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Forgotten Noir Collector's Set 3
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Volume 7 has David Harding, Counterspy; Danger Zone and The Big Chase. David Harding, Counterspy is based off a radio show and relates a story of espionage, with the title character leading a group of individuals out to stop Nazi spies. A soldier is brought in to help after his best friend is murdered; is the widow involved? Danger Zone is a pair of half-hour episodes of a TV series that never took off: A pre-Ward-Cleaver Hugh Beaumont plays a boat shop owner who always winds up being framed for murder, giving him a chance to spout standard hard-boiled wit. The Big Chase tells the story of a rookie cop who gets involved in a big chase with crooks including Lon Chaney (while his wife is about to give birth). Amusingly, the big crime which supposedly takes months to set up, involves little more than a standard stick-up of an armored car.
In Volume 8, Mr. District Attorney (also based on a radio series) relates the story of a young assistant D.A. who falls for a murder suspect. Ringside is reminiscent of the James Cagney vehicle City for Conquest with the subject of two brothers, one a musician, the other a boxer. When the boxer is blinded in a fight, his brother puts on his gloves, intent on making the money necessary for eye surgery and getting revenge for the incident.Read more ›
Some were drawn out like RingSide, which didn't have much of a story so you watch long boring rounds of bad boxing. Same for Hi-Jacked, except this time it's scenes of driving (although I did like seeing Sid Melton). Another big loser is Danger Zone, obviously 2 half-hour plots for television put together. The Big Chase was a short 3D movie with a non-speaking Lon Chaney stuffed into an hour format. Dull.
There are some familiar faces but overall this is just not up to good standards. The films are in good condition at least but there is nothing to give this package a higher rating. The acting, plots, direction, etc. are just mediocre. True, it is 50's black and white "noir" crime dramas but that doesn't mean it's good noir. I'll probably pass on the other collections just because of this one experience.
David Harding, Counterspy (1950) 7/10 - Stars Willard Parker and Audrey Long. Based on a radio show that ran from 1942-1957. Harding (Howard St. John) causes the interruption of a radio broadcast to announce disinformation. Harding then tells the radio announcer the story that is the movie's plot. It has lots of twists and turns and spy tricks just like the original radio show.
Danger Zone (1951) 6/10 - Stars Hugh Beaumont and Ed Brophy. A private detective is hired by a woman to bid on a locked suitcase at an auction. He is also working with another detective doing surveillance for a pending divorce. However, his partner in the second case is setting up him to take the fall for a murder. It's a little strange to see "The Beaver's" dad (Hugh Beaumont) as a detective, and stranger still to see supporting tough guy Ed Brophy as a professor.
The Big Chase (1954) 5/10 - Stars Lon Chaney Jr., Glenn Langen, and Adele Jergens. A Korean War vet becomes an L.A. policeman whose wife has developed health problems late in her pregnancy. The highlight of the film is our hero's pursuit of a gang of payroll robbers through the streets of L.A. This film was shot in 3-D during that particular craze in the 50's. You'll also be perplexed by the standard of self-care for pregnant women 55 years ago. Apparently bourbon and cigarettes were not discouraged.
Mr. District Attorney (1947) - Stars Dennis O'Keefe and Adolphe Menjou. Adapted from a popular NBC radio program of the time.
Ringside (1949) 6/10 - Stars Don Barry and Tom Brown.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Return with me now to those thrilling days of yester years." Movies from the 40's - 50's some maybe earlier some later. Read morePublished on August 26, 2013 by halh
Too often any black and white film from the 1940s and '50s with a crime theme is labeled "film noir. Read morePublished on April 1, 2013 by Biblio-Nut
Here's another fantastic release from Kit Parker Films and VCI. Many of the movies in this set haven't been seen in over fifty years which makes them all the more interesting to... Read morePublished on June 11, 2008 by Robert H. Neuman