Warner Home Video doubles the stakes in The Film Noir Classic Collection Volume 5, debuting July 13, with legendary Hollywood tough guys and femme fatales once again colliding, this time in eight smoldering suspense classics, all new to DVD. Titles include Cornered/Desperate, The Phenix City Story/Dial 1119, Armored Car Robbery/Crime in the Streets, and Deadline at Dawn/Backfire.
The new movies, which have all been digitally remastered for this collection, include stunning performances by John Cassavetes, Dick Powell, Steve Brodie, Charles McGraw, Susan Hayward, Virginia Mayo, and Raymond Burr, among others.
Warner Home Video released its first Film Noir Collection in 2004, re-awakening America’s fascination with the unique genre and garnering acclaim from critics nationwide. This led to a revival of film noir throughout the entire home entertainment industry as well as three more successful volumes from Warner Home Video in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
I have always enjoyed Film Noir, but a couple of years ago I really got the bug and started watching pics that fit the seemingly every-expanding definition of “Noir”. It can be a real hassle trying to find the films I want to see on TV. So when a nice collection comes out like these The Film Noir Classic Collection by WB, I usually pick them up. This one is no exception. It is a 4 disc set filled with 8 movies that I have heard of, but never seen, including the gangland drama Crime in the Streets (with Johan Cassavetes and Sal Mineo).
When you pick up this box set you get 8 movies on 4 discs. They are:
From England to continental Europe to Buenos Aires, ex-RCAF pilot Dick Powell stalks the Nazi collaborator who murdered his bride. But one fact constantly surfaces during his quest: no one can describe the mysterious man. Joining Powell in the film shadows are the director and other key talent behind Murder, My Sweet of the year before.
Desperate is the first of seven atmospheric noirs directed by Anthony Mann. Steve Brodie is a postwar every man who accepts what he thinks is an honest trucking job, only to find he’s the driver in a botched heist that puts Brodie and his bride (Audrey Long) on the run from the cops and the cons who planned the job (including chief thug Raymond Burr).
The Phenix City Story (1955)
Corruption, brutality and vice plagued Phenix City, Alabama, for 100 years, so who would dare to change it? Based on real-life events and filmed on location in what was called Sin City USA, director Phil Karlson’s semi-documentary tells the jolting tale of those who risked their lives to bring the burg’s syndicate of thugs and murderers to justice.
Dial 1119 (1950)
An asylum inmate escapes to the city, where he takes hostages at a local dive, guns down a bar employee and warns authorities his captives will be next if the doctor whose testimony first put him away doesn’t arrive within the hour. A bit of casting irony goes with the movie’s then-novel use of TV news coverage: actors Marshall Thompson, William Conrad, Keefe Brasselle and Leon Ames would have significant career ventures in television.
Armored Car Robbery (1950)
Richard Fleischer directs this brute-force milestone about a deadly heist and the battle of wits and firepower between a fugitive gangster (William Talman) and his stripper moll (Adele Jergens) and a bulldog cop (Charles McGraw), out to avenge his partner’s death, who uses hidden microphones, lab work and his own well-honed instincts to close the net.
Crime in the Streets (1956)
Following a turf rumble with a rival group, a street gang leader (John Cassavetes) tells his gang to do what they’ve never done before: kill a snitch. Reginald Rose wrote and Don Siegel directs a jazz-riffing screen version of a tale first seen on TV and co-starring James Whitmore and Sal Mineo.
Deadline At Dawn (1946)
A gangster’s sister lies dead. All clues point to sailor Bill Williams as the murderer. Slated to depart for duty at dawn, the swabbie, aided by good-hearted dime-a-dancer Susan Hayward and affable cabbie Paul Lukas, has mere hours to prove his innocence. The tangy Clifford Odets script is based on a novel by William Irish (pseudonym of Cornell Woolrich).
Vincent Sherman directs this gripping yarn about recovering war veteran Gordon MacRae’s quest to prove pal Edmond O’Brien innocent of murder. Aiding him is his resourceful nurse Virginia Mayo. And a secretive doctor, a lively undertaker, a desperate gambler, a dying witness and a haunting Viennese melody all lead them to a shocking climax.
Pick up your copy of The Film Noir Classic Collection Volume 5 on DVD [@] Amazon