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Author Topic: Film-Noir Discussion/DVD Review Thread  (Read 373230 times)
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« on: April 09, 2005, 02:15:06 PM »

Now we all know that the reason we all joined here was to talk about the master of cinematic direction, Leone but I figured that there are so many of us cinephiles here that we should all be able to get together and advise each other on different films from different genres as well as certain DVD's? I decided to settle on Film Noir as that is a very popular genre and is having a resurgance through the large amount of DVD releases but we could do seperate threads for different genres (including Westerns, Foreign Cinema (The Criterion Collection in particualr) . I am a filmmaker in training and am always watching as many new films and DVD's as possible in order to learn many things from the filmmakers of old and would like to discuss them with you on this thread. I volunteer to look on these threads and keep them in order if they happen. This is only a suggestion and I dont mind it if the idea is not feasible but I feel there are enough intelligent film lovers on this site to produce a lively review and discussion about films on DVD/Waiting to come on DVD with the associated genres.

Thank you for you time  Smiley

« Last Edit: May 26, 2005, 03:44:38 PM by Leone Admirer » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2005, 03:54:28 PM »

Sounds like a great idea, I've watched a few not long ago, The first was Sam Fuller's "Pickup on South Street" with Richard Widmark, Thelma Ritter, and a good looking Jean Peters, it was entierly entertaining.

Then I bought a DVD of one of my personal faves "Touch of Evil" Orson Welles, and the only flaw in the film is Charlton Heston as a Mexican lawyer.  I'm sort of building a film noir collection on the side, I add David Lynch into this category, a Simple Plan and Fargo also.

Another film to see is "Sin City" comic book/Kill Bill/ noir, a lot of fun.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2005, 03:56:05 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2005, 04:03:22 PM »

I've selected this page to list upcoming releases, recomended releases (to be reviewed) and noirs missing and yet to be released. Anyone anything to add, just drop me a line and I'll put it down. Thanks!

Upcoming DVD's

  • The Film Noir Classic Collection Volume Two
    Released: July 5th 2005
    Studio: WB
    Region: R1
    Contains: Born to Kill, Clash By Night, Crossfire, Dillinger and The Narrow Margin.
    Info: http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=56595
  • Fox Film Noir Wave 3
    Released: October 2005
    Studio: Fox
    Region: R1
    Contains: The House on 92nd Street, Somewhere in the Night, Kiss of Death (May change)
  • Fox Film Noir Wave 4
    Released: December 2005
    Studio: Fox
    Region: R1
    Contains: Where the Sidewalk Ends, No Way Out, The Dark Corner(May change)

Recomended


Film Noirs Covered By Criterion

[li] Pickup on South Street[/li]
[li] The Killers (Siodmak + Siegal Versions) [/li]
[li] Night and the City [/li]
[li] Thieves Highway [/li]
[/list]

Info Criterion Site: (A must have DVD collection for all film fans! I love them!) www.criterionco.com

Film Noir Sites

Fox Film Noir Collection Official Site: http://www.foxhome.com/filmnoir/

Classic Noir Online: http://www.classicnoir.com/

« Last Edit: June 12, 2005, 07:35:09 AM by Leone Admirer » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2005, 06:21:04 PM »

I love Touch of Evil and if you don't have the DVD, you can see it on TCM tomorrow night.   I love film noir and have loads of them on DVD and VHS.   Cool, cool stuff.

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« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2005, 12:18:36 PM »

My first review. Apologise for the delay, DVD player broke and all other hell broke loose  Roll Eyes. I've bought 13 other Film Noirs which are currently (or are waiting) to do the rounds in my new player. I aim to review these DVD's on quality and will give it a mark out of 10. I apologise in advance for any bias that become apparent.  I am not a reviewer- and nor do I want to be - but I want to use this thread as a recomendation of DVDs and films. Therefore I will give a synopsis of the film, my brief opinions on it, then mention the a/v (audio and visual) as well as the extras. I will also give a link for a price comparison of each DVD. PLEASE! If anyone has any DVD's they want to recomend put your reviews here, following the same system if you like. I aim to review a mix of R1 and R2 DVD's but if any of our European friends want to review any of their editions please do so. Well here we go....


The Maltese Falcon

1941
Dir: John Huston
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre
Studio: Warner Brothers

DVD Details

Region: R2
Studio: Warners
Transfer: OAR 1.33:1
Sound: 1.0 Mono
Extras: Original Theatrical Trailer, Humphrey Bogart Trailers TCM Doco.
Run Time: 99mins aprox
Date of DVD Release: July 3, 2000


 

Synopsis

After his partner's death, private eye Sam Spade becomes involved in a search for a priceless statuette. Based on Dashiell Hammett's classic novel.


My Thoughts

An excellent noir. John Hustons masterful direction would serve him well in many other noirs (he would go on to direct such as the Asphalt Jungle) and this, his directorial debut, clearly shows this. Bogie, who had become an established secondary player and gangser in the 30's Warner movies (including his brake out hit The Petrified Forest which has many noir elements) hit it big and is succesful in the leading role of Spade and he would make it even bigger playing Rick in the sublime Casablanca. Astor is excellent as the femme fatale, leading Sam along and Lorre is his usual fine self as a rather smug and slimy hoodlum. This great film should be in the basis of all film lovers and training filmmakers (like me) collection.

Picture

A very good transfer for an early Warners DVD. Warners have excelled themselves at the moment with their R1 releases, and yet  the R2's generally are of a little less quality, but  this may be corrected. The print desplays great fidelity. Blacks are strong and whites are vibrant. There are however some print defaults, scratches and specks do become common place and in around the 10 minute mark the picture quality drops sharply and continues for a minute before returning to normal. This may be due to the recovery of some dupe elements I don't know, but what I do know is that next year, Warners are releasing (R1) a 2 disc special edition with a re-mastered print so it'll be interesting to see the transfer then.

Sound

Sound is presented in its original mono (good for purists  Grin ) and is perfectly servicable. Dialogue is strong and clear, the music may sound a bit weak and muffled but thats of source limitations.

Extra's

Not a jam packed SE, this still presents us with a quality bunch. The original trailer is included (its SPOILER ridden, of course but enjoyable) as well as the TCM doco, Humphrey Bogart Trailers which is a look at how Warners marketed Bogie throughout his career. AN interesting and informative feature. The nearest I can come close to is the Trailer collection on the Questar: 5 Film Noir Killer Classics DVD boxset.


Overall Score

7/10

An fantastic early noir in which you can see the elements we know and love of the genre begining to take shape. This Warners' DVD is a solid choice, and can be had for a rather cheap price if wanted now but it gets only a 'above standard' mark because a superior DVD release is coming soon. Still will you unlock the secrets of the falcon? I hope you do!

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Links

Price Comparison: http://www.find-dvd.co.uk/D065012.htm

IMDB file: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033870/

Variety Review Extract

This is one of the best examples of actionful and suspenseful melodramatic story telling in cinematic form. Unfolding a most intriguing and entertaining murder mystery, picture displays outstanding excellence in writing, direction, acting and editing.

Thread continues here: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg134652#msg134652

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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2005, 10:09:49 AM »

Keeping the ball rolling, here's my review of Kubrick's The Killing:

------------------------------------------------------------

The Killing (USA, 1956)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Jim Thompson
From the novel Clean Break by Lionel White.
Produced by James B. Harris
Runtime: 81 minutes.

Reviewed copy: MGM/UA Region 2 DVD



The DVD

Typically of DVDs from MGM/UA, there are no extras with this release (the back of the case tauntingly lists “Interactive Menus” and “Scene Selection” as being Special Features – don’t you just hate it when they do that?). However the transfer and sound quality are fine. As far as I can tell this is an uncut version.

Synopsis

Fresh out of jail, professional criminal Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden) puts together a team of “ordinary” people to pull off a meticulously planned racetrack heist. The job goes without a hitch and the police are none-the-wiser. However, one of the gang, insecure bookie George Peatty (Elisha Cook Jr.) lets on details of the plan to his avaricious femme fatale wife Sherry (Marie Windsor), who then plans with her lover (a young, handsome crook) to steal the loot. From then on everything falls apart and Johnny and his gang are doomed.

Review

Generally regarded as Kubrick’s breakthrough film, The Killing follows an almost identical plot to earlier heist-noirs such as The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and Rififi (1955). Where it differs most sharply from those films (and perhaps what it is most famous for) is its fragmented story structure. While the events leading up to the day of the heist and its aftermath are told in a more or less straightforward linear fashion, the robbery itself is related through a series of overlaps and backtracks, zipping back and forth throughout the day as we see each character’s individual part in the operation. Each scene is introduced by a narrator giving the time and an explanation. Ironically, rather than being confusing this device actually provides the best way in which to tell what is itself a fragmented story – with different characters working alone in different places towards the same goal.

Kubrick’s direction, while clearly not quite up to the standard of his later work, is still at the very least highly competent. He makes good use of single source lighting, giving the whole film a dark, grim feel. This is most effective in an early scene where the gang are sat round a table planning the robbery – as the non-professionals hunch forward their faces become eerily illuminated, while their leader Sterling Hayden slouches back and appears as a silhouette.

One problem with this film is that there are occasional cases of bad acting. The worst offender here is Elisha Cook Jr. who delivers his lines somewhat flatly. Sterling Hayden and Marie Windsor both play their roles brilliantly however. There are also some great bit parts – Timothy Carey (later to star in Kubrick’s superlative Paths of Glory (1957), and in my opinion an underrated talent) plays a laid back professional hitman. And, in a memorable performance, real-life professional wrestler Kola Kwariami indignantly starts a fight in the racetrack bar and proceeds to floor half a dozen security guards.

A classic film noir, intelligent and stylish, The Killing is recommended viewing for anyone getting into the genre. It should also be of interest to Kubrick fans who haven’t seen his earlier work.

My rating: 8 out of 10.

Allmovie page: http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:27318
IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049406/

-----------------------------------------------------------

Coming soon: My reviews of Rififi and Stray Dog. I'm also thinking of starting a thread like this for German Expressionism, which I am well into.


The Killing reviews continue here..........: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg150358#msg150358




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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2005, 11:42:20 AM »

Good review Redy! Am actually quite tempted with that one!

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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2005, 07:50:00 PM »

So far you've listed two of my favorites, I recommend them to all!   Keep them coming!

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« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2005, 05:49:27 AM »


Le cercle rouge (1970)

Saw Melville's stylish crime noir drama last night and Gian Maria Volonte was great in his role as an escaped criminal who joins up with Alain Delon and Yves Montand who has just been released out of prison to pull a jewlery hiest. It has a silent opening seemed like at least 15-20 minutes that was reminiscent of the opening of OUTITW. It was a good diversion. The Criterion Collection has loads of extras on a second disk.

Volonte in the extras was again described as hard to deal with on the set, not quite as bad as Kinsky, lol, but difficult.

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« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2005, 04:54:57 PM »

Ahhh..yes..a terrific film. One of the great crime movies, in my opinion..
Atmospheric, deliberately paced and very cool... it was hugely influential,..influenced many more familiar, American films,.... it's involving and interesting...with a simply great heist scene (which itself is heavily influenced by the superb film "Rififi" (highly recommended))....... ...as smart and fun and beautifully crafted & spun movie as you're going to find.

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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2005, 11:43:21 AM »

Again, apologies, I've been busy, busy, busy. But it has brought around a useful purpose. I finish, tonight, watching the 17 Film Noirs I added to my collection which I will add soon (not a single one let me down  Cheesy )+ I'm going to NY in July and have done a DVD shopping list  Wink and 17 DVD's are devoted to noir (with another 14 dedicated to classic Westerns which makes me feel another thread comming along Grin ) Anyway here's the latest review. Hope you enjoy it as more is on the way and remember to submit ure own reviews! Thanks!

The Big Sleep

1945/46
Dir: Howard Hawks
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall
Studio: Warner Brothers

DVD Details

Region: R1
Studio: Warners
Transfer: OAR 1.33:1
Sound: 2.0 Mono
Extras: Original Theatrical Trailer, Documentary The Big Sleep Comparisons 1945/46, Production Notes
Run Time: Theatrical Cut:114mins/Pre-release: 116mins
Date of DVD Release: June 1, 2004



Synopsis

L.A. private eye Phillip Marlowe takes on a blackmail case...and a trail peopled with murderers, pornographers, nightclub rogues, the spoiled rich and more. Humphrey Boart plays Raymond Chandlers' legendary gumshoe and director Howard Hawkes serves up snappy character encounters (particularly involving Lauren Bacall), brisk pace and atmosphere galore in the certified classic.

My Thoughts

One of my personal favourites, The Big Sleep has everything to recomend it. A great cast, excellent direction and compelling, if confusing plot. Bogart plays Marlowe, a role that would later be taken in the 1944 film, Murder My Sweet, by Dick Powell. Bogie's performance is strong and likeable. You feel like this gumshoes been kicked around. His interactions with Bacall...well... to quote miss Bacall, "Cinema magic was made." The DVD contains two versions, the superior theatrical cut, with necessary re-shoots and tightnings as well as the pre-release version. The differances are llarge between the two, and these are documented on the disk and as a curiosity piece and a look at the art of filmmaking its interesting. But don't go expecting and Alien 3 in which the pre-release was much better. Of course this is this reviewers opinion and I invite owners of this disc to give their own opinions. All and all this is a great film from the Hollywood Noir archive and I really recommend this film. It may be long and convoluted, but give it a chance, you will like it  Wink

Picture

As stated above this disc contains two versions of the film on a flipper disc. To my knowledge other regions only have the theatrical version so this is the one you should get (but rumours on the grapevine say there could be a new version comming out but as this is unknown and the fact that this disc can be picked up for as little as $10 then this is the version to get)
Picture wise time has been kind to this film. Yes we do get quite a bit of print damage and at one point the entire right side went grey, it is usually a good, watchable print with excellent film grain, strong blacks and solid tones. Interestingly the preview version does look better.

Sound

Presented in 2.0 mono the sound is generally clear with little hiss. At some points the film may sound muffled but we must accept the limitations of such an old soundtrack, my personal preferance would be for a restored 1.0 mono.

Extra's

This edition comes with a quite surprising amount of extras. We're not talking Criterion style or anything but they are interesting. We start off with the doco, The leep Comparisons 1945/46. Hosted by UCLA member Robert Gitt, we are guided through the differeing versions of the film, illustrated by clips. This offers some interesting background info and with a running time of 20mins u'll wish it went on for longer. Also included is some entertaining production notes, detailing the...uhh... production as well as the original trailer, which makes me glad that the main feature has undergone some for of re-mastering.

Final Score

8/10

Granted the score is mainly for the film, the disc does deliver and is the version I recomend. A must for noir lovers and Bogie fans this film is fabulous and for new viewers its a must see!

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Links

Price Comparison: http://www.find-dvd.co.uk/r1/012569502628.htm

IMDB file: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038355/

Variety Review Extract

Brittle Chandler characters have been transferred to the screen with punch by Howard Hawks' production and direction, providing full load of rough, tense action most of the way.

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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2005, 10:51:24 AM »

And here's another....

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Stray Dog (Japan 1949)
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Screenplay by Akira Kurosawa and Ryuzo Kikushima
Runtime: 117 minutes

Reviewed Copy: bfi Region 2 DVD.



The DVD

The best thing to be said about the bfi’s DVDs is their packaging – the sleeve notes contain a detailed analysis and background information of the film. The quality of their transfers varies a lot, and sadly in the case of Stray Dog we have a very scratchy, weathered image. This is probably mostly down to the quality of the original negative – after all the world outside Hollywood was generally some way behind in terms of film stock available – but there doesn’t seem to have been much of a cleanup effort. Mind you, I don’t find this so much of a problem for this gritty film noir – it would be much worse if one of Kurosawa’s beautiful epics appeared in such bad shape. There are no extras with this release.

Synopsis

During a sweltering heat wave in post-war Tokyo rookie detective Murakami (Toshiro Mifune) has his gun stolen by a pickpocket. Utterly ashamed, he attempts to redeem himself by tracking down his lost pistol. His guilt only deepens when he discovers that the weapon has been used in a series of robberies and killings. Kindly, seasoned Chief Detective Sato (Takashi Shimura) takes Murakami under his wing and together they track down the criminal – a young man named Yusa. However, the more Murakami finds out about Yusa the more disturbing similarities he sees with himself.

Review

There are some people that would have you believe that the film noir was a wholly American phenomenon. While it is true that by and large the best-known film noirs were from the US, this Japanese thriller is just as heavy in its portrayal of the darker side of society and a shades-of-grey morality as its Hollywood counterparts.

Criminal psychology is a key element of Stray Dog. The paranoid, self-deprecating personality of Yusa is profiled before we ever see him on screen. Many of the characters have two seemingly contradictory sides to their personality. Detective Sato is a warm, friendly family man, yet his attitude towards criminals is cynical, almost misanthropic. Yusa has committed robbery and murder, but he does so to provide for his girlfriend, whom he worships. The idea of doubles – a fairly common theme in film noir – is also explored to some degree in Stray Dog. Murakami is like a mirror image of Yusa. They are the same age, were both soldiers and both had their pack stolen. After the war Murakami became a cop and Yusa became a criminal, and the cynical standpoint of the film portrays both these two career paths as if they were flip sides of the same coin. Their similarities are also portrayed visually, particularly in the climatic scene in which, handcuffed together, they both collapse exhausted side by side, dressed almost identically – virtually mirror images.

This is the earliest of Kurosawa’s films that I have seen and is quite different to his better known work, although still very competent in its direction. There is more of an obvious showyness to Stray Dog compared to the subtler direction of his later works – lots of double exposures, rhythmic editing, weird angles and the like. Kurosawa himself was later to describe it as “… too technical. All that technique and not one real thought in it”. While there is some truth in what he says here he is largely doing himself a disservice. A lot of creative intelligence has clearly gone into this film. He makes good use of contemporary music and topical motifs, and draws good performances from the cast.

One of the most striking devices used by Kurosawa in Stray Dog is his use of weather. Weather is one of Kurosawa’s trademarks – virtually all of his films contain at least one scene which is heightened by a torrential downpour or howling gale. In Stray Dog however he goes the other way as we are constantly reminded of the stifling, cloying heat wave during which the action takes place. Drenched in sweat, characters constantly fan themselves, squint in sunlight or cower in the shade.

The acting in Stray Dog is superb. It’s interesting to see Mifune play such a humble submissive character if you’re used to him as the capering wannabe-Samurai in Seven Samurai (1954) or the shrewd austere ronin in Yojimbo (1960) – you begin to realise what an incredible range the man had. Shimura’s character, on the other hand, is not unlike the role he plays in Seven Samurai – a commanding yet benign leader figure. There are no other stand out roles, but the acting is consistently good.

Overall, Stray Dog is an enjoyable, intelligent film. A bit showy in places, but still highly recommended.

My Rating: 9 out of 10

Allmovie page: http://www.allmovie.com/cg/avg.dll?p=avg&sql=1:47270
IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041699/

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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2005, 12:15:09 PM »

Great Review redy! Just to say there is a R1 Criterion edition of this out with many extras and a great transfer. Here's the link http://www.criterionco.com/asp/release.asp?id=233&section=synopsis

I'm in a reviewing mood so lets keep going with my next review of R2's The Postman Always Rings Twice and then after the Bogie film Dead Reckoning.  I am also changing my original post to include up and comming Noir and other important releases.

The Postman Always Rings Twice

US 1946
Dir: Tay Garnett
Produced: Carey Wilson
Screenplay: Harry Ruskin and Niven Busch
Based on the novel by James M. Cain
Cast: Lana Turner, John Garfield
Studio: MGM

DVD Details

Region: R2
Studio: Warners
Transfer: OAR 1.37:1
Sound: 1.0 Mono
Extras: Original Theatrical Trailer, Documentary The John Garfield Story, Introduction to film by film historian and author Richard Jewell, Behind the scenes image gallery
Run Time: 108mins
Date of DVD Release: April 19, 2004



Synopsis

A torrid tale of lust and murder, based on the novel by James M. Cain. Drifter Frank Chambers walks into a diner and his life is changed for good. He meets the beautiful Cora, who he desperatly wants but she is married. Tensions run high before they decided to do away with the husband. Will they succede? If so can they live with themselves? Their love was a flame that Destroyed!

My Thoughts

An interesting noir. The novel is brought alive by Garnett's taught direction, tight scripting and great cinematography. Lana Turner and John Garfield smoulder on screen and despite the heavy censorship of the time there scenes together are highly erotic. The story never seems contrived, which it could have easily slipped into, and despite 59 years have passed since it's release it still is very suspenseful.  The ending doesn't let the film down, even if it could be described as touching on the sentimental, I can't really badmouth this film. The films mood permeates through our your watching of it. It clings to you, making you feel perhaps guilty that  An enjoyable watch if ever there was one.

Picture

This film seems to have undergone a complete restoration. Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.37:1 contrast is excellent, with strong blacks, sterling whites and lots of film grain. Its sharpness excites in what must be one of the best looking transfers the film has had for a long time.

Sound

Found in its original 1.0, the films soundtrack is also offered in French, German and Spanish. The English soundtrack sounds fine, with dialogue and music coming through only limited by the limitations of the original track. Sterling stuff from Warner!

Extra's

The film begins with an introduction by film historian and author Richard Jewell. Here, Jewell touches on the history of the film and its actors along with the other works of the director. Its an interesting addition and I do wish more DVD's had these (the best ones to be found tend to  be produced by Criterion.) Following this is the doco The John Garfield Story, narrated by his daughter Julie Garfield which highlights the highs and lows of his fabulos career. Also included is the original spoiler ridden trailer (the packaging advertises the trailer for the 1981 re-make but this reviewer and others could not find it) as well as an interesting behind the scenes gallery.

Final Score

9/10

An excellent presentation of a great film which will keep on exciting future audiences. Another great hit from the 1946 MGM team and Warner Home Entertaiment. (Just a note, I love the art work of recent Warner releases. Using the original Poster art adds another dimension to owning these discs)

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Links

Price Comparison: http://www.find-dvd.co.uk/D065858.htm
IMDB file: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038854/

Variety Review Extract

The Postman Always Rings Twice is a controversial picture. The approach to lust and murder is as adult and matter-of-fact as that used by James M. Cain in his book from which the film was adapted.

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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2005, 12:47:23 PM »

Dead Reckoning

US 1947
Dir: John Cromwell
Produced: Sidney Biddel
Screenplay: Oliver H.P. Garrett, Steve Fisher
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Lizabeth Scott
Studio: Columbia Pictures

DVD Details

Region: R2
Studio: Columbia Tristar
Transfer: OAR 1.33:1
Sound: 2.0 Mono
Extras: Vintage Advertising Photo Gallery
Run Time: 96mins
Date of DVD Release: January 27th 2003



Synopsis

Rip Murdock is investigating the disappearance of an army buddy. He meets up with Coral Chandler, a nightclub singer, and becomes involved in a world of crime.

My Thoughts

I don't know why but when I first saw this film, I approached it with an uneasy feeling. I don't know whether it was the boxart or the over trying sell on the back of the disc I just wasn't sure what I was going to get. However I popped the disc in the player and I was in a 96minute ride. This film, from the begining explores the conventions of noir, from the flashback, to the voice over, from the confused detective to the assured femme fatale, this film had it all. The direction is exceptional, assured camera moves and direction help sweep the action along as well as some great lines, it maybe no Big Sleep but it has its charms. Bogie, as ever is great giving us a great, troubled performance, a step on from Marlowe in Sleep. Lizabeth Scott is a beauty. Not one of the best actresses ever to play a fatale (see her performance in Too Later For Tears) but hear she plays well the scheming dame up to no good. A well rounded film noir with an enjoyable plot and cast.

Picture

Columbia present the film in its original aspect ratio. Whilst not being the worst transfer I have seen, this certainly aint one of the prettiest. We have frame jitters, hair and splices but sharpness is generally good, blacks are overall very strong and grain is present. Fine.

Sound

Nothing Remarkable, the 2.0 (wish again it was in 1.0) did its job with not much interfearance.

Extras

Our first non-populated disc. All you get is a vintage advertising gallery of 2 posters. The R1 however does include a Bogie trailer gallery.

Final Score

7/10

An above average noir, on an average disc. For extras go R1, if not see the link below for the films cheapest price. Enjoy!

Leone Admirer

Links

Price Comparison: http://www.find-dvd.co.uk/CDR10355.htm
IMDB file: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039305/

Variety Review Extract

Humphrey Bogart's typically tense performance raises this average whodunitwhodunit quite a few notches. Film has good suspense and action, and some smart direction and photography.

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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2005, 07:59:52 AM »

Touchez Pas au Grisbi (1954) 
 (roughly translated--> "Hands off the Loot" )


Directed by
Jacques Becker

Starring Jean Gabin, René Dary, Lino Ventura, Jeanne Moreau, Dora Doll, Daniel Cauchy, Michel Jourdan, Marilyn Buferd
Cinematography Pierre Montazel
Production Designer Jean d'Eaubonne
Film Editor Marguerite Renoir
Original Music Jean Wiener
Written by Jacques Becker, Maurice Griffe, Albert Simonin from his novel
Produced by Georges Charlot, Robert Dorfmann
 
 
 
 

                                                                       



"Grisbi" is a true classic......
Highly influential French noir/crime thriller/drama....shamefully obscure & undeservedly overlooked until now...Criterion DVD finally released in January....actually kinda ruined my evening..I had planned on watching another movie after this one..but I didn't want to let this one out of my head yet,..it was that good.
1954 Paris sparkles in glorious black & white..Jean Gabin & the whole cast,  including a very young & relatively unknown Jeanne Moreau, is wonderful..Jacque Becker's direction is impeccable. 
The great Jean Gabin stars as Max , an aging gangster, who, along with his longtime friend & partner , Riton , has pulled one last job and intends to retire as soon as it's safe to cash in the millions in gold bullion they have stolen. Max is an anachronism...his style, moral code, honor & ways are caught up in changing times...a theme that fans of some of the best   American Westerns will recognize in this film...

It'a an absorbing , character-driven story...leading to a lonely highway with guns drawn ..trying to keep from losing everything.
Highly recommended.


continued here...... : http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg146824#msg146824


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