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The Alpha Video of "Close-Up" has an above-average video for them. It's quite clear, with some good contrasts on occasion. The sound track has a hum or buzz that doesn't obscure the dialog at all, but still is a negative.
The biggest positive of this movie is the location photography in New York City. There is a chase scene on the ferry boat that's very well done, and there are other such scenes. These are actual shots, not process shots.
"Close-Up" is a third-tier or c-noir. The A-noirs are the classics, like "The Killers". The b-noirs are in a broad category that includes everything from "Accomplice", "Accused of Murder", "Alimony" and "Address Unknown" down to "Vice Raid", "Why Must I Die", and "Wicked Woman". At some point, where the noir elements are overly diluted with comedy or where the production declines for reasons such as script, acting and direction, we enter the c-noir category. Admittedly, these boundaries are malleable and hard to apply in some cases. "Close-Up" is in that c-category overall.
The story moves along fairly well and actually has a few twists. However, what happens in some scenes is that they are drawn out with unnecessary dialog or else any tension vanishes. Sometimes the dialog is simply way too lax. Sometimes the comedy destroys the story's progress. It's as if the noir were trapped inside a commercial vehicle trying to get out, and occasionally it does.
As a noir completist, I snapped this up and enjoyed watching it. The location scenes were a very pleasant surprise.
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