Five Phenomenal Film Noir Faves-GORGEOUSLY RESTORED FOR DVD!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The irresistible lure of 5 film noir classics, handsomely packaged in one classy prsentation is certain to make this boxed-set a best-seller.The official Amazon reviewer sums it all up beautifully. Each one of these films is a true American masterwork, a definitive example of why film noir continues to captivate audiences as a unique style of filmmaking.I've spent the better part of the last three days watching all five films, and then again exploring the commentaries. It's been an amazing experience. I've seen all these films before in battered condition, but each one of these DVDs present the motion pictures with stunning quality that brings out all the nuance in the gorgeous cinematography. Obviously a great deal of meticulous restoration as gone on here, and Warner Bros. should be proud of the fine work that they've put in to these releases.They look so good, you could almost say they look like they were filmed yesterday....except I doubt anyone today could quite re-create the look of the way these films were shot as exqiuisitely today. Just wonderful.Do yourself a favor, a get this collection. Settle down with Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Sterling Hayden, John Dall, Robert Ryan, and a bunch of hard-boiled dames like Jane Greer or Peggy Cummmins. Your life will never be the same!"
Buy two in case of divorce
Ian Muldoon | Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia | 08/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't even think about not buying this set even if you had one or two individual copies as I had OUT OF THE PAST on VHS and two others on tape. If you know the films no need to read on.THE ASPHALT JUNGLE is one of Mr Huston's best films and he made many. A thinking man's noir about the burden of some vice each man carries, loyalty between men and duty and deservedly considered a minor classic in the tragic mold. OUT OF THE PAST has ripper dialogue, wit, style, Mr Kirk Douglas looking like an ad out of Gentlemen's Quarterly and a plot convoluted enough to rival THE BIG SLEEP. GUN CRAZY is a cult classic. MURDER MY SWEET Dick Powell gets drugged, beaten up and double crossed. THE SET UP superbly shot, wonderfully acted by Mr Robert Ryan, and directed by Robert Wise, is another film of tragic proportions and perhaps one of the best on the boxing game. Buy two copies of this set so there are no disputes during the divorce settlement. AN ABSOLUTE BARGAIN AND ESSENTIAL PURCHASE FOR FILM LOVERS."
5 DEFINITIVE NOIR CLASSICS AT AN UNBEATABLE PRICE!
Ian Muldoon | 07/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I managed to find an early copy of this boxed set yesterday afternoon, and stayed up until the wee small hours watching ALL the films.What a SENSATIONAL collection. The transfers are all new and sparkling. They look and sound terrific. Probably some dweeb on here may find a speckle or (I love this B.S.) an "age related artifact". but the truth is I've never seen any of these films presented so beautifully, and anyone who picks up this collection is in for a treat.GUN CRAZY and OUT OF THE PAST are my two favorite film noirs. Period. They really define the genre. They are amazing, unique films from under-appreciated directors, Joseph H. Lewis and Jacques Tourneur. Amazing performances, great writing and superb direction.The commentaries here are all quite fascinating, mostly from noir experts and scholars, but on THE SET-UP, Robert Wise himself is there to reflect on his own direction, aided by wise and insightful comments from none other than Martin Scorsese.The box is nicely designed, but inside are five gorgeous keepcases with original poster art from each film. They look sensational....and at Amazon's bargain price, this comes out to about $7 a film. (I paid slightly more from a local retailer who put it out a little early, and it was more than worth it for me!). This is phenomenal film history, presented with class and panache, and at an irresistible price.Once again Warner Brothers home video sets the standard for how to present classic films on DVD, leaving all the other companies in the dust!"
Great film noir
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 08/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you like film noir, and who doesn't, this collection is worth the money. Out of the Past is the classic film noir and the best picture Jane Greer ever made. Previously the movie, which was filmed dark, suffered from a murky print which made some viewers not sure which woman Jane Greer is (at the opening), but now restored she shines like a steady lighthouse beam through the fog of the plot she's involved in up to her pretty little neck.
The Asphalt Jungle, one of Marilyn Monroe's greatest "serious parts" has never looked better. It was filmed at the end of the noir cycle and shows the signs of a movie from a genre that has seen better days. It is to true film noir what Webster's THE WHITE DEVIL is to Shakespeare, a decadent afterthought, and yet what a delightful one.
Then there is GUN CRAZY, featuring the kittenish UK actress Peggy Cummins in what might be her best part, although she also did great work opposite Dana Andrews in a later Tourneur. GUN CRAZY, it is said, influenced Scorsese and Altman. It looks like a film from the so called "New American Cinema" of the early 70s.
In the extras to THE SET UP, hooray, we hear the master director Robert Wise speak. He is a great raconteur and seems to be able to remember everything. He is a national treasure despite the hideous low quality of his later films like STAR and TWO PEOPLE. This one is a winner, and you will be bouncing off the ropes as the plot and suspense deliver one jab after another.
Finally, there is MURDER MY SWEET with one of Americam's greatest actors DICK POWELL. Often thought of as a sugary sweet tenor from all the Busby Berkeley films he did with Ruby Keeler for Warners in the 30, Powell matured after a terrible personal tragedy and became hard as steel in his later roles. Even in a trifle like SUSAN SLEPT HERE Powell is tougher than anything, he makes John Wayne look like ZaSu Pitts (OK, not really).
A Pandora's box of evil dreams and wishes, open at your own risk!"
A gem of a collection
Eric Christianson | Chester, UK | 09/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is easily the best noir box set available, and as one reviewer has already pointed out, is a fine introduction to the world of noir. I had not seen two of these films (Gun Crazy and The Set-Up) but was wonderfully surprised by both. Gun Crazy is a hugely energetic and inventive road movie that, in the way of story and direction, follows few conventions of the day. The Set-Up is a marvellous slow-boil of a story that has Robert Ryan in a career-best, subtle performance, and again is wonderfully inventive. The other three films are widely acknowledged classics. The dialogue of Murder, My Sweet has to be heard to be believed (Marlowe: "My fingers looked like a bunch of bananas"), but Dick Powell pulls it off with aplomb. The Asphalt Jungle generates unbearable tension and boasts a gorgeous performance from Sterling Hayden, trapped in a noir net he cannot escape from. And Out of the Past? Well, there is no better noir! Mitchum can't help oozing cool from every pore and Jane Greer is a perfect psychotic femme. The photography will leave you breathless and the plot dizzy!
To top it off, there are commentary tracks on each DVD. To hear Robert Wise, the man himself (!), commenting (very charmingly) on his The Set-Up, is simply magical. Also, all of the transfers are terrific, better than anything previously available. So go on, just get it!"