Help with some lesser known Film Noir DVDs.

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Herb Kane, May 15, 2003.

  1. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    As another huge fan of Film Noir, I am trying to obtain most of the available titles. Last week, Jay started a thread with a list of many of the titles not yet released on DVD. Great list, thanks Jay.

    I have most of the titles that are thought to be more common in the genre. The following is a list of some of the "lesser known" titles that have been released on DVD albeit, including some of which are titles in the public domain and therefore of sub-par quality. They are:

    BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, THE (1952) - Warner Brothers
    BIG KNIFE, THE (1955) - MGM
    HITCH HIKER, THE (1953) - Kino/Roan
    IMPACT (1949) - Image
    KILLER’S KISS (1955) - MGM
    KILLING, THE (1956) - MGM
    LONG NIGHT, THE (1947) - Kino
    NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, THE (1955) - MGM
    RAILROADED (1947) - Kino
    SCARLET STREET (1945) - Gotham/Alpha
    SLIGHTLY SCARLET (1956) - VCI/Video
    STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS, THE (1946) - Image
    SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, THE (1957) - MGM
    T-MEN (1947) - VCI/Video
    THIEF, THE (1952) - Image

    While, I would expect the titles released by WB, MGM and Image to be superior I am curious if anyone here has any experience with these titles specifically as to quality etc. I am not expecting demo quality discs, just looking to see if there are any that should be avoided "like the plague" due to quality issues.... Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Herb.
     
  2. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    I'm glad you liked the list Herb!

    Definitely avoid getting Scarlet Street, it's a disaster.

    The Strange Love of Martha Ivers has a very disappointing transfer, which surprised me as it wasn't released by a budget company (it just looks like it was).

    Other than those 2, all the rest are fine (at least for me).
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Be careful with discs from non-mainsteam studios. Kino should be good and VCI is good, too.

    The Bad and the Beautiful has been said to be nothing but the latter part of the title. I'm pretty sure the MGM discs are good, too.
     
  4. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I think that Martha Ivers is a public domain title, which would explain its poor presentation.
     
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I had the earlier Master Tone release (now OOP) of Martha Ivers and IIRC it wasn't too bad. I'll have to go take a look at it again.
     
  6. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    I read 2 customer reviews of the Hal Roach studios DVD of Martha Ivers DVD (Image $19.95) and both said the transfer was nice. I'm going to check my copy again because I could swear that it was pretty crappy. There are budget releases of this film but don't even try & get those even though they are pretty cheap.
     
  7. Paul Penna

    Paul Penna Supporting Actor

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    T-Men, Railroaded and The Hitchhiker are great little films, I'd get them. It's been a while since I watched my copies, but I don't recall being bummed in any way. Don't expect full-blown restoration quality, but they're eminently watchable, from 35mm elements it appears.

    Impact I always recommend, because it was shot in part on location in my home town, Larkspur, California (Idaho in the film). No exactly a full-blown noir, but it has nice noirish elements, including a wonderfully duplicitous female character, and there's a gaggle of excellent character actors. Excellent print/transfer.

    Haven't gotten around to watching The Long Night, but I haven't been let down by Kino yet.
     
  8. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    I own Kubrick's The Killing, Laughlin's Night of the Hunter, and MacKendrick's Sweet Smell of Success (all MGM). None has any extras to speak of except a trailer, but the transfers are decent. I'd recommend all three. I agree you should avoid the Alpha release of Scarlet Street & hope that something better comes along.
     
  9. Jon_Ligon

    Jon_Ligon Auditioning

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    Image's Martha Ivers is fine. No complaints at all. MGM's Night of the Hunter and The Killing are also great.
     
  10. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Slightly Scarlet is a bit scratched here and there but the colors are vibrant and the picture is sharp.

    The Bad And The Beautiful looks terrific but in no way can it be considered a film noir! It's a melodrama!
     

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