Lights out! Questar presents five killer examples of film noir, the shadow-drenched genre of middle-class crime, anxiety, and desperation that blackened American movie screens in the 40?s and 50?s. Each of these thrillers ... more »comes in a crisp archival print on a separate DVD, which includes riveting bonus features on some of the people and ideas behind this darkest?and most enduringly popular?of all movie genres. Disc One: D.O.A. - On vacation from his clinging girlfriend, a complacent accountant (Edmund O?Brien) unknowingly swallows a drink spiked with radioactive poison and then spends the last desperate hours of his life trying to find out who "killed" him?and why. Directed by Rudolph Mate. Disc Two: Detour - Hitchhiking across the country to reunite with his girlfriend, the film?s "hero" encounters two sinister characters?one of them a venomous, blackmailing woman whom he "accidentally" murders. Directed by Edgar G. Ulmer. Disc Three: The Stranger - Orson Welles directs and stars in this thriller about a monstrous Nazi official who?s hiding out as a small-town American college professor. A war crimes detective turns up determined to expose him?even if it means endangering the Nazi?s innocent wife. Disc Four: Scarlet Street - Homely, henpecked Chris Cross (Edward G. Robinson) leads an honorable, if tedious, middle-class life until he falls madly in love with the dangerously seductive young Kitty (Joan Bennett). Directed by Fritz Lang. Disc Five: Killer Bait - A bickering couple find a bag of money in the back seat of their car. The husband wants to turn the illicit cash in, but his money-hungry wife has a different idea?and she?ll do anything to realize it. Directed by Byron Haskin. Disc 6: SPECIAL FEATURES - Black and Blue: The History of Noir; Hot-Blooded and Cold-Hearted: The Dames of Film Noir; Classic Lines Quiz; Over 35 Film Noir Trailers including Double Indemnity, 1944, Reservoir Dogs, 1992, Sunset Blvd, 1950...« less
Michael C. Glancy | Clinton,OK United States | 06/28/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The liner notes say that these are "...crisp, archival prints". Well, not exactly. This set is pretty good, but not fantastic. The authoring leaves some pixellation and blotchiness in the darker scenes. Also, they have tinted some of the scenes grey. I guess that was to try and cover up some fading. "D.O.A." is pretty good, but a clearer version is the one put out by Image Entertainment. This set does contain the best and most complete version of "DETOUR" that i have seen, although it still needs more restoration (Criterion, can you hear me?). I think "THE STRANGER" looks OK, but ROAN GROUP puts out a better disc of it. Concerning "SCARLET STREET", it looks about as good as what anyone else is putting out. I guess no one has been able to find a nice, clean, fine grain print of this movie yet. The movie "KILLER BAIT" is also known as "TOO LATE FOR TEARS" and it looks better in this set than the "TEARS" disc that Image puts out. As for content, all of these movies are good ones."
DON'T WAIT! GET THIS NOW!
T. A. Hansen | eagan, mn USA | 06/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When word gets around about the quality of this set it will sell out because this is an amazing bargain. You get five movies that, while not up to Criterion standards, are of very good quality. There is very little hiss and the images are mostly crisp. For example, The Stranger seemed perfect to me and D.O.A. was 98% crisp.You also get two documentaries, about an hour of trailers and a gallery of film posters. You can't go wrong with this set."
A bit of gold in black and white.
Robin Benson | 08/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A very worthwhile package for the money. All the movies are well-known and good examples of the genre, the copies are reasonable except, as another reviewer has mentioned, 'Scarlet Street' which has a rather soft focus. The packaging graphics have had some thought put into them, too. Disc six with the Extra Features is interesting and it includes the following: 1. A thirteen minute documentary (narrated by silver throated Ed Ragozzino) 'What is Film Noir', not a bad summing up of the style. 2. 'Femme Fatale - The Noir Dame', a seven minute wrap-up of the ladies, the commentary is snowing clichés after a few seconds though. 3. 'Film Noir Trailers', at seventy-eight minutes, this was one reason I bought the package though it has to be said it is rather wide ranging because it includes, for example, 'Citizen Kane' and 'Magnificent Ambersons', hardly noir! 4. 'The Posters of Film Noir', a good selection of thirty or so posters that the pause button was made for.
So, a good deal for the price. "
OK Transfers, but the extras are nice
Steve-O | Milford, CT USA | 07/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The bonus disc has over 40 trailers for B&W Noirs and suspense films. In addition, some great film noir movie posters.Also, the box set is set up nice. Looks great. Not to shabby for a public domain movie release.All the transfers (except Scarlet Street) look fine. They're tinted blueish and yellow sometimes. Apparently, the films were pieced together from different sources. It's fairly seemless, though.Scarlet Street still looks horrible. What a shame. That's the best film in this boxed set. Worth the price."
"Detour " to England?
M. CULLEN | Bowie, MD. | 02/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Be warned: "Detour" is fine film noir, but this version, at least the one I bought, has an apparent film reversal in the early hitchhiking scenes, which show the cars' drivers on the right side! Don't know how this got through. In other sections of the film, there are brief but noticeable lapses in lighting and sound quality. A good movie, but these inconsistencies in film quality are annoying at the least. This is an inexpensive set for what you get, but what you get may be less than you expect. Have since watched "Killer Bait" and "Scarlet Street" and give them both good marks, despite the lesser quality of "Scarlet Street" noted by earlier reviewers."