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t1g3r5fan

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During its heyday, the film noir genre of the 1940’s and 1950’s tended to take place in urban settings with cynical looks on life and love, among other things. Desert Fury, released in 1947, represents a unique departure from many of these conventions; not only was it shot in Technicolor, the story is a melding of a few noir elements with those of melodrama, crime, and western thrown in for good measure. Long unavailable on home video for years, Kino unveils the movie on Blu-ray for its home video debut from their deal with Universal.



Desert Fury (1947)



Released: 15 Aug 1947
Rated: APPROVED
Runtime: 96 min




Director: Lewis Allen
Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir



Cast: John Hodiak, Lizabeth Scott, Burt Lancaster, Wendell Corey
Writer(s): Robert Rossen (screenplay), Ramona Stewart (novel)



Plot: The daughter of a...

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Robert Crawford

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Thank you for your review. This was a holy grail film title for me. I'd waited many years for it, but I didn't expect a Blu-ray release before DVD. I agree with your review about this Blu-ray. Did you noticed the weird background noise during Smith's commentary early in the film?
 

t1g3r5fan

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Thank you for your review. This was a holy grail film title for me. I'd waited many years for it, but I didn't expect a Blu-ray release before DVD. I agree with your review about this Blu-ray. Did you noticed the weird background noise during Smith's commentary early in the film?

Yeah, I did notice that. I wonder if the track was recorded at a studio that was adjacent to a railroad station, because it sounded like a train (without a horn sounding) passed by at one point in the commentary.
 

Robert Crawford

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Yeah, I did notice that. I wonder if the track was recorded at a studio that was adjacent to a railroad station, because it sounded like a train (without a horn sounding) passed by at one point in the commentary.
:D That's what I thought when I watched and listened to this commentary back in February.

I watched the disc again to listen to the audio commentary by Imogen Sara Smith. As usual, Smith delivers another informative commentary. However, I must say there was some weird background noise during the course of the commentary like she was recording some of it as a subway train passes by.

https://www.hometheaterforum.com/community/posts/4710171/
 

Douglas R

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I bought the Australian DVD some time ago but this Blu-ray is a big improvement. Great music score from Miklos Rozsa as always and Imogen Sara Smith's commentary is excellent.
 

Robert Crawford

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I bought the Australian DVD some time ago but this Blu-ray is a big improvement. Great music score from Miklos Rozsa as always and Imogen Sara Smith's commentary is excellent.
After Eddie Muller, her commentaries are my favorite ones as she gives you a lot of information less Eddie's funny quips.
 

Will Krupp

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I bought this when it came out. It had completely escaped my notice all these years but a recommendation from our own Joel Arndt made me pull the trigger and I'm so glad I did. What a complete hoot this movie is. So much fun and it looks so gorgeous. Mary Astor walks away with the picture, growling all the way. Lizabeth Scott is from the city (Scranton, PA) next to where I was born and raised so she was always a local favorite, too.

I have to echo the sentiments posted earlier that I can't believe this got past the censors and right under the noses of Joe Breen and company, because the gay subtext is barely "sub" at all. Wendell Corey even mentions picking up a "starving" teenage John Hodiak at an automat right off Times Square. The Horn & Hardart Automats in the area were notorious as some of the cruisiest spots in pre-war Manhattan!
 
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Joel Arndt

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I bought this when it came out. It had completely escaped my notice all these years but a recommendation from our own Joel Arndt made me pull the trigger and I'm so glad I did. What a complete hoot this movie is. So much fun and it looks so gorgeous. Mary Astor walks away with the picture, growling all the way. Lizabeth Scott is from the city (Scranton, PA) next to where I was born and raised so she was always a local favorite, too.

I have to echo the sentiments posted earlier that I can't believe this got past the censors and right under the noses of Joe Breen and company, because the gay subtext is barely "sub" at all. Wendell Corey even mentions picking up a "starving" teenage John Hodiak at an automat right off Times Square. The Horn & Hardart Automats in the area were notorious as some of the cruisiest spots in pre-war Manhattan!

Excellent review Mychal! And Will, so glad you enjoyed it. I thought you would. It is a hoot!
 

Harold Chasen

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I just bought this as a blind buy in the latest Kino-Lorber sale, and I'm very glad I did. I can only, gaspingly, agree with Eddie Mueller's assessment - "Desert Fury is the gayest movie ever produced in Hollywood's golden era." It's certainly the most overt I've seen.

This isn't one of those "read into it if you want to" situations, or even an "only a sophisticated viewer will get it" situation. There's simply no other way to read Wendell Corey and John Hodiak than as boyfriends. Even Rope is subtle by comparison.

The lesbian overtones in the relationship between Mary Astor and Lizabeth Scott are more subdued, so I can see how that one got by the Code and by viewers of the time. This one is a more typical "it's there if you want to see it, but it's not there if you want to deny it" depiction.

Highly recommended. My only quibble is that the many day-for-night scenes often just look like daytime, which is both distracting and confusing (at one point the shift was so dramatic that I thought time had passed, but it was supposed to be the "same night" as the previous shot). I have no idea if the film always looked like this, or if original prints had better day-for-night processing.
 

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