Quality film news, reviews and features
18th April 2007 20:26:00
Posted by Dave Foster

Warner Film Noir Collection Vol. 4 in July - Artwork added

News
Warner Home Video have announced the Region 1 DVD release of The Film Noir Classic Collection Vol. 4 on 31st July 2007. The next Film Noir collection sees legendary Hollywood tough guys and femme fatales once again colliding, this time in ten smoldering suspense classics, all new to Region 1 DVD. Presented as Double Features titles include Act of Violence/ Mystery Street; Crime Wave/ Decoy; Illegal/ The Big Steal; They Live By Night/ Side Street; and Where Danger Lives/ Tension.

The new movies, which have all been digitally remastered for this collection, star film noir icons Robert Mitchum, Edward G. Robinson, Robert Ryan, Van Heflin, Ricardo Montalban, Claude Rains and Farley Granger, among others. The five-disc collection, will be available for $59.92 SRP and single titles will sell for $20.97 SRP.

About the collection…

Act of Violence (1948)/ Mystery Street (1950)
This grim melodrama stars Van Heflin as former World War II pilot Frank Enley, a respected contractor and family man, whose wife is played by Janet Leigh. When his troubled, crippled bombardier (Robert Ryan) shows up with a gun and a score to settle, it becomes apparent that perhaps neither man is what he seems to be. Director Fred Zinnemann (The Day of the Jackal) guides a searing Act of Violence, “the first postwar noir to take a challenging look at the ethics of men in combat” (Eddie Muller, Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir).”

Murder lives on Mystery Street. John Sturges (The Great Escape) directs a revealing-“CSI”-type film about a Boston cop (Ricardo Montalban) called upon to solve the mystery surrounding a skeleton found on a Cape Cod beach with the help of a Harvard forensic expert (Bruce Bennett).

Special Features:

Act of Violence
  • Commentary by Dr. Drew Casper
  • Act of Violence: Dealing With the Devil
  • Theatrical Trailer

Mystery Street
  • Commentary by Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward
  • Mystery Street: Murder at Harvard
  • Theatrical Trailer

Crime Wave (1954)/ Decoy (1946)
Legendary director Andre de Toth (House of Wax) was at the helm of this outstanding, but little-known L.A. noir about three escaped convicts from San Quentin who rob a gas station and kill a motorcycle cop. The hardboiled cop heading the manhunt is Sterling Hayden (The Asphalt Jungle).

Recent Film Noir festivals have provided an opportunity for audiences to rediscover truly forgotten films. Such is the case with Monogram Pictures Decoy, in which a drop-dead gorgeous dame Margo Shelby, played by British newcomer, Jean Gille, revives her gangster boyfriend after he dies in the gas chamber, not because she’s so fond of him, but because he knows where the loot is buried. This is a film that very few people have ever seen, but will likely be the subject of much cinephile discussion after its broad availability in this new Film Noir V.4 collection.

Special Features:

Crime Wave
  • Commentary by James Ellroy and Eddie Muller
  • Crime Wave: The City is Dark
  • Theatrical trailer

Decoy
  • Commentary by Stanley Rubin and Glenn Erickson
  • Decoy: A Map to Nowhere
  • Theatrical trailer

Illegal (1955)/ The Big Steal (1949)
When his career as a D.A. unexpectedly collapses, tenacious Victor Scott turns to defending criminal lowlifes. Edward G. Robinson plays Scott in this snappy remake of The Mouthpiece (1932) directed by Lewis Allen (The Uninvited). Film buffs’ moments include Jayne Mansfield’s scenes and real-life art expert Robinson’s comments on a crime lord’s collection of paintings.

Out of the Past’s Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer reteam in The Big Steal, speeding along Mexican roadways in pursuit of a grifter who has a suitcase that may be stuffed with cash. This film, both tense and humorous at the same time is directed by Clint Eastwood’s filmmaking mentor, Don Siegel.

Special Features:

Illegal
  • Commentary by Nina Foch and Patricia King Hanson
  • Illegal: Marked for Life
  • Behind the Cameras: Edward G. Robinson
  • Theatrical trailer

The Big Steal
  • Commentary by Richard B. Jewell
  • The Big Steal: Look Behind You

They Live By Night (1948)/ Side Street (1950)
Young escaped convict Bowie (Farley Granger) and Keechie (Cathy O’Donnell) just want to let their new love blossom. But thugs like Chicamaw 'One-Eye' Mobley (Howard da Silva) have other ideas, forcing Bowie to be their accomplice. They Live By Night, a story of doomed and desperate love is director Nicholas Ray’s (Rebel Without a Cause) debut, and is “one of the most poignant and unforgettable noirs ever made” (The Movie Guide).

In Side Street, Granger and O’Donnell team again as struggling marrieds in an unforgiving Manhattan. In a moment of weakness, the letter carrier gives in to temptation and steals what he thinks is a few hundred dollars. But its $30,000, tied to some ruthless blackmailers, and Granger’s attempt to return it puts him in deeper peril. Anthony Mann (Border Incident) directs with a flair that makes the city a key player in this noir nerve-jangler.

Special Features:

They Live By Night
  • Commentary by Farley Granger and Eddie Muller
  • They Live By Night: The Twisted Road
  • Theatrical trailer

Side Street
  • Commentary by Richard Schickel
  • Side Street: Where Temptation Lurks
  • Theatrical trailer

Where Danger Lives (1950)/ Tension (1950)
Robert Mitchum, playing a doctor smitten with desire for a beautiful patient (Faith Domergue) who’s brought in after an attempted suicide, journeys Where Danger Lives when the would-be lovebirds go on the lam. Ahead is Mexico, miles back is the husband’s (Claude Rains) corpse. But the final destination for the illicit pair could be a dead end in this dark gem of a film directed by John Farrow (The Big Clock).

Noir favorite Audrey Totter (The Set-Up) leaves her mousy but devoted spouse (Richard Basehart) for another man, and the Tension mounts as he plots revenge, then sees his plan take an unexpected turn. Cyd Charisse, Barry Sullivan and William Conrad co-star in a bitter tale of the postwar American dream frayed into nightmare.

Special Features:

Where Danger Lives
  • Commentary by Alain Silver and James Ursini
  • Where Danger Lives: White Rose for Julie
  • Theatrical Trailer

Tension
  • Commentary by Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward with Audrey Trotter
  • Tension: Who’s Guilty Now?
  • Theatrical Trailer

Subtitle options on all titles are English SDH and French.






About Dave Foster
Dave has been loitering the virtual halls of TDF for a decade now and the majority of that time has been spent as Editor of the Home Cinema section (formerly DVDTimes). He doesn't contribute reviews anywhere near as much as he once did (or indeed would like to) but when he does it will invariably be something in the anime or Asian film area.


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