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74 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 classic NOIRS from the studio vaults
Wow! Great deal! These films retail for $29.95 each. This collection includes great titles from great directors (Fritz Lang, Anthony Mann) and they star some of Hollywood's all time greats like Joan Crawford, Henry Fonda, Jack Palance and many more. Here's a little description for each film:

SUDDEN FEAR (1952) - STARRING JOAN CRAWFORD, JACK PALANCE & GLORIA...
Published on July 24, 2006 by F. Tarzi

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A MOVIE THAT IS NOT SEEN IS A DEAD MOVIE
[I]f you're not a huge fan of both Anthony Mann and the Film Noir genre,
you won't be interested at all in RAILROADED. BUT YOU WILL BE WRONG !
You will miss John Ireland in the role of a sexual perverted bad guy
who likes to perfume his bullets before killing ; in RAW DEAL, another
Anthony Mann's movie shot one year later that you can find in the...
Published on August 26, 2000 by Daniel S.


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74 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 classic NOIRS from the studio vaults, July 24, 2006
This review is from: Film Noir - The Dark Side of Hollywood (Sudden Fear / The Long Night / Hangmen Also Die / Railroaded / Behind Locked Doors) (DVD)
Wow! Great deal! These films retail for $29.95 each. This collection includes great titles from great directors (Fritz Lang, Anthony Mann) and they star some of Hollywood's all time greats like Joan Crawford, Henry Fonda, Jack Palance and many more. Here's a little description for each film:

SUDDEN FEAR (1952) - STARRING JOAN CRAWFORD, JACK PALANCE & GLORIA GRAHAME - DIRECTED BY DAVID MILLER - NOMINATED FOR 4 ACADEMY AWARDS - SYNOPSIS: Joan Crawford turns in one of the most emotionally charged performances of her career as a playwright who must use her plotting skills to save her own life, in this beautifully crafted film noir thriller. On a train headed home to California, Myra Hudson (Crawford) falls in love with, and marries, actor Lester Blaine (Jack Palance) whom she has just fired from her most recent New York play. Back on her San Francisco estate, something evil appears to be lurking just beneath the surface of the couple's idyllic life. Enter Gloria Grahame as Palance's girlfriend (in a stunning performance the New York Times called "hard, brash and sexy."). Soon it is clear that they are after more than new scripts as they greedily scheme for Myra's money. Director David Miller (Lonely Are The Brave) guides the story with supreme confidence, assisted by gorgeous black and white cinematography and an excellent score by Elmer Bernstein, as Sudden Fear races towards its jolting climax. Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Actress (Crawford) and Best Supporting Actor (Palance), Sudden Fear is the unbeatable combination of a lushly produced Joan Crawford melodrama and a drop-dead suspense thriller. They just don't make 'em like this anymore!

THE LONG NIGHT (1947) - STARRING HENRY FONDA, BARBARA BEL GEDDES & VINCENT PRICE - DIRECTED BY ANATOLE LITVAK - SYNOPSIS: An exciting rediscovery from the studio vaults, The Long Night is an emotionally gripping, visually dynamic film noir, in which Henry Fonda, at the peak of his career, delivers an unforgettable performance. Presented in an intricate web of flashbacks, The Long Night follows the fractured thoughts of Joe Adams (Henry Fonda), a factory worker pinned inside his third-floor apartment after gunning down a mysterious, dapper gentleman (Vincent Price). Joe's memories, often containing flashbacks within flashbacks, reconstruct the events leading up to the shooting, revealing his romance with a quiet young girl (Barbara Bel Geddes), his less-romantic involvement with a worn-out showgirl (Ann Dvorak) and the varied twists of fate which drove Joe to murder. In staging this remake of Marcel Carné's Le Jour Se Leve (France, 1939), the producers of The Long Night imported not only the story, but the look of poetic realism that made the original so haunting. At once dismal and magical, the world of The Long Night was unlike anything Hollywood had yet imagined, and laid the groundwork for the dark and gritty (but highly stylized) imagery that became the trademark of film noir.

HANGMEN ALSO DIE (1943) - STARRING BRIAN DONLEVY, ANNA LEE & WALTER BRENNAN - DIRECTED BY FRITZ LANG - NOMINATED FOR 2 ACADEMY AWARDS - SYNOPSIS: Pursued by the Germans after the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Dr. Svobonda (Brian Donlevy) enlists the aid of a young woman (Anna Lee) who is oblivious to the lethal crosscurrents that surround her. As she learns more about the mysterious doctor, she grows aware of the involvement of her father (Walter Brennan) and fiance (Dennis O'Keefe) in the resistance, and soon finds herself entangled in the revolution's secret operations. Much of the nightmarish quality of Hangmen Also Die is attributable to playwright Bertolt Brecht, who co-scripted the film with Lang, and legendary cinematographer James Wong Howe (Hud), who cloaks every conrner in shadow and endows the film with an almost tangible sense of claustrophobia.

RAILROADED (1947) - STARRING JOHN IRELAND, SHEILA RYAN & HUGH BEAUMONT - DIRECTED BY ANTHONY MANN - SYNPOSIS: Anthony Mann, who took the suspense of film noir to dizzying heights with his movies T-Men and Raw Deal, brings his talents to the hard-boiled detective thriller with Railroaded. When a policeman is killed attempting to thwart a holdup, Detective Mickey Ferguson is assigned to the case. The case becomes personal, though, when the kid brother of Mickey's sweetheart is named as the gunman. Determined to find the truth, Mickey goes searching for clues and comes up with notorious gangster Duke Martin, played by John Ireland (Spartacus, Gunfight At The OK Corral). What follows is a blood-and-thunder extravaganza filled with betrayal and suspicions, handguns and hostages, and a climactic nightclub showdown. Mann directs Railroaded with a precision and elegance that betrays its low-budget production, and John Ireland's cold-blooded performance is backed up by a talented (if unknown) cast, including Hugh Beaumont (Ward of television's Leave It To Beaver) and Shelia Ryan

BEHIND LOCKED DOORS (1948) - STARRING RICHARD CARLSON, LUCILLE BREMER & TOR JOHNSON - DIRECTED BY BUDD BOETTICHER (SEVEN MEN FROM NOW) - SYNOPSIS: A shadowy sanitarium provides the claustrophobic stage for sadism, paranoia and murder in this classic film noir from director Budd Boetticher (Tall T, Comanche Station). In a plot that clearly foreshadowed Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor, private detective Ross Stewart (Richard Carlson) checks himself into a mental hospital in an attempt to locate a corrupt judge hiding from justice. But before Stewart can reveal the truth, his true identity is discovered and he becomes a victim of his own ruse. With the help of a deranged punch-drunk ex-prizefighter (Tor Johnson of Plan 9 From Outer Space), the doctors at La Siesta Sanitarium concoct a plan to make Stewart a permanent resident. And the only person who shares Stewart's secret, the only one who can rescue him from certain death, is the scheming woman who sent him there (Lucille Bremer). A bare-bones, low-budget B thriller from Hollywood's "Poverty Row," Behind Locked Doors cleverly compensates for its budgetary limitations by bathing its sets in darkness. This visual spareness is perfectly suited to Boetticher's terse, hard-edged style, making the film a nightmarish ride through the halls of insanity and an ingenious, effective example of American film noir.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tight, sharp, taut--classic film noir, November 17, 2001
By 
LGwriter "SharpWitGuy" (Astoria, N.Y. United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Railroaded (DVD)
The short (73 minutes) of this film is not a problem at all; Anthony Mann's direction is so strong that there's no wasted moment. While some films noir suffer from being overly stiff (cf. The Big Combo), this one's fluidity is definitely in evidence. John Ireland is the standout here, but the two female leads--Sheila Ryan and Jane Randolph--are almost as good. A real plus, plotwise, is the 'good girl' falling (at least temporarily) for the bad guy.
Similarly, the 'bad girl' ultimately turns good. These reversals, coupled with the bad guy's peculiar behavior (the infamous perfuming of his bullets) and an unusual shoot-out in a long-after-closing bar full of upside-down barstools make for an interesting film.
Hugh Beaumont's good guy cop is a well-matched foil to John Ireland's Duke Martin, whose occasionally drunk girlfriend meets with Beaumont, near the end, to rat out what she thinks is her two-timing boyfriend.
Definitely one of the better films noir on DVD.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT MOVIE, September 30, 2000
By 
This review is from: Railroaded [VHS] (VHS Tape)
John Ireland is sensational in this movie, as always. He is one of the best actors ever, and it is sad he is not remembered that way. RAILROADED and RAW DEAL are both wonderful showcases for his talent. I reccommend any movie with John Ireland in it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short B-Noir with Memorable Villains., July 3, 2005
This review is from: Railroaded (DVD)
"Railroaded" is a low-budget film noir from director Anthony Mann that proves -as so many films of the classic noir era did- that you can pack more themes, character writing, and entertainment into a 72-minute B-movie than most modern extravaganzas that run over 2 hours and cost $100 million. "Railroaded" takes a direct approach. It's clear who the good guys and bad guys are, but the villains are something to see.

A beauty shop that houses an illegal gambling operation for a man named Jackland Ainsworth (Roy Gordon) is robbed by two men, leaving a police officer dead and one of the culprits critically wounded. The owner of the shop, Clara Calhoun (Jane Randolph), and her thuggish paramour Duke Martin (John Ireland), who committed the robbery, conspire to frame Steve Ryan (Ed Kerry), an innocent whose laundry truck was used in the getaway. Steve is arrested by police detective Mickey Ferguson (Hugh Beaumont), and the authorities are content to pin the job on him. But Steve's sister Rosie (Sheila Ryan) is convinced of his innocence and determined to prove it.

Determined, forthright Rosie and mild mannered detective Ferguson make a pleasant, adversarial, pair of sleuths. But "Railroaded"'s strength is its villains. John Ireland and Jane Randolph steal the show as amoral antagonists. Duke is a cold-blooded killer who perfumes his bullets. He's not smart, but he's meticulous and obsessive. The shootings are somehow startling, although not graphic. Clara is smarmy, alcoholic, and desperate. "Railroaded" is a nice little Freudian film noir. A knock-down drag-out brawl between good girl Rosie and bad girl Clara is a fun bonus.

The DVD (Kino Video 2000 release): This print of the film has some white specks, but no serious flaws. There are no bonus features apart from an awkward scene selection menu. Hit "menu" on your remote twice to get to it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A MOVIE THAT IS NOT SEEN IS A DEAD MOVIE, August 26, 2000
By 
Daniel S. "Daniel" (Geneva, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Railroaded (DVD)
[I]f you're not a huge fan of both Anthony Mann and the Film Noir genre,
you won't be interested at all in RAILROADED. BUT YOU WILL BE WRONG !
You will miss John Ireland in the role of a sexual perverted bad guy
who likes to perfume his bullets before killing ; in RAW DEAL, another
Anthony Mann's movie shot one year later that you can find in the DVD
standard courtesy of the Roan Group, you will also find one of these
degenerated killers, this time impersonated by a vicious Raymond
Burr.
You will also miss the long bare hands fight between Jane
Randolph and Sheila Ryan, very unusual in Hollywoodian productions of
that period. And there are numerous other anthology scenes that you
will miss.
So make your choice but don't forget that there is only a
scene access as bonus feature if you want to consider Anthony Mann's
RAILROADED as
A DVD for your library.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't listen to the negs., September 21, 2011
This review is from: Film Noir - The Dark Side of Hollywood (Sudden Fear / The Long Night / Hangmen Also Die / Railroaded / Behind Locked Doors) (DVD)
I am surprised at the negative reviews for this release. Everyone seems to like SUDDEN FEAR and THE LONG NIGHT, but what about HANGMEN ALSO DIE? It has been one of my favorites for years. Whenever I want to see something unrelentingly dark and gloomy with beautiful photography, I watch HANGMEN. It was directed by Fritz Lang, co-written by Bertolt Brecht, and photographed by James Wong Howe. How could it be less than brilliant? Then there's RAILROADED directed by the great Anthoiny Mann. It's a B film, but Mann's B films are better than many A's. RAILROADED isn't as brilliant as T-MEN, but it is still a good watch. BEHIND LOCKED DOORS is the least of the bunch, but even it is fun in a lurid, Samuel Fuller, tabloid kind of way.

Some of the negative comments are about the lack of restoration. Honestly, I get so tired of these people harping on restoration. They act like anyone who releases an unrestored film is callously trying to cheat their customers. They should be glad these films are available at all. There's nothing that says they have to be, and many films never will be. Wouldn't you rather have them than not have them? If kino hadn't released these five films, you wouldn't be able to buy them, period. And the way people whine, you would think that film restoration is a cheap and easy thing that distributors withold out of pure meanness. In reality, restoration is massively expensive. Even minor restoration is beyond the means of most distributors, and a full restoration would bankrupt most companies. To do a good job at restoration requires a huge investment and can only be done on films which will sell enough copies to make that money back. That's the financial reality at this point in the game. So stop whining and be thankfull for what we've got. That said, these films are not in terrible shape at all. There are small issues but certainly nothing that will keep any reasonable person from enjoying them. If you love classic films, especially when they're really dark, you need to have these. So shut up and buy them!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ONE FOR THE CONNOISEUR, May 12, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Railroaded (DVD)
The great Anthony Mann usually had a better than-budget cast for his film noirs, usually including Dennis O'keefe and Raymond Burr. In Railroaded however one has to put up with Sheila Ryan and Hugh Beaumont, but at least the excellent John Ireland is there to lend some credibilty to the acting. What I'm trying to say is that apart from Mann's amazing direction there aren't that many other reasons for seeing this film.
If however you are a connoiseur of the dirtectors art you will get alot out of this movie. As Manny Farber correctly identified this is one of the best examples of the "Germanic Rigour" that Mann brings to his films regardless of the non-existent budget. There are several amazing compositions and camera angles that Mann pulls off in this tour-de-force, and all create an amazing rythym like a well oiled machine. This isn't one for the casual viewer, but it is worth watching to see one of the greatest of all American directors working his magic. One for the purists out there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O'Hara was one of us, August 8, 2004
This review is from: Railroaded (DVD)
Clara and Marie are running a bookie operation for the girls in the back room of Clara's beauty salon. The owner of the Bombay Club is financing the venture. Clara's boyfriend Duke manages the club and collects the take from a string of bookie joints. With Clara in tow he decides to fake a heist. Marie, not in on the plan, screams when a shotgun in shoved in her face and alerts a nearby police patrolman. The policeman is shot dead and Duke's partner is fatally wounded, surviving only long enough to implicate innocent Steve Ryan and lead the police away from Duke.

RAILROADED! is a taut little crime caper, made on the cheap at that cheapest of Poverty Row studios, PRC. It's probably been spared the lingering obscurity common to most b-movies because of our current fascination with all things noirs and because it's one of the early works of director Anthony Mann, who would soon graduate to the big leagues and collaborate with Jimmy Stewart on some of the best Westerns made in the 1950s.

John Ireland plays Duke with coiled menace, a killer devoid of humanity, someone who massages his pistol past polishing with a perfumed handkerchief. Make of that what you will, but it provides the police with a sweet-scented clue when they remove the fatal bullet from the blasted patrolman. Hugh Beaumont, Beaver's dad, plays the good police detective who slowly realizes that the perfect suspect, the sandy-haired young Steve, may be as guiltless as he professes. Beaumont played some very strange and twisted characters in his pre-Leave It to Beaver, b-movie career, but he's a reassuringly straight arrow good guy here. The pivot the Good Guy and the Bad Guy fight over is Steve's pretty sister Rosa (Sheila Ryan), who's convinced of her brother's innocence and is willing to dance with the devil Duke to clear his name. My favorite character is Ferguson's (Beaumont) sidekick Chubb (Clancy Cooper), a gum-chewing square-jawed cop who glowers at Steve during his interrogation.

If you're a fan of Mann's Westerns, RAILROADED! should probably satisfy. It's interesting to see what Mann does with a limited budget in an urban setting. One of my favorite shots occur early on, when the gun toting thugs seemingly rise out of a dark and dirty alley into the foreground of the scene. You'll miss the tormented central character and the Technicolor western landscapes, but Mann throws in a trademark Good Girl/Bad Girl fistfight with a gun drawn Duke watching from the shadows. RAILROADED! is a strong early work from a master director, and good fun to boot.
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3.0 out of 5 stars 'Ward' Not Dealing With The 'Beaver' This Time, April 13, 2009
By 
Craig Connell (Lockport, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Railroaded (DVD)
For people who grew up watching "Leave It To Beaver" on TV, this film offers Hugh Beaumont as a main character. Beaumont is famous for playing Beaver's dad "Ward." In this movie, he's a tough cop, and fun to watch. I also enjoyed ogling a pretty brunette, "Rosie," played by Sheila Ryan.

The climax to this story was good, and it was surprisingly realistic. There was some decent film-noir photography in spots, too. That's no surprise considering Anthony Mann was the director.

The film is okay, but with the high price (VHS, at the time, and now DVD) it tends to give you really high expectations. I found I liked this more on the second viewing when I knew what to expect and my expectations were a bit lower.

In the beginning, the story dwells too long on the innocent man-being arrested theme but after that part is over, it picks up. John Ireland is good as the villain "Duke."
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Obscure noir, March 22, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Film Noir - The Dark Side of Hollywood (Sudden Fear / The Long Night / Hangmen Also Die / Railroaded / Behind Locked Doors) (DVD)
The collection Film Noir - The Dark Side of Hollywood boasts on the box cover that it features "Five Classics from the Studio Vaults". It may be a little much to call these films "classics" (no one will ever mistake these movies for such greats as Out of the Past or The Asphalt Jungle), but they are all okay, or in some cases, even good.

The first in the bunch (chronologically speaking) is Hangmen Also Die, a World War II thriller directed by Fritz Lang and based on real events. Brian Donlevy plays a member of the Czech resistance who is responsible for the assassination of Heydrich. Anna Lee gets entangled with him, and soon both are in peril. The Nazis threaten to execute innocent people till the assassin comes forth, including Lee's father. This film is only borderline noir, but it is still good.

Railroaded is a rather standard innocent-man-accused mystery, probably most notable for featuring a pre-Leave It To Beaver Hugh Beaumont as the detective in love with Sheila Ryan even as her brother languishes in jail. John Ireland is effective as the villain in the piece.

The Long Night is the "big name" movie in the set. Directed by Anatole Litvak, it stars Henry Fonda, Barbara Bel Geddes, Vincent Price and a small role for Elisha Cook, Jr. Fonda is holed up in his apartment, surrounded by cops who want to take him in for a murder. The bulk of the movie is a long flashback as to how he got into this spot. Vincent Price is great as a slimy magician, and Bel Geddes is okay in what I believe is her first role (between this movie, Vertigo and 14 Hours - the three movies I've seen her in - I don't think she ever has a normal love relationship with any man). This film is a remake of a French movie and the only DVD with any sort of special features (a video essay on the making of the movie).

Behind Locked Doors is a short (62 minutes) little private eye story with Richard Carlson as a private detective who is recruited by a beautiful reporter to go undercover in a sanitarium where it is believed a crooked judge is hiding out. Of course, the doctor and his assistant are in cahoots with the judge and Carlson soon finds himself trapped "behind locked doors." Probably the most interesting thing about this movie is it has Tor Johnson (of Plan 9 From Outer Space fame) in a role that uses all of his limited acting talents.

Finally, there is Sudden Fear which I feel is the best in the bunch. Joan Crawford is a playwright and heiress who gets actor Jack Palance fired because he doesn't seem like a romantic leading man. When they meet by chance later, she falls for him and they marry, but it turns out he's a better romantic actor than she ever thought; he is actually scheming with an old girlfriend to kill her and get her money. When Crawford finds out by accident, she launches her own counter-scheme. Although this film owes more than a little to Hitchcock's Suspicion, it also goes off in its own direction and does a good job at leaving the viewer guessing about how it all turns out.

As mentioned earlier, there are hardly any extras in this set. Railroaded and Behind Locked Doors are three-star movies, while the others are four-star flicks. I will go with the majority and rate it four stars. These may not be classics, but this set does offer a chance to see some less well-known, decent movies.
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