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Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics II (Human Desire / The Brothers Rico / Nightfall / City of Fear / Pushover)

4.5 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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(Jul 06, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and The Film Foundation partner once again to bring five films to DVD for the first time, fully restored and remastered, in Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics II. In this second volume, renowned directors Fritz Lang, Phil Karlson, and Irving Lerner are joined by Jacques Tourneur and Richard Quine in proving that lust, adultery, greed, and revenge all adds up to cold, calculated murder. Film Noir Classics II takes you on a dark journey among lowlifes and mobsters, cops and gun molls, and the dimwitted, hapless pawns who forever changed the landscape of cinema, and whose doomed paths are as disturbing today as when they were first committed to film.

Return to the realm of smoke and shadows for Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics II, five largely overlooked stories of doomed heroes and double-dealing ladies, featuring the likes of Kim Novak, Fred MacMurray, Glenn Ford, Anne Bancroft, and legendary femme fatale Gloria Grahame, and each making their DVD debut. The top pick of the set is arguably 1957's Nightfall, a tense adaptation of David Goodis's novel by suspense master Jacques Tourneur (Out of the Past) that benefits from strong chemistry between leads Aldo Ray as the regular Joe pursued by bank robbers and Anne Bancroft as the model who falls for him, and an elastic story structure that keeps the viewer as disoriented as Ray in its frequent flashes to the past. Some, however, may argue the case for The Brothers Rico (1957) from Phil Karlson (The Phenix City Story)--like Martin Scorcese, who praises the film in one of the set's extras--with Richard Conte as a former Mob accountant forced to return to the organized crime world in order to save his brothers (Paul Picerni and James Darren), or Fritz Lang's Human Desire (1954), which reunited Lang with his Big Heat (1953) star, Glenn Ford, in a remake of Jean Renoir's La bête humaine (1938) that offers a sterling showcase for Gloria Grahame as the seductress who lures Ford into a plot to murder her husband (Broderick Crawford). The set is rounded out by Pushover (1954), a modest revamp of Double Indemnity with that film's star, Fred MacMurray, again displaying his knack for understated drama as a cop who falls for Kim Novak (in her movie debut), the girlfriend of the bank robber he's staking out, and City of Fear (1958), an entertaining B-thriller from Irving Lerner, who re-teams with his Murder by Contract star, Vince Edwards, as a tough con who unwittingly steals a canister of radioactive material and spreads death to everyone he meets.

Extras are light but informative; in addition to the three-minute Scorsese chat, there are brief discussions of noir style and tropes with actress Emily Mortimer and director Christopher Nolan (Inception), who riffs on themes of paranoia in noir and his appreciation for City of Fear. Original theatrical trailers for all five films are also included. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

Terror and Desire with Emily Mortimer
Martin Scorsese on The Brothers Rico
Pulp Paranoia with Christopher Nolan

Product Details

  • Actors: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford, Aldo Ray, Anne Bancroft
  • Directors: Edward Dmytryk, Fritz Lang, Irving Lerner, Jacques Tourneur, Phil Karlson
  • Writers: Alfred Hayes, Ben Hecht
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: July 6, 2010
  • Run Time: 425 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0024FAG8A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,800 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics II (Human Desire / The Brothers Rico / Nightfall / City of Fear / Pushover)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I was very impressed by the 1st volume that Columbia released of their Film Noir titles: Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics, Vol. 1 (The Big Heat / 5 Against the House / The Lineup / Murder by Contract / The Sniper) This set promises just as much!

This Columbia set features 5 films (each on it's own separate disc):

*FAV* Human Desire (1954) 91 minutes
directed by Fritz Lang (ONE OF THE MASTERS!)
starring: Glenn Ford Glenn Ford & Gloria Grahame

The Brothers Rico (1957) 92 minutes
directed by: Phil Karlson
starring: Richard Conte, Dianne Foster, Kathryn Grant, Larry Gates

*FAV* Nightfall (1957) 78 mins
directed by: Jacques Tourneur (one of the masters!)
starring: Aldo Ray, Brian Keith, Anne Bancroft, Jocelyn Brando

City of Fear (1959)| 81 mins
directed by: Irving Lerner
starring: Vince Edwards, Lyle Talbot, John Archer, Steven Ritch

*FAV* Pushover (1954) 88 mins
directed by: Richard Quine
starring: Fred MacMurray, Philip Carey, Kim Novak, Dorothy Malone

If you've never seen a Columbia Film Noir before - here is what to expect: they are gritty, psychological; distinctive in a dark and claustrophobic visual style, their narrative are often come from deep rooted-anxiety, desperation and entrapment; they are focused on the crime itself. These are *Hard-boiled Detective Stories*

Compared to more familiar Fox Film Noirs (Laura (Fox Film Noir),
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The five films featured in the Columbia Film Noir Classics II set were made as the classic film noir cycle was winding down, 1954-1959. These are not high noir, but most are solid films with noir themes and even some noir archetypes. If you're a casual noir fan, these films are neither the highest quality nor most exemplary of the noir style, so they may not be of much interest. If you're a more hard-core noir fan, this is a nice selection of moderate quality noir and noir-influenced thrillers from the mid-to-late 1950s. The social milieu here is very much post-War. If there is a dud in the bunch, it is "City of Fear", a thriller whose premise seems interesting enough but is rather flat.

"Human Desire" (1954) is a post-War American adaptation of Emile Zola's 1890 novel, directed by Fritz Lang. Korean War veteran Jeff Warren (Glen Ford) has just returned to his rail yard job, when a co-worker, Carl Buckley (Broderick Crawford), is fired for his violent temper. Carl's younger, comely wife Vicki (Gloria Grahame) is an old friend of owner, though, and Carl asks her to call in a favor. Too bad that Carl's temper is so easily ignited by jealousy. His actions leave him in a bind and Vicki stuck in a miserable marriage with no where to turn but to Jeff. This is a must-see for Gloria Grahame fans. The psychological games and cruelty are memorable, and Vicki is easily the most complex character. 4 stars.

"The Brothers Rico" (1957) is a post-noir thriller based on the story "Les Frères Rico" by Georges Simenon. It features a middle-aged Richard Conte as Eddie Rico, former mob accountant, now the proud owner of a successful legitimate laundry business.
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I wanted to correct the 2 previous reviewers. In a Lonely Place IS NOT in this collection. If you notice the art work for the set you will see the title HUMAN DESIRE. I looked up the press release for this set on the web and it lists Human Desire, NOT In a Lonely Place. I gave this set 5 stars because I really like Human Desire which reunites Gloria Grahame and Glenn Ford who costarred together in The Big Heat. I will preorder this set just for that title. Please verify your information before posting a review; people do read them you know!!
3 Comments 67 of 69 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Although all the films contained here are worthy of a collection, the main reason I bought this set is 1954's "Human Desire"--- a remake of Jean Renoir's 1938 "La Bete Humaine" with Simone Simon from the story by Emile Zola. Fritz Lang reunited Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame from Lang's 1953 "The Big Heat" for this murder tale. While not packing the same punch as "Heat", the film still offers a compelling look at a sexy woman, Vicki (Grahame), trapped in a miserable marriage to brutish Broderick Crawford and ensnaring ex-GI Ford in a web of deceit and murder. Set at a dreary railroad yard, "Desire" offers an oppressive atmosphere and a heavy performance from Crawford as a murderously jealous husband. Grahame matches him as his younger,restless wife with her own agenda. Ford is the quiet, nice everyman drawn to Grahames' sultry allure. "Human Desire" had previously been available only in inferior form. Here, it looks great---a b&w treat of powerhouse acting and illicit schemes 50's style. I'm just not crazy about the current trend of packaging discs by stacking them. I just feel it's too easy for them to be damaged. Yet, there we are. Enjoy the whole set, but don't overlook "Human Desire".
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in a lonely place out/human desire in
Are there any subtitles? English? French?
May 17, 2010 by jonas |  See all 2 posts
French subtitles Be the first to reply
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