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Film Noir - LIST


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#21 of 831 Nils Luehrmann

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Posted May 10 2004 - 11:27 AM

What with Criterion's latest film noir releases and Universal's, Warner's, and Fox's upcoming releases of some of their best film noirs many of which appear to be given spectacular DVD treatments, 2004 may very well be remembered as...



[c]The Year of Film Noir![/c]


And as mentioned earlier by Herb, Artisan will be releasing Force of Evil, Image will be releasing Too Late for Tears and Suddenly, Home Vision is releasing Time without Pity, and Alpha will be releasing both Circumstantial Evidence and The Green Glove.

Herb, thanks for putting together this thread and keeping us all informed and upto date!

#22 of 831 Neil Campbell

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Posted May 23 2004 - 06:17 PM

I'm just getting into this film noir stuff and was looking for a list exactly like this one. Thanks, Herb.

Being newish at this, is there any particular versions to avoid or trust as far as quality? For instance, I see there is a four disc set, Film Noir Classics, in a wooden box by Marengo (?), although another site indicates the company is Alpha. The set includes D.O.A., Detour, Kansas City Confidential and Impact. Would these likely be any good as opposed to the individual titles that seem to be published by Image?

Any advice?

Thanks.

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#23 of 831 Jay E

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Posted May 24 2004 - 04:51 AM

Here's a link to a review at DVDtalk of the new Image DVD of Too Late for Tears. It says the print is pretty much unwatchable. Can't believe Image would charge $24.95 for something like this.

http://www.dvdtalk.c...ad.php?ID=10837

#24 of 831 Scott Shanks

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Posted May 24 2004 - 05:12 AM

Double Indemnity which you show as TBR 7/6 appears to have disappeared from Universal release schedule.
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#25 of 831 John Hodson

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Posted May 24 2004 - 05:22 AM

Yes it has; Universal has canned it for some reason (hopefully to produce a 2-disc SE)

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#26 of 831 Neil Campbell

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Posted May 24 2004 - 05:28 AM

Jay, thanks for the link to the "Too Late For Tears" review. I'd just ordered it last night but immediately cancelled it after reading the review.

I see there's an Alpha copy of the movie out for much less money. Does anybody know if it's any good. I understand from reading a few things that Alpha movies are somewhat questionable in terms of quality.

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#27 of 831 Herb Kane

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Posted May 24 2004 - 09:48 AM

Being newish at this, is there any particular versions to avoid or trust as far as quality? For instance, I see there is a four disc set, Film Noir Classics, in a wooden box by Marengo (?), although another site indicates the company is Alpha. The set includes D.O.A., Detour, Kansas City Confidential and Impact. Would these likely be any good as opposed to the individual titles that seem to be published by Image?

Neil… Some fans have a low threshold for the poorer presentations like the Alpha & Madacy releases etc. The alternative? Not seeing or owning the film because it probably won’t be released in a superior version (although, there have been a few exceptions eg. He Walked By Night – MGM’s version is far superior to the Alpha version). A great example is Fritz Lang’s Scarlet Street. Absolutely fantastic film but Alpha’s version is almost unwatchable. The Alphas can be had for virtually the cost of a rental, but if your tolerance for a less than ideal presentation is low, then you’re probably better off avoiding them and sticking with the bigger studio releases – but you’ll miss out on some great movies.

Do a search here as a few members have posted several threads pertaining to some of the common titles that a number of the smaller labels seem to carry eg. D.O.A., Impact, Detour, Hitchhiker, Kansas City Confidential etc. If you’re trying to conserve, many of these are available in sets and can be had for what amounts to a few bucks per picture. Good way to check them out. If you like the film, you can always consider upgrading – if there is actually a better version available. Most of the Image/Roan/Kino titles are at least good or decent presentations, although it sounds like the Image version of Too Late For Tears might be the exception. I just rechecked my Alpha version and while it might not compare to any of the big studio releases, I’d actually say that it is on par or slightly better than the average Alpha title – most certainly watchable. I have the Image version on the way as well as the new Image Suddenly version, so now I’m really curious to see how they compare.

Re: Double Indemnity, I’ve (disappointingly) removed the TBR date till we hear otherwise from Universal.
My Top 25 Noirs:

25. 711 Ocean Drive (1950), 24. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), 23. Desperate (1947), 22. Pushover (1954), 21. The Blue Dahlia (1946), 20. The File on Thelma Jordon (1949), 19. He Ran All the Way (1951), 18. The Asphalt Jungle (1950), 17. The Killing (1956), 16. I Walk Alone (1948),...

#28 of 831 rich_d

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Posted May 24 2004 - 02:32 PM

Nice list.

I think some international titles have been left off. Examples include:

Rififi (Du rififi chez les hommes) (1955)

http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0048021/

Bob le flambeur (1955)

http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0047892/

Both are Criterion titles.

#29 of 831 Jay E

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Posted May 25 2004 - 12:46 AM

Neil

I have the Alpha DVD of Too Late for Tears and the quality isn't very good, although I was able to sit through the film. Sounds like the Image DVD is just as bad. Alpha has put out some decent looking DVDs for the money (some surprisingly nice), but this isn't one of them.

#30 of 831 Herb Kane

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Posted May 25 2004 - 02:56 AM

Rich... I actually just picked up Rififi last week - both have been added to the list as well as a number of additional titles.

I finally watched my copy of Force Of Evil last night and would easily recommend this disc. Walter Kittel did a thorough and accurate review which can be found here.

Herb.
My Top 25 Noirs:

25. 711 Ocean Drive (1950), 24. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), 23. Desperate (1947), 22. Pushover (1954), 21. The Blue Dahlia (1946), 20. The File on Thelma Jordon (1949), 19. He Ran All the Way (1951), 18. The Asphalt Jungle (1950), 17. The Killing (1956), 16. I Walk Alone (1948),...

#31 of 831 Herb Kane

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Posted June 09 2004 - 12:23 PM

Noir update;

VCI Entertainment just announced Volume 2 of their film noir series which will contain The Chase (1946) and Bury Me Dead (1947) on one DVD. The release date is August 17th. I have the Alpha version of The Chase which is dreadful, so I look forward to the set.

Another title announced for June 22nd, is RKO's Tokyo File 212 (1951) which will be available from Alpha.

Avoid the Image version of Too Late For Tears. Obviously the same source was used (whatever that was) as the Alpha version. The Image presentation is better (darker blacks and better image definition), but only marginally and certainly not worth the $15 buck difference over the Alpha version.

And finally, yesterday I received the Warner Brothers film noir collection screeners which street July 6th. Last night I watched Huston's The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and suffice it to say, fans are going to be very very pleased… reviews for the entire set, soon to follow (June 22nd).

Herb.
My Top 25 Noirs:

25. 711 Ocean Drive (1950), 24. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), 23. Desperate (1947), 22. Pushover (1954), 21. The Blue Dahlia (1946), 20. The File on Thelma Jordon (1949), 19. He Ran All the Way (1951), 18. The Asphalt Jungle (1950), 17. The Killing (1956), 16. I Walk Alone (1948),...

#32 of 831 Michael Elliott

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Posted June 09 2004 - 12:43 PM

On 7/13 Brentwood is releasing one of their budget, 10 Movies on Five DVD sets including:

The Stranger
Borderline
He Walked By Night
Call It Murder
The Red House
D.O.A.
Kansas City Confidential
Detour
The Second Woman
Scarlet Street

I've been meaning to see more noir titles so I'll pick this up since it's cheaper than going to Alpha route. $19.95 retail but you can usually find these sets for around $13. I've got five other sets and the prints usually aren't too bad but it depends on where they get their source. Sometimes it's Image and sometimes it's Alpha.

#33 of 831 John Hodson

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Posted June 09 2004 - 11:22 PM

And finally, yesterday I received the Warner Brothers film noir collection screeners which street July 6th. Last night I watched Huston's The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and suffice it to say, fans are going to be very very pleased… reviews for the entire set, soon to follow (June 22nd).


Bring 'em on Herb!

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#34 of 831 Rob Tomlin

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Posted June 12 2004 - 09:55 AM

I can't believe that I am only now discovering this thread. Incredible resource!

Thanks Herb! Posted Image

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#35 of 831 John Hodson

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Posted June 30 2004 - 10:37 PM

Any news of the new Troma edition of Suddenly? Pic quality etc.?
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#36 of 831 Herb Kane

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Posted July 01 2004 - 04:26 AM

Quote:
Any news of the new Troma edition of Suddenly? Pic quality etc.?


I haven't seen or heard of anything yet John. I decided to cut my losses after the Image version - which is still better than the Platinum version I had.

BTW John, do you have the three Preminger titles that are available in R2; Whirlpool, Fallen Angel & Where The Sidewalk Ends? I'm thinking of ordering them (man, they're expensive from here) and was curious as to their quality.

Same with the Éditions Montparnasse versions (even more expensive) from France - On Dangerous Ground (1952), The Narrow Margin (1952), Angel Face (1952) and Journey Into Fear (1942). I'd like to hear from someone who has them or is familiar with them.

Herb.
My Top 25 Noirs:

25. 711 Ocean Drive (1950), 24. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), 23. Desperate (1947), 22. Pushover (1954), 21. The Blue Dahlia (1946), 20. The File on Thelma Jordon (1949), 19. He Ran All the Way (1951), 18. The Asphalt Jungle (1950), 17. The Killing (1956), 16. I Walk Alone (1948),...

#37 of 831 John Hodson

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Posted July 01 2004 - 05:28 AM

No Herb, the price for barebones discs rather put me off too, and I ws hoping that the BFI titles at least may appear as Criterions, or at least with extras in the Fox Film Noir range. I have heard that the quality is decent, but for the money and no extras I want pristine.
So many films, so little time...
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#38 of 831 John Hodson

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Posted July 02 2004 - 12:11 AM

The Gun For Hire and The Big Clock, two quintessential films of the genre arrived today, the first in Universal's new 'Noir Collection'

Both Paramount movies, the former 'introduced' Alan Ladd to the screen though this was getting on for his 50th film. What it did do, as the hit-man Raven, was establish him as a real star and set up a legendary partnership with Veronica Lake, the girl who launched a million hairstyles. Universal's transfer is very nice, if not of the very highest quality. The picture is detailed and sharp, there is evidence of a digital clean-up and there is a variation in the quality of the reels (obviously some were in poorer shape than others). You can catch fleeting glimpses of how bad things could have been in some of the transitions and scenes with lots of movement and complex backgrounds, where there are brief signs of lots of damage, scratches and dirt, but not enough, I think to distract. What Universal have done is removed all evidence of this from the many very dark scenes, where the blacks are very black with a few minor artifacts (though I did wonder did they do this at the expense of removing some detail? Minor quibble). The mono sound is pretty good too; sadly the sleeve and menu designs are poor I thought, and there are no extras. *Sigh*

However, it's the film that matters; Ladd, Lake, the wonderful Laird Cregar (who was to sadly die three years later) and Robert Preston make this a terrific noir and a good start to the series.

Most of the comments I made about the transfer also apply to The Big Clock with one big difference. The transfer looks a little soft to my eyes. There is a trailer included here, and though not in very poor shape, it shows how bad it may have been, but overall it's not as fine as TGFH. Making up for that is a fine film with Ray Milland and Maureen O'Sullivan as our hero and heroine, outshone by the superb Charles Laughton as Milland's scheming, murderous boss.

Can I just double underline that these are not bad transfers; just don't expect Casablanca. Both can be picked up for a pittance from your favourite suppliers and as such they present terrific bargains. I know what I'm watching this weekend Posted Image
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#39 of 831 Rob Tomlin

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Posted July 02 2004 - 02:39 AM

Cool. This Gun For Hire was long overdue on DVD. I've never seen The Big Clock, but I put it on my Netflix Queue.
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#40 of 831 Randy A Salas

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Posted July 02 2004 - 02:49 AM

Great thread, Herb.

I concluded my roundup of the new Warner and Universal film noir DVDs with this:

Quote:
Also worth mentioning is the recently released “5 Film Noir Killer Classics” (Questar, $29.99; http://www.questarentertainment.com). The six-disc set sports decent presentations of five films — “D.O.A.,” “Detour,” “The Stranger,” “Scarlet Street” and “Killer Bait” — that are in the public domain, and thus are available in cheap versions of varying quality from a host of other companies. But its asset is a disc’s worth of extras that flesh out film noir: a 13-minute overview of the genre, an 8-minute look at femmes fatales, a 78-minute collection of trailers and a short survey of posters. It easily merits a recommendation for neophytes of noir — “*'noir’ meaning 'black’ in French,” the supplements’ narrator intones, “like blackness, without light.”

Deep Discount DVD sells the set for $16.20 shipped!
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