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Gangster Films

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Eric Huffstutler, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    Eric Huffstutler
    I have been trying to flesh out my Gangster Films on DVD collection. I have what equates to the first 2 sets released by Warner that covers most of the well known classics. There is one oddity though... the lack of films for the year 1932 outside of UA (now released by Universal) "Scarface".


    Were there any other major Gangster (not crime or prison movies per se) released in 1932 on DVD?

    Thanks!
    Eric
     
  2. BrianRi

    BrianRi Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think you'll find much out there for that particular year.

    THE OVERLOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA: THE GANGSTER FILM lists NIGHT AFTER NIGHT as a gangster film, which is availabel on Universal's Mae West set. The movie is pretty dead until Mae arrives on the scene, mostly due to the star, George Raft, who was usually such a bland actor. Personally, if I wanted to watch a gangster movie from '32, I wouldn't have thought of NAN, nor would I watch it if I were in a "gangster movie" mood. A "Mae West movie" mood, sure (even though she's only in about 20 minutes, the movie is pre-code so her lines are some of her most risque, hence some of her best).
     
  3. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Here's some notable Gangster /Tough Guy type films circa 1932 aside from Scarface.

    Beast of the City
    - on Warner's DVD-R Archive if you count these
    20,000 Years in Sing Sing - another Warner DVD-R, however it's set primarily in prison so.........

    Not on DVD

    Taxi - Cagney plays a two fisted independant cabbie up against "the man".
    Hatchet Man - Edward Robinson as a Tong hitman........weird but entertaining as hell for me
    The Final Edition - Female reporter Mae Clarke takes on the Mob
    Two Seconds - Edward G ponders his crime while on the electric chair

    There's also some pre-codes from that year that prominently feature gangsters but not enough to consider them.

    I've also seen Night After Night and agree it's really not much of a gangster type film.

    As always, your mileage may vary.
     
  4. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    TWO SECONDS is now on Warner Archives. A hell of a film.
     
  5. BrianRi

    BrianRi Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know how I forgot BEAST OF THE CITY, a great pre-code film with an incredibly (and literally) explosive ending. Available from Warner Archives. 20,000 YEARS IN SING SING was released in 1933. TWO SECONDS is another favorite of mine. Don't think I'd call it a gangster film, though, even though it captures a fantastically seedy, depression-era feel.
     
  6. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Yes it is a hell of a film. Didn't know it made it to the Archives already.

    I'm sure The Hatchet Man and Taxi will receive the same fate type of release. ;)

    It was released to theaters in late Dec 1932 according to several sources.
     
  7. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    Ah yes, fate. At least with the Warner Archives there is hope of seeing these on some form of DVD. Warners has offered over 200 films through their Archives. I don't think even in the hey day of pressed DVD's that they put out that many. Just the number of Edward. G. Robinson titles is enough to keep any fan busy for a couple of weeks.

    But I do feel cheated that the transfers are not any better than they are, though TWO SECONDS is very acceptable.
     
  8. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Yes I've been over the pros and cons of the MOD business model ad nauseam. No need to open that can-o-worms.

    Let's just say I'm more of a quality over mass quantity guy. I do understand that for those who don't have access to these films through other means that these type of programs are a goldmine.

    I've learned long ago to make my own DVD-R's from TCM (and other like sources) with custom original poster artwork so I'm really not inclined to pay Warner or whomever for something I already have, especially at the current asking price. For academy ratio films I'm unconvinced that their burned DVD's are any better than mine. I know that mine has better artwork at least.

    Until there's a bundle deal that's appealing to me or the SRP drops significantly I'm perfectly fine sitting on the sidelines for now.
     
  9. ahollis

    ahollis Producer

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    If people did not have different opinions, it would be a very dull world. I have never had good luck with my own DVD-r's, despite going through two recorders. I also hate the logo in the corner of the picture. I guess that is funny, I will take an inferior transfer as long as there is not a logo in the corner. I also have a problem with the cost and purchase bundles or when there is a coupon knocking the price down. I am a little upset that they have cut the price down on the Western and War films lower than the bundles and coupons allow. That is one reason they have lost me as a buyer of the new releases.
     
  10. BrianRi

    BrianRi Stunt Coordinator

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    Jim,
    Regarding "SING SING", I find myself sitting on the horns of an interesting dilemma (ouch!). IMDB does indeed list it as being released on December 24, 1932. (What a great movie to get you into the Christmas spirit!) Yet Allmovie.com lists it as 1933. Book-wise, LEONARD MALTIN'S CLASSIC MOVIE GUIDE and THE ILLUSTRATED WHO'S WHO OF HOLLYWOOD DIRECTORS list it as '33, but THE NEW BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF FILM lists it as '32. I assume that somewhere there's a review listed in an issue of VARIETY that would give the movie's date, but since I'm not interested in doing any further research on the subject, if I were asked again what year "SING SING' was released, I'd just look upward to the movie gods and say, "Hell if I know."
     

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