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Blonde Ice

3.8 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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(Sep 30, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

A society reporter kills men for fame and money, then tries to frame a sportswriter.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Leslie Brooks, Mildred Coles, Julie Gibson, James Griffith, John Holland
  • Directors: Jack Bernhard
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC, Special Edition
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 30, 2003
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C2IVE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,681 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Claire (Leslie Brooks) is blonde, beautiful, and deadly. As is true of most film noir heroines, money and power are more important to her than love, and this society page columnist lets nothing stand in the way of her shady ambitions. Or, as the tagline has it - Ice in her veins, icicles on her heart. Claire marries and murders, is the target of an extortionist and murders, becomes engaged and murders. Off in an innocent corner is sports columnist Les Burns (Robert Paige,) his love blinding him to her homicidal ways.

Brooks and Paige head an unusually strong cast of veteran character actors in the Poverty Row movie BLONDE ICE. In a role that could easily have been taken over the top, Brooks plays the sociopath with passionate restraint. Paige, who appearance here is evidence to the downward track his career was on, plays the poor love-struck sap with a sensitive touch.

True to its Poverty Row heritage corners were cut and money was saved at almost every turn. There aren't a lot of expensive tracking and dolly shots, and you'll notice the same curtains in Les's apartment, in a lawyer's office and hanging off the windows in a room holding an election night party.

The cast is filled with veteran character actors who'd either fallen off the A-movie list or were on it only as bit players. Nobody strays too far out of their comfort zone in this one. For instance, Emory Parnell plays police Capt. Bill Murdock. In the 250 movies he's credited with appearing in, Parnell almost always played the cop, good or bad (in this one he's a grouchy good one.) The only non-veteran in the cast is James Griffith, who plays newspaperman Al Herrick, a friend and co-worker of Claire and Burns who smells a rat a little earlier than anyone else.
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Format: DVD
The forerunner of 1987's Black Widow (Theresa Russell, Debra Winger), Blonde Ice features B actors in a B film noir. Leslie Brooks plays the title character, a newspaper columnist who marries for money and makes sure she gets the dough she's due from her marriages as soon as she can. The whole time she's hooking up with rich guys, she's really in love (or whatever dames like this call love) with a guy she works with on the same paper.
One of the most interesting things about this film is the possibility that noted B director Edgar Ulmer (Detour, Bluebeard, Strange Illusion) may have written the script for the film under its original title, Single Indemnity. The intent, no doubt, was to play off the huge success of the A noir Double Indemnity, released four years earlier. But the releasing studio didn't cotton to this blatant title rip-off and threatened suit. Hence the title change to Blonde Ice.
This is a compact little film, clocking in at around 74 minutes. The DVD comes with some nice extras. Aside from a short description of the Edgar Ulmer connection, there's film restorer Jay Fenton, who's interviewed about film restoration and who supplies both the liner notes and a commentary on the film. There's a bonus very early TV noir episode, "Into the Night"--very creaky. An even wackier extra is some big-voiced crooner singing "Satan in Satin", no doubt inspired by this film. There's bios and filmographies of the cast and crew. And there's even a postcard showing our heroine dolled up in a bathing suit in a cute pose, circa the '40s.
This is not a strong, compelling film noir like Murder, My Sweet or Double Indemnity. But it's worth having as one of the premier B noirs for those, like me, who're noir fanatics.
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Format: DVD
Blonde Ice was one of hundreds of movies made by "poverty row" movie studios such as PRC and Monogram. Many of these were literally thrown in the trash once their theatrical run was over. A large number of these movies are lost - there are no prints in existence anymore.

Blonde Ice was thought to be in that category until film restorer Jay Fenton, working with VCI, put together two prints that he discovered. Each was significantly damaged, but when the good parts of each print were combined a single print in good condition was created. This process, along with many other stories, are told by Jay Fenton as special features on the VCI version of Blone Ice.

The film itself will not make anyone, even hardcore B-Movie noir buffs, forget Double Indemnity, but it is one of the better movies to come out of poverty row in that era. Leslie Brooks is perfectly cast as the title character, and the story is fairly well written and directed (considering the miniscule budget that the movie had).

As to which version of Blonde Ice to buy, I've got to recommend the VCI version. They spent the time and money with Jay Fenton to restore the movie, and it was an investment well spent as their DVD of Blonde Ice is truly something special. You will not find a better print of Blonde Ice available (or even one as good), and the extras on their DVD are worth the price of admission alone! (By the way, I am NOT on the VCI payroll, I just believe in rewarding and crediting those who go above and beyond the call...)

If you're a B-Movie fan, a film noir fan, or just curious about Hollywood's poverty row studios of the 1940's you should definitely check out VCI's Blonde Ice DVD (and skip this version from Alpha/Gotham).
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