Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Ultimate Film Noir Collection |
Actor: Barbara Stanwyck
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
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Contents of Ultimate Film Noir Collection (18 films, 1939-55
Rudolf Schmid | Kensington, CA | 06/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ultimate Film Noir Collection (18 films, 1939-55, on 6 DVDs)
SOURCE: St. Clair Entertainment Vision; UPC: 777966861593; DVD Release 02/27/2007
Disk #1: Too late for tears (1949) / Man who cheated himself, The (1950) / Stranger, The (1946) / bonus = poster gallery
Disk #2: Strange love of Martha Ivers, The (1946) / Hitch-hiker, The (1953) / Quicksand (1950) / bonus = featurette "About film noir" (5 min)
Disk #3: Detour (1945) / D.O.A. (1950) / Hollow triumph (AKA The scar--working title) (1948) / bonus = movie trailers
Disk #4: Jigsaw (1949) / Whistle stop (1946) / He walked by night (1948) / bonus = movie trailers
Disk #5: Chase, The (1946) / Big bluff, The (1955) / Kansas City confidential (1952) / bonus = poster gallery
Disk #6: Port of New York (1949) / Suddenly (1954) / Buried alive (1939) / bonus = radio show (23 min--"Trouble is my business" by Raymond Chandler, broadcast 5 Aug. 1947, w/ Van Heflin as Philip Marlowe)
Disks 1-3 previously issued 1/2005 by St. Clair as Classic film noir, UPC 777966883694
Disks 4-6 previously issued 11/2006 by St. Clair as Classic film noir, vol. 2, UPC 777966874395
These two earlier sets are available separately from Amazon for about $10 each.
All three sets are reissues (in 5.1 sound) "re-mastered for best possible picture quality" from public domain (PD) films. Considering the low price for 18 classic film-noir films from 1939-55 and the fact that this set has some interesting extra features, this is good value for the money. I've watched several films and found their video quality quite watchable, although this is variable, as with all PD issues.
The 6 DVDs are included in 6 DVD slim cases, each of which has on the back side brief information on the films. The slim cases are housed in a lightweight cardboard slipcase. DVD cases and slipcase are white, which is somewhat incongruous for film noir. However, this St. Clair edition is very nicely done.
Incidentally, St. Clair recently reissued some of its other material in similar (white, slim cases, etc.) appearing sets: sets on Alfred Hitchcock, westerns, WWII, romance, silent greats, horror, etc."
Great Package of Films
K. Rowley | Austin, Texas United States | 05/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Picked this collection up mainly because of the packaging - most of the collections of this type are usually crammed into one of those huge flimsy multi-disc DVD cases. This package has six DVDs with each in its own thin-case. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the discs themselves were single-sided and not double like some of the other packages that I've had experience with. Now about the films themselves - I must admit that I've only watched a few of them so far, but both films were of excellent quality - leastwise given what was probably available for source material. Each disc does come with a "bonus feature", which range from photo galleries of movie posters, to an audio recording of a radio play - plus there are trailers and a feature short titled "About Film Noir". All-in-all, I'm very happy with the purchase."
Great Films, Great Buy!
SFSlug | the Golden State of California, USA | 04/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great buy for a collection of 18 film noir movies. There are lesser-known ones as well as ones that feature stars such as Orson Welles, Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra, Ida Lupino, Mickey Rooney, George Raft, Yul Brynner and Lizabeth Scott. A few of these I'd seen before (TCM), but most were unknown to me. I enjoyed all of them. The only thing I do want to warn people of is that these films are NOT restored, so they have been transcribed onto DVD format with all the flaws that occur to old film over sixty or so years in storage. Basically, sometimes the sound doesn't match or is hard to hear, there are poor editing sequences (keep in mind the low budget of most noir movies), some damage to the picture and crackling plus visible lines. I would like to see these films restored (I know some already have restored and preserved versions available, such as "The Stranger") but all of these issues are a minor inconvenience. If you are used to watching newer or only restored films you may find it annoying at first, but the movies themselves are a real treasure. My personal favorite is "The Man Who Cheated Himself", which contains some haunting footage of Fort Point in San Francisco, a full eight years before Hitchcock's "Vertigo". "Too Late for Tears", "Suddenly" (with Sinatra as a wannabe presidential assassin), "He Walked By Night" and "The Scar" are also new favorites. I can't recommend enough what a great deal this is for 18 really enjoyable movies."
Despite big caveats about print quality, a valuable collecti
Muzzlehatch | the walls of Gormenghast | 01/26/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First things first: the packaging on this St. Clair Vision edition, as others have noted, is pretty attractive - black and white covers and individual slimline packages for the discs. Lots of films here in a small space - lots of mostly very good films with a couple of outright masterpieces.
Now for the bad news. The print quality on most of these leaves a lot to be desired. HE WALKED BY NIGHT and HOLLOW TRIUMPH (aka THE SCAR) are two of the worst-looking examples, and being photographed as they were by the great John Alton it's really pretty sad to see them murky and low-contrast like this. THE STRANGER looks fairly poor as well; probably the best-looking film is QUICKSAND and it's fine but certainly nothing like some of the better looking prints from the 40s and 50s that you'll find on DVD from the major studios. But this is a budget label using public domain copies, so you take what you can get. The question then has to be, is it worth it? The answer is a qualified "yes". I'll give a brief rundown of the contents, with my own rating and perhaps brief comments, in two sections.
First, films that are definitely otherwise available in higher-quality copies from major DVD distributors (at the time of this writing):
D.O.A. (directed by Rudolph Maté, 1950) The "original" man-trying-to-find-his-own-killer film, with an excellent Edmond O'Brien starring. Image DVD is better. 4/5
DETOUR (Edgar G. Ulmer 1945) Anne Savage plays one of the greatest of all femmes fatale in one of the bleakest and nastiest poverty row pictures ever. Image DVD is better though still not terrific. 5/5
HE WALKED BY NIGHT (Alfred L. Werker 1948) great early police procedural with a sewer chase sequence that precedes THE THIRD MAN by a year. MGM DVD isn't one of their best but is much sharper overall. 4.5/5
KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL (Phil Karlson 1952) MGM DVD is much, much better. The film is, for the most part, a "lighter" noir - but don't let that fool you. 4.5/5
THE HITCH-HIKER (Ida Lupino 1953) The only noir directed by a woman, and as tough and exciting as any of them. Deserves to be better known. Kino DVD is better but expensive. 4/5
THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS (Lewis Milestone 1946) Out-of-the-past story isn't as great as it should have been given stars Barbara Stanwyck and Kirk Douglas, but it's still solid. The Paramound DVD is better but looks to be sadly unavailable at the moment. 4/5
THE STRANGER (Orson Welles 1946) Probably Welles' weakest completed feature, but Welles at his worst is still on a high level. He's the bad guy and Edward G. Robinson the Nazi-hunting hero. Recent MGM release is excellent. 4/5
SUDDENLY (Lewis Allen 1954) Frank Sinatra's only pure noir role; he should have done more. This was shot in a widescreen 1.75:1 aspect ratio; most releases crop it to the standard 1.33:1 but the discontinued Image release was certainly sharper. There's a new disc from Legend which has the film colorized and in original B/W "restored" but I've not been able to look at it yet. 4/5
And the films that, so far as I know, don't have any quality DVD release in the USA - in most cases they are available separately, but through other budget labels like Alpha or Synergy, and the quality is not significantly better in the examples I've looked at.
THE BIG BLUFF (W. Lee Wilder 1955) whether you guess the twist ending or not, pretty effective. 3.5/5
BURIED ALIVE (Victor Halperin 1939) forgettable poverty-row crime film isn't usually considerd noir. 3/5
THE CHASE (Arthur Ripley 1946) Great dreamlike feel to this one. And hey, Peter Lorre. 4/5
HOLLOW TRIUMPH aka THE SCAR (Steve Sekely 1948) Along with DETOUR, the best film in this set. Paul Henreid, who also produced, gives the performance of a lifetime as a remarkably sympathetic yet truly awful con artist. 5/5 and man I wish this were available in a truly great transfer.
JIGSAW (Fletcher Markle 1949) Kind of a strange noir, dealing as it does with an investigation of a fascist group. Solid, though. 4/5
THE MAN WHO CHEATED HIMSELF (Felix Feist 1950) Lee J. Cobb and John Dall as cop brothers - one of whom has some secrets when a murder case comes up. 4/5
PORT OF NEW YORK (Laslo Benedek 1949) Early Yul Brynner performance is the highlight of this early drug smuggling film with a so-so ending. 3.5/5
QUICKSAND (Irving Pichel 1950) Mickey Rooney, noir hero? Yep, and this wasn't the only one. He's quite good here, as is our buddy Peter Lorre, again. 3.5/5
TOO LATE FOR TEARS (Byron Haskin 1949) Arthur Kennedy, Lizabeth Scott, and the great Dan Duryea make this one worth it. Director Haskin did a couple of fine noir before moving on to the action and science fiction he's best known for; an underrated director. 4.5/5
WHISTLE STOP (Léonid Moguy 1946) George Raft and Ava Gardner can't keep this story of small-town passions with big-city ambitions exciting. 3/5
All in all then, you've got some really excellent films, the majority of which can't be found currently in copies that are significantly better. So this is a collection worth getting for those just starting out on their wonderful journeys into the films of the night, and even for more experienced noir-o-philes for those titles that they'd have to otherwise get separately."