Alain Silver - News Poster

News

Gun Crazy

The Warner Archive comes through with a film noir gem that still has the power to make one’s skin crawl, as a pair of circus sharpshooters go on the lam, using their skills to pull off cheap robberies. The clammy feeling of being cut off from society, having no place to go, is expressed in near-existential terms. Peggy Cummins’ cheap tease Annie Laurie Starr promises John Dall’s Bart Tare eternal love, but what good are promises from a psycho?

Gun Crazy

Blu-ray

Warner Archive Collection

1949 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 87 min. / Street Date , 2018 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Peggy Cummins, John Dall, Berry Kroeger, Anabel Shaw, Harry Lewis, Nedrick Young, Rusty Tamblyn, Morris Carnovsky.

Cinematography: Russell Harlan

Film Editor: Harry Gerstad

Production Designer: Gordon Wiles

Original Music: Victor Young

Written by Dalton Trumbo and MacKinlay Kantor from his short story

Produced by Frank King, Maurice King

Directed by
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

They Live by Night

Don’t look to this noir for hardboiled cynicism – for his first feature Nicholas Ray instead gives us a dose of fatalist romance. Transposed from the previous decade, a pair of fugitives takes what happiness they can find, always aware that a grim fate waits ahead. The show is a career-making triumph and a real classic from Rko — which shelved it for more than a year.

They Live by Night

Blu-ray

The Criterion Collection 880

1948 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 95 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date June 13, 2017 / 39.95

Starring: Cathy O’Donnell, Farley Granger, Howard Da Silva, Jay C. Flippen, Helen Craig, Will Wright, William Phipps, Ian Wolfe, Harry Harvey, Marie Bryant, Byron Foulger, Erskine Sanford .

Cinematography: George E. Diskant

Film Editor: Sherman Todd

Original Music: Leigh Harline

Written by Charles Schnee, Nicholas Ray from the novel Thieves Like Us by Edward Anderson

Produced by John Houseman

Directed by Nicholas Ray
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

June 13th Blu-ray & DVD Releases Include Madhouse (1981), Inquisition, Alienator

We have another busy week of home entertainment releases on the horizon, as there are over two dozen titles making their way to Blu-ray and DVD this Tuesday. For those of you cult film enthusiasts, you have a lot of options when it comes to adding items to your collections, as Alienator is being resurrected by Scream Factory, Arrow Video is unleashing a special edition set for Madhouse, and Mondo Macabre has given Paul Naschy’s Inquisition an HD overhaul as well.

As if that wasn’t enough, we also have new releases for The Hound of Baskervilles, Medusa, and Nicholas Ray’s classic noir They Live By Night to look forward to as well. For you TV lovers out there, the box sets for the final season of both The Vampire Diaries and Grimm are being released Tuesday, and for those who are on the hunt for some new action cinema,
See full article at DailyDead »

Kiss Me Deadly Restoration 20th Anniversary — Savant Article

How did Kiss Me Deadly come to be restored? The real question should be, how did filmdom lose track of its original ending in the first place? Savant uncovers evidence that may explain when, and why, United Artists mutilated the finish of Robert Aldrich’s apocalyptic film noir.

(Note: The images below with text can be enlarged for reading, just click on them.)

Before home video the final home for Hollywood films was Television. Robert Aldrich’s 1955 Kiss Me Deadly never saw a theatrical reissue, and it dropped out of major TV visibility in 1962. I saw the documentation in United Artists’ legal folder on the film. To secure capital to launch more movies, Robert Aldrich sold all of his ‘Associates and Aldrich’ pictures back to UA after their original releases were concluded. More papers showed Kiss Me Deadly being included in at least two TV syndication packages, and then each time pointedly removed.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Recommended New Books on Filmmaking: ‘Twin Peaks,’ Film Noir, Steve McQueen, and More

We’re knocking on the door of summer, and that means lots of big properties are ready to be unleashed. But it’s not too late to read books exploring some recent films, as well as some new works about Sherry Lansing, film noir, and Steve McQueen. Let’s start with a unique look at David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.

The Essential Wrapped In Plastic: Pathways to Twin Peaks by John Thorne

When Twin Peaks debuted on ABC in 1990, there were no message boards in which fans could argue and dissect the latest episodes. Starting in 1992, however, there was Wrapped In Plastic, the immortal Peaks’ fanzine. Just in time for the series return on Showtime is The Essential Wrapped In Plastic: Pathways to Twin Peaks. Here, Wip co-editor John Thorne brings together some of the publication’s most vital, important essays. Every episode is included, but what makes the book
See full article at The Film Stage »

Kiss of Death

This is the ultimate in screen sadism circa 1947, and it’s all in the debut film performance of Richard Widmark as a too-nasty-for-words hood who likes to shoot people in the stomach. Actually, Victor Mature is not bad in a grim story of a stool pigeon that tries to square himself with the law, and finds himself a target for mob murder.

Kiss of Death

Blu-ray

Twilight Time

1947 / B&W / 1:37 flat full frame / 98 min. / Street Date February 7, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: Victor Mature, Brian Donlevy, Coleen Gray, Richard Widmark, Taylor Holmes, Karl Malden, Mildred Dunnock

Cinematography: Norbert Brodine

Art Direction: Leland Fuller, Lyle Wheeler

Film Editor: J. Watson Webb Jr.

Original Music: David Buttolph

Written by Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer, Eleazar Lipsky

Produced by Fred Kohlmar

Directed by Henry Hathaway

The older they get, the better they look. Henry Hathaway’s Kiss of Death is
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The House on 92nd Street

Just what is the dreaded ‘Process 97’? Henry Hathaway’s docu-drama combined newsreel ‘reality’ with a true espionage story from the files of the F.B.I., creating a thriller about spies and atom secrets that dazzled the film-going public. But how much of it was true, and how much invented?

The House on 92nd Street

Blu-ray

Kl Studio Classics

1945 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 88 min. / Street Date November 15, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring William Eythe, Lloyd Nolan, Signe Hasso, Gene Lockhart, Leo G. Carroll, Lydia St. Clair, William Post Jr., Harry Bellaver, Bruno Wick, Harro Meller, Charles Wagenheim, Alfred Linder, Renee Carson, Paul Ford, Vincent Gardenia, Reed Hadley, E.G. Marshall, Elisabeth Neumann-Viertel.

Cinematography Norbert Brodine

Film Editor Harmon Jones

Original Music David Buttolph

Written by Barré Lyndon, Charles G. Booth, John Monks Jr.

Produced by Louis De Rochemont

Directed by Henry Hathaway

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

I can’t believe
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Recommended New Books on Filmmaking: A Holiday Gift Guide for the Discerning Cinephile

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for film fans, with some of the best films of the year in theaters and lots of elaborate and thoroughly-researched books to read. This rundown has real variety, with new and recent texts covering cinema history, TV greats, and, of course, Star Wars. Note that one of this year’s finest books, The Oliver Stone Experience (Abrams Books), was covered by The Film Stage in September via an interview with author Matt Zoller Seitz. Make sure to check out Experience, and see below for another fine selection from the prolific Seitz.

Star Wars Year by Year: A Visual History, Updated Edition by Daniel Wallace (Dk Publishing)

It’s a fantastic idea: a book that offers a timeline not of the Star Wars story, but of the Star Wars phenomenon. This newly updated edition of the 2010 release now includes recent works like
See full article at The Film Stage »

Boomerang!

Elia Kazan's third picture is a hard-hitting noir, a true story that honors the efforts of a noble States' Attorney when confronted with a murder case that was a little too open-and-shut. But a close read of the movie uncovers a miasma of social criticism, hiding behind the self-congratulating official narration. A great show. Boomerang! Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1947 / B&W / 1:37 flat full frame / 88 min. / Street Date November 15, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Dana Andrews, Jane Wyatt, Lee J. Cobb, Sam Levene, Arthur Kennedy, Cara Williams, Ed Begley, Taylor Holmes, Robert Keith. Cinematography Norbert Brodine Art Direction Richard Day, Chester Gore Film Editor Harmon Jones Original Music David Buttolph Written by Richard Murphy from an article in The Reader's Digest by Anthony Abbot (Fulton Oursier) Produced by Louis De Rochemont, Darryl F. Zanuck Directed by Elia Kazan

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

In just his second movie, director
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Otto Preminger looks at police corruption and comes up with a classy noir starring Dana Andrews as a rogue cop and Gene Tierney as the woman whose father he accidentally frames for murder. With Karl Malden, Gary Merrill and velvety-slick B&W cinematography by Joseph Lashelle. Where the Sidewalk Ends Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1950 / B&W / 1:37 Academy / 95 min. / Ship Date February 9, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Gary Merrill, Bert Freed, Tom Tully, Karl Malden, Ruth Donnelly, Craig Stevens. Cinematography Joseph Lashelle Art Direction J. Russell Spencer, Lyle Wheeler Film Editor Louis R. Loeffler Original Music Cyril J. Mockridge Written by Ben Hecht, Robert E. Kent, Frank P. Rosenberg, Victor Trivas from the novel Night Cry by William L. Stuart Produced and Directed by Otto Preminger

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Want to see an example of a gloriously polished studio production, a film noir
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Thieves’ Highway

(Region B)  It's just like the film industry, I tell ya!  Director Jules Dassin teams with writer A.I. Bezzerides for one of filmdom's strongest slams at the free market system. Trucker Richard Conte fights back when cheated and robbed by Lee J. Cobb's racketeering produce czar. Thieves' Highway Region B Blu-ray + Pal DVD Arrow Video (UK) 1949 / B&W / 1:37 Academy / 94 min. / Street Date October 20, 2015 / Available at Amazon UK / £14.99 Starring Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb, Barbara Lawrence, Jack Oakie, Millard Mitchell, Joseph Pevney, Morris Carnovsky Cinematography Norbert Brodine Art Direction Chester Gore, Lyle Wheeler Film Editor Nick DeMaggio Original Music Alfred Newman Written by A.I. Bezzerides from his novel Thieves' Market Produced by Robert Bassler Directed by Jules Dassin

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Did Jules Dassin initiate his string of studio produced films noirs, each of which has a strong element of social criticism, if not outright condemnation of 'the system?
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Murder, My Sweet

As far as Hollywood was concerned, hardboiled pulp author Raymond Chandler was big news in 1944 and 1945, working with Billy Wilder on the Production Code breakthrough hit Double Indemnity, and getting two of his popular Philip Marlowe books transposed to the screen -- and not completely shorn of their racy content. Savant Blu-ray Review The Warner Archive Collection Warner Archive Collection 1944 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 95 min. / Street Date September 15, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 21.99  Starring Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley, Otto Kruger, Mike Mazurki. Cinematography Harry J. Wild Art Direction Carroll Clark, Albert S. D'Agostino Film Editor Joseph Noriega Original Music Roy Webb Written by John Paxton from Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler Produced by Sid Rogell, Adrian Scott Directed by Edward Dmytryk

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Many films noirs seem to come from the same stylistic universe, in terms of themes and visuals. But a few of the
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Two-Time Best Actress Oscar Winner Shines on TCM Today: Was Last-Minute Replacement for Crawford in Key Davis Movie of the '60s

Olivia de Havilland on Turner Classic Movies: Your chance to watch 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' for the 384th time Olivia de Havilland is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 2, '15. The two-time Best Actress Oscar winner (To Each His Own, 1946; The Heiress, 1949) whose steely determination helped to change the way studios handled their contract players turned 99 last July 1. Unfortunately, TCM isn't showing any de Havilland movie rarities, e.g., Universal's cool thriller The Dark Mirror (1946), the Paramount comedy The Well-Groomed Bride (1947), or Terence Young's British-made That Lady (1955), with de Havilland as eye-patch-wearing Spanish princess Ana de Mendoza. On the other hand, you'll be able to catch for the 384th time a demure Olivia de Havilland being romanced by a dashing Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood, as TCM shows this 1938 period adventure classic just about every month. But who's complaining? One the
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Criterion Collection: Ride the Pink Horse | Blu-ray Review

Robert Montgomery’s 1947 sophomore film, Ride the Pink Horse is an exciting film noir gem ripe for rediscovery, available on Blu-ray for the first time courtesy of Criterion’s digital restoration. Best known as a comedic actor and Oscar nominated for roles in Night Must Fall (1937) and Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), Montgomery would eventually direct a handful of titles mostly neglected by the passage of time with the exception of his first directorial credit, the experimental noir Lady in the Lake (as the film is presented entirely from the point of view of its protagonist, as if we’re looking directly through his eyes), an adaptation of a Raymond Chandler novel. Lady premiered earlier in the very same year, and though it is often referenced for its structural technique, it’s his follow-up title that’s more impressive, as unique and off kilter as its enigmatic title.

Former GI Lucky
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Blu-ray Review: "Ride The Pink Horse" (1947) Starring Robert Montgomery And Thomas Gomez; Criterion Blu-ray Special Edition

  • CinemaRetro
“Border Town Noir”

By Raymond Benson

Most film noir pictures take place in urban centers—New York City, Los Angeles—where the big city is as much a character as the unhappy humans in these often bleak and brutal, sometimes brilliant, Hollywood crime films that spanned the early forties to the late fifties. Film noir peaked in the latter half of the forties, with an abundance of the classic titles released between 1946-1948.

One of the more unique things about Ride the Pink Horse is that the urban setting is gone. Instead, the action is set in a border town in New Mexico, where there is indeed danger, to be sure, but there’s also a little less pessimism among the inhabitants—unlike in the urban noirs in which everyone’s a cynic. Interestingly, one might say that the “border town noir” could be a sub-set of the broader category,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

‘He Walked by Night’ is a slow burn procedural, perhaps even a little too slow at times

He Walked by Night

Written by John C. Higgins and Crane Wilbur

Directed by Alfred L. Werker and Anthony Mann

U.S.A., 1948

The very long and arduous investigation tasked of Los Angeles police captain Breen (Roy Roberts) and Sergeant Merty Brennan (Scott Brady) begins on a quiet night, on a quiet street when aspiring criminal guru Roy Martin (Richard Basehart) is accosted by a patrolling officer after the latter sees him trying to break into an electronics shop. Roy is prepared for the confrontation, surprising the unfortunate law enforcement representative with his pistol, killing the man in the process. With one of their own gunned down mercilessly, Captain Breen and Sgt. Brennan tackle one of the most difficult cases of their careers, a story inspired by the newspaper headlines of the time when in 1945 and 1946 a former police officer and army veteran Erwin Walker took the city by storm
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Light emerging from the shadows: Sos staff members share their thoughts on noir

Film noir. What is it? What are its defining characteristics? What films best express its qualities? Sex appeal, violence, cynicism, anti-heroes, femmes fatales, bleak commentary on modern society, maddening twists of fate that perpetuate one’s misery, running away from danger yet never making any ground…noir is and represents a wide variety of things, so much so that film experts do not even agree on whether it is a genre unto itself. (Two of the leading voices, James Ursini and Alain Silver, agree that it represents a movement rather than a definable genre.) For well over two years now, Sound on Sight has hosted the Friday Noir column which, on a near-weekly basis, has covered a great many noir entries of the commonly recognized classic period (1941 to 1959) as well as sizable portion of neo-noirs. Slowly and steadily, the column has explored the extremely exhaustive catalogue of titles with still many to come.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

‘Born to Kill’ has a sexually charged an unstoppable force encounter an immovable object

Born to Kill

Written by Eve Greene and Richard Macaulay

Directed by Robert Wise

U.S.A., 1947

Helen Brent (Claire Trevor) is in Reno, Nevada for a few days to settle a divorce. She stays at a nearby ‘bed and breakfast’ type establishment where the fun natured caretaker Mrs. Kraft (Esther Howard) and neighbor Laurey Palmer (Isabel Jewell) seem to spend more time drinking and laughing than anything else. Upon visiting a casino one evening, Helen makes eye contact with a tall, square-jawed handsome man named Sam Wilde (Lawrence Tierney), whose family name suites him perfectly. Sam, prone to violent outbursts driven by jealousy and lust, knows Laurey too, even having dated her. When discovering she has a new boyfriend, Sam murders them both in cold blood in a manner that would make Jason Voorhees proud. Sam them follows Helen to San Francisco, hoping to cozy up with the her as well.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Reel Ink #3 June 2013 – New Books on Film

  • HeyUGuys
A periodic round up of interesting and notable books about film, including biographies, histories, critical assessments, and more.

I have to confess from the off that, apart from Daniel Day-Lewis’ typically spellbinding performance (if that’s even the right word for what he does) and the meticulous detail and cinematography that made the film a joy to look at, Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln left me rather cold; perhaps if I had read Lincoln: A Cinematic and Historical Companion (Disney Editions, distributed in the UK by Turnaround www.turnarounduk.com) beforehand, my viewing experience would have been richer and more rewarding.

The book opens with earnest forewards by Spielberg and producer Kathleen Kennedy, and is thereafter divided into two sections, each in two parts. Part One, ‘Players on the Stage of History’, features full page colour photos of the film’s main players in the style of 19th century portraiture, which
See full article at HeyUGuys »

‘Out of the Past’ is exceptionally gripping from start to finish

Out of the Past

Written by Daniel Mainwaring

Directed by Jacques Tourneur

U.S.A., 1947

Sometimes, there is no eluding one’s past, regardless of how hard one tries. The reasons are numerous. Perhaps the emotional and psychological weight of an event in one’s life are too great to shake off. In other instances the shackles exist because an individual is condemned to spend years actively correcting previous errors in judgement in the hopes of earning long sought after redemption. There exists another set of circumstances, the most deceptively simple of the lot, that being when a person merely walks away from an embarrassing, shameful and deeply regrettable episode, but deliberately creating separation from their history is no guarantee that the old ghosts will acquiesce to letting them be. When one least expects it, a new challenge presents itself from…Out of the Past.

Jeff Baily (Robert Mitchum) has
See full article at SoundOnSight »
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Credited With | External Sites