this is a great addition to one's noir collection."
A special favorite of mine...
Classic Gent | Rochester, NY United States | 03/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It has a convoluted plot which leaves a number of questions unanswered but if you don't mind dreamy, impressionistic films The Chase may be for you. I found it an outstanding (though atypical) example of the noir style and hard to forget. As explained in the DVD notes, this VCI edition is probably the best quality possible given the flawed source print. The 2nd film on this double feature disc, Bury Me Dead, is a so-so "comedy noir" featuring June Lockhart and Hugh Beaumont. My rating applies only to The Chase with no deduction for the substandard video/audio which apparently can't be helped.