Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Public Enemies - The Golden Age of the Gangster Film|
Directors: Michael Curtiz, Raoul Walsh, William Wellman
As popular as these films were in their heyday, seminal giants like Little Caesar and Public Enemy as well as post-war gems like Key Largo and White Heat still hold power over their audiences today. Public Enemies: The Gol... more »
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Detailed documentary on the gangster fim
Douglas M | 12/27/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Public Enemies - The Golden Age of the Gangster Film" is a very detailed documentary on the gangster genre, rightly focusing on the product of the Warner Brothers and their famous trio of stars James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and Edward G Robinson. The doco uses all the usual historians who have provided commentaries to many of the DVDs of these films and that is the weakness of this DVD. If you have watched the films, you will have heard most of it before and many of these commentators are very clearly knowledgable historians but often very boring speakers. The best bits are the pieces of interviews with such luminaries as that indispensible moll Joan Blondell and such directors as Raoul Walsh ("White Heat") and William Wellman ("Public Enemy"). Trouble is, the excerpts just make you wish the complete interviews had been included.
The doco does link the 30's films to the advent of the psychological film noir and the successors in the 70s and beyond, particularly the films of Martin Scorcese. This was when the censorship finally collapsed and raw violence became a compulsory but not necessarily better component of the films.
The DVD includes 4 very good cartoons which have some link to the gangster genre but again this is recycled material because the cartoons have already appeared on the DVDs of the films themselves.
Unless you purchase this DVD as part of the Warner's Gangster Collection Volume 4 or you want to watch the documentary to learn about the genre before you watch the films themselves, I wouldn't bother."