Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Hammer Film Noir Collector's Set Vol 2 |
Terror Street / Wings of Danger / The Glass Tomb / Paid to Kill / The Black Glove / The Deadly Game / The Unholy Four / A Race for Life
Actor: Dan Duryea
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Now available from VCI Entertainment. The Hammer Film Noir Collector?s Set2. This set contains Volumes 4 thru 7 of our popular DVD Film Noir collection series. Each Volume comes in its own case. Volume 4 of the Hammer Noir... more »
A fun set of forgotten films
mrliteral | 04/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I suppose I've always had an affection for semi-obscure films. Even if they're just average, there's something special about seeing a movie that few can even recall. Back before Hammer Films became famous for its horror movies, it had put out a slew of these "B" movies, working with American producer Robert Lippert. The Hammer Film Noir Collector's Set 2 is a boxed set of eight such movies, representing Volumes 4 through 7 in the series (the first three are in a separate collection).
In Volume 4, there is Terror Street and Wings of Danger. Terror Street has star Dan Duryea as an American Air Force pilot returning to London after months away, where he soon finds his wife leading a second life which will get her killed and him accused of the crime. Wings of Danger has Zachary Scott as a different pilot dealing with health issues and getting tangled up with murder and smuggling.
The big stars in Volume 5 are John Ireland and Dane Clark. Ireland runs a circus of sorts in The Glass Tomb, drawing people in to observe a man go without food for weeks. When an acquaintance of theirs is killed, Ireland must balance the need to find the killer against his opportunity to make a buck. Clark is in Paid to Kill, and the person he has paid to kill is himself in an attempt to provide for his wife as his business is on the brink of failure; when his fortunes turn around, he tries to stop the job, but the hired man has disappeared.
Volume 6 has The Black Glove and Deadly Game. The former has a trumpeter (Alex Nicol) implicated in the murder of a singer; tracking down this killer will involve getting in the world of musical piracy. Deadly Game has Lloyd Bridges as a vacationing music student left holding a mysterious envelope when the friend he was supposed to deliver it to has been killed.
Finally, Volume 7 has The Unholy Four, which opens with a missing-and-presumed-dead businessman reappearing after four years, and out to find the man who left him injured and with temporary amnesia. Of course, others die and both the businessman and possibly cheating wife stand accused of the crime. At this point, they must have run out of murder stories, because the second feature on this disc is Race for Life, a predictable auto racing movie starring Richard Conte.
None of these movies are really great, but they never aspire to be. Averaging just over 70 minutes each, they are interesting diversions. Several of the movies were directed by Terence Fisher who would later become Hammer's most prominent horror director, so this is a chance to view some of his early work. I suppose that they are all three star efforts, but they do make a fun set, and with some minor extras, I am giving this collection four stars. If you're a fan of noir, this is a good chance to expand your horizons beyond the big films."
R. I. Hallenbeck | Valatie, New York United States | 09/09/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This collector's set is a preview of the glory that was Hammer. All of the films were made in the early fifties before Hammer broke into the big time with THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT (1955) and CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957), but they demonstrate the talent that made Hammer into the greatest horror filmmakers ever. None of these is a horror film, but the Gothic atmosphere is everywhere, as Hammer filmed all of their features at that time in the Bray manor house. Alert viewers will notice familiar fireplaces, staircases and doorways that made it into their classic horrors. Their best director, of course, was the great Terence Fisher, and check out THE UNHOLY FOUR in this set to see what the Master could do with very little money. Also showcased is the underrated director Montgomery Tully, who does a bang-up job with PAID TO KILL, a convoluted and gripping story expertly told. But somebody must tell Kit Parker Films that Fisher did NOT direct GORGO; they repeat this mistake in every bio on both the first and second Hammer Film Noir collections! Aside from that gaffe, though, these are wonderful films, beautifully packaged, that are finally receiving the audiences they deserve."
Hammer Before Horror - Part 2.
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 03/30/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"VCI's second set of Hammer Film Noir contains 2 more movies (8 in all) but they are not as good as Volume 1 and the last one, A RACE FOR LIFE, isn't even a noir at all. Having said that, this set is still worthwhile as you get to see more fading American stars (Dan Duryea, Paulette Goddard, John Ireland, and Zachary Scott) and more of Terence Fisher's early work (THE BLACK GLOVE, A RACE FOR LIFE, THE UNHOLY FOUR, WINGS OF DANGER). Everyone of these films was renamed for the American market (they were released in England as FACE THE MUSIC, MASK OF DUST, THE STRANGER CAME HOME and DEAD ON COURSE) and they played the bottom half of a double bill. One of them, BLACK GLOVE (FACE THE MUSIC), is well written and directed with a great 50s jazz score while THE UNHOLY FOUR (THE STRANGER CAME HOME) is a halfway decent mystery. As one would expect from Fisher, these four are the most visually interesting of the set.
Regarding the other four, three (THE GLASS TOMB, PAID TO KILL, TERROR STREET) were directed by Montgomery Tully who is compensated for his minimum running times (GLASS TOMB is 59 minutes) by being given the more interesting storylines. PAID TO KILL is a minor suspense classic while THE GLASS TOMB gets the award for the most bizarre plot with a sideshow performer starving himself while people pay to watch. THE DEADLY GAME was directed by Daniel Birt and features a young Lloyd Bridges (before SEA HUNT) caught up with smugglers. Today it's easy to see how much his son Jeff resembles him. With the exception of A RACE FOR LIFE, I thoroughly enjoyed these movies for their up close look at post-WW II Britain and for seeing how creative the filmmakers could be with their extremely low budgets. Classic noir it ain't, but it's still not bad and should keep you entertained especially if you're a fan of British films."