FOX FILM NOIR 05 THE STREET WITH NO NAME Studio: 20th Century Fox Film Year: 1948 Rating: NR Film Length: 90 minutes Genre: Drama/Crime Aspect Ratio:[*] 1.37:1 Colour/B&W: B&W Audio:[*] English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono[*] English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo[*] Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 mono Subtitles: English, Spanish Closed Captioned: Yes SLP: US $14.98 SLP: CDN $16.98 Release Date: June 7, 2005 Film Rating: / Starring: Mark Stevens (Gene Cordell/George Manly), Richard Widmark (Alec Stiles), Lloyd Nolan (Insp. George A. Briggs), Barbara Lawrence (Judy Stiles) Directed by: William Keighley A new era of violence in the making…a new kind of gangster on the loose! Two people are shot dead: a housewife and a bank guard. There are no connections to these murders other than the weapon used. The bullets from the bodies are identical but the people have no relation to each other. Who killed them and why? FBI inspector George Briggs will find this out by sending in this best agent undercover into a notorious gang. After releasing a suspect for the two crimes, the man is found stabbed to death off the side of the road. Gangsters are involved for sure, so the FBI sends in top agent Gene Cordell as George Manly. George walks the toughest and most rotten streets of the city where he will take up residence. He’ll make it known he’s the new guy in town by making himself noticed in the most subtle ways. His character draws the attention of gangster leader Alec Stiles. After a test of character, Stiles lets Manly into the gang where he can see the inner organization and the crimes about to be committed. Just as everything seems to be going right, Manley realizes that corruption beyond the gang interferes with his plans as he is tipped off and everything doesn’t go as planned. This movie starts off like a docu-noir, beginning with a public service announcement from J. Edgar Hoover. From this announcement the story takes off and abandons the docu-noir approach to filmmaking. The movie loves to show off the technology of the time, although not quite as much as Call Northside 777, a film that loved to show off technology of the day. I loved the performance of Widmark as Stiles – I think he captures the audiences’ attention on his performance very well. Stevens acts a little more casual as Manly, but it helps the two characters contrast because they really aren’t cut from the same stone. This film was what inspired the film House of Bamboo, also appearing in this batch of Fox film noirs. VIDEO QUALITY / The image is the less-polished looking of all of the Fox noir titles thus far. The source is in decent shape but it can be problematic. While it appears that film grain was reduced, there are scratches and spots that keep showing up throughout the film. Contrast is generally fine but sometimes black levels can be poor. There are several moments when this happens; I’ll blame it on the original photography because there doesn’t seem to be enough light coming in the camera, thus sometimes it’s difficult to see actors in the dark. This was the time before the use of artificial “dark blue” darkness used in today’s films, so I’ll forgive the film for that reason. Resolution is fine viewed through an HDMI connection, but not quite as good as seen on the other noir titles. Because of this, it seems someone decided to add a hint of artificial sharpening. So in comparison to all other Fox noir titles of this series, I’ve scored it reflecting the quality of the others. AUDIO QUALITY / Listen to this soundtrack with the original mono audio. The stereo soundtrack is artificial and lacks focus with sound effects and dialogue. The mono version anchors sounds in the middle of the two front speakers and sounds better. Dialogue is clear as is the music. Background hiss is kept to a minimum. There is nothing outstanding about this soundtrack to say here other than it is acceptable. SPECIAL FEATURES / Again, Fox has invited film noir historians Alain Silver and James Ursini to discuss the film on the commentary track. As always, I found it to be of high quality and very informative. Make sure you take a listen. There is also the film’s theatrical trailer (which shows two shots not included in the film unless I somehow missed them). Theatrical trailers for Call Northside 777, House of Bamboo, Laura and Panic in the Streets are also included. IN THE END… What can I say? This is a great film noir title to add to your collection of DVDs. Great acting, cool story, and some good suspense will make this a favourite for gangster movie fans. Probably the most popular title of this second wave of film noirs from Fox, The Street With No Name is recommended. Michael Osadciw June 7, 2005.