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Dark City (1950)


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Editorial Reviews

Charlton Heston, Lizabeth Scott, Dean Jagger. A crooked card game is the impetus for a stranger in Chicago to commit suicide after he loses a $5,000 cashier's check that belongs to his company. But his protective, older brother sets his sights on personal revenge. 1950/b&w/98 min/NR/fullscreen.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Charlton Heston, Lizabeth Scott, Jack Webb, Harry Morgan, Dean Jagger
  • Directors: William Dieterle
  • Producers: Hal Wallis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: July 27, 2010
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003J216KE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,967 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dark City (1950)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
27%
4 star
49%
3 star
24%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 37 customer reviews
Good movie unlike most recent movies it has a plot and is well acted.
Richard Ryan
Spoiler Alert *** I thought it was Noir and while I wouldn't exactly call it a chick flick, Noir is not supposed to have a happy ending.
ThetaSurfer
Aside from being a Charlton Heston film premier, this is a MUST for any Lizabeth Scott fan.
Donald H. Stewart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Donald H. Stewart on June 8, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Dark City is Charlton Heston's first film. He plays the role of Danny, an overly determined revenger, who spends the film tracking down the killer of the 4 members of his poker game gone bad, one by one. Lizabeth Scott plays Fran Garland, Danny's under appreciated singer at the local Nightclub which Danny frequents. She delivers 5, yes 5 songs, one of which is the best rendition of That Old Black Magic available. This is one of Lizabeth Scott's best films - even though she does not have a gun in her purse!!. A fine supporting cast of Paramount Contract Players of that era help move things along-Jack Webb, Harry Morgan, Don Defore, Ed Begley, Dean Jagger, Mike Masurki, and of all people, Vivica Lindfors. Aside from being a Charlton Heston film premier, this is a MUST for any Lizabeth Scott fan.
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Format: DVD
"Dark City" was Charlton Heston's first Hollywood film, and it's easy to see why he became a star. Heston projects a strong persona as Danny Haley, an Ivy-leaguer and war hero without the status those things might imply. Danny co-owns a bookie joint with older, gruffer Barney (Ed Begley). One evening, when Danny visits his girlfriend Fran (Lizabeth Scott) in the downscale club where she sings, he meets Arthur Winant (Don DeFore), a friendly athletic director in town on business. Arthur hangs himself after losing his company's money in a poker game to Danny's weasely associate Augie (Jack Webb). Then Barney is murdered. Danny, Augie, and police Captain Garvey (Dean Jagger) suspect that someone is seeking revenge for Arthur's death, and Danny and Augie will be the next targets.

Charlton Heston does a good tough guy with emotional baggage. It makes me wish he'd done more movies in the film noir mold. "Dark City" makes use of noir conventions, but its tone softens after an hour. And being pursued by a homicidal maniac is prosaic by film noir standards. It could be said that Danny is being pursued by his conscience, but that is even further from noir themes. Pop culture critic Carl Macek remarked that "Dark City is a vision of the noir world without the emphasis of the noir ethos." That about says it. It's a solid thriller that's intermittently noir. Heston is a strong presence. Lizabeth Scott gets to sing a lot but Fran is beneath her talents. Beautiful Viveca Lindfors plays a modestly-attired widow. And Jack Webb is always spot-on as a small-time creep. The print and sound on the 2010 Olive Films DVD are good. No subtitles or bonus features.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Larry VanDeSande VINE VOICE on September 2, 2010
Format: DVD
I am very pleased to see "Dark City" finally made it to DVD via Amazon. I haven't seen this film in some years. The last recall I had of it was when that other Dark City was released a few years ago, the insipid mystery about aliens chasing people around on an imaginary set.

This "Dark City" is about crime lords in the 1940s, a card game, some lost money, a double cross, a dame and some other stuff. It doesn't have a great script. Heston was 25 when this film was released; it was his first major film. Far from being an ingenue or a beginner, he exhibits all the same electric charm and animal attraction that made him a leading man in films as varied as Ben-Hur, Airport 75, El Cid, Planet of the Apes, The Ten Commandments and Soylent Green for more than then next half-century.

Heston is aided here by some of the best character actors of the 1950s -- Harry Morgan and Jack Webb, who went on to stardom in television's "Dragnet" series -- as well as Ed Begley and Don DeFore. It isn't the greatest revenge movie ever made but Heston is dynamite, as always, as he rivets viewer attention in every scene. One of the best is the opening credit with Heston walking into the frame. Dynamite! Thanks for finally bringing this gem back to us!
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Format: DVD
It only takes a few moments to see that Charlton Heston, who first appears under the opening credits, striding along in what would become his iconic walk, is going to be a big Hollywood star in his first film, "Dark City," which was recently rescued from video oblivion by the enterprising Olive Films and released on DVD. Heston is on screen for virtually the entire film, and it is solely his presence that propels the film forward. Having read about this film for years, and not being able to see it until now, I was sorely disappointed in the film itself. Script has few surprises, and is totally formulaic as its predictable plot unfolds. Weak writing, plodding direction by William Dieterle (whose classic work includes "Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "The Devil and Daniel Webster") and a group of poorly used actors, who have been better used elsewhere (Harry Morgan, Viveca Lindfors, even Jack Webb). Worst of all is Lizabeth Scott (who at 88 is still alive and living somewhere in seclusion), whose doormat of a nightclub singer, begging to be mistreated by Heston's character, is at her dullest. Ms. Scott, not a particularly versatile actress, was best when she was bad ("Easy Living," "Bad for Each Other" with Heston), but here she poorly lipsynchs several too many songs (that stop the already slow-moving plot dead in its tracks) to the voice of Trudy Stevens (who sang for Scott in other films and for Vera-Ellen in "White Chistmas"), and reads her lines as though she were a drama school dropout. Don't look for the classic femme fatale in this movie; she simply isn't here.

The three stars are only for Heston in his film debut; the film itself would only rate two.
Biggest problem is poor quality of video.
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