Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 15, 2010



Warner Brothers has just issued a new collection of classic film noir: 8 movies on four DVDs.

Cornered (1945)stars Dick Powell as a man who travels to Buenos Aires to try to uncover the mysterious man who is said to be behind the murder of his wife and many others in the French underground.

Desperate (1947) stars Steve Brodie as a man involved in a botched heist. Raymond Burr co-stars.

The Phenix [sic] City Story (1955) looks into corruption in an Alabama city and is directed by Phil Karlson. Widescreen.

Dial 1119 (1950) deals with a deranged escapee who holds hostages at a dive bar. William Conrad and Marshall Thompson star.

Armored Car Robbery (1950) features a battle of wits between a gun moll (Adele Jergens), a gangster, and a hard-boiled cop.

Crime in the Streets (1956) has a gang leader deciding that they must kill someone who blabbed a little too much. John Cassevetes stars. Widescreen.

Deadline at Dawn (1946) has a dancer helping a sailor prove that he didn't murder a gangster's sister. Bill Williams and Susan Hayward are the stars. This fine movie is based on a novel by Cornell Woolrich and has a screenplay by Clifford Odets.

Backfire (1950) has a veteran and his nurse-girlfriend encountering all kinds of characters as they try to prove that his buddy didn't commit murder. Gordon MacRae, Virginia Mayo, and Edmond O'Brien star and MacRae's future wife Sheila has a strong supporting role as well.

The movies are crisp, digitally re-mastered, and none have ever been on DVD before.

Check out the official Warner Brothers site.

Verdict: Entertaining and varied collection of hard-boiled movies. ***.

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