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Forgotten Noir & Crime: Vol. Four

7 customer reviews

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(Nov 18, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

COUNTERSPY MEETS SCOTLAND YARD: When enemy agents obtain leaked secrets about a guided missile reservation, the chief of America's counterspy division (Howard St. John) and Scotland Yard's top sleuth (Ron Randell) get on an investigative trail which quickly leads to a reservation secretary (Gunsmoke's Miss Kitty, Amanda Blake). "Suspense and excitement"--Harrison's Reports. RADAR SECRET SERVICE: It's science versus crime when agents of a foreign power working with local gangsters (including Tom Neal) steal a truck loaded with secret atomic materials, and the members of the Secret Service's new "radar unit" (including John Howard and Ralph "Dick Tracy" Byrd) use the latest technology to run down the lawbreakers. MOTOR PATROL: Roaring down America's highways in the pursuit of justice, motorcycle policemen put the heat on a car theft ringleader who uses a legitimate garage as a front. When Officer Bill Henry is killed in the line of duty, rookie Don Castle, the fiancé of Henry's sister, gets him assigned to the case and infiltrates the gang. MR. DISTRICT ATTORNEY (1941): When Harvard Law School graduate P. Cadwallader Jones (Dennis O'Keefe) bungles his first assignment in the D.A.'s office, he is next assigned the make-work job of reviewing the closed case of a crooked city official (Peter Lorre) who vanished with a stolen $100,000. The cold case suddenly gets hot when the money begins to reappear, and a series of brutal murders ensues! There's plenty of fast-moving action in this crime melodrama laced with humor. WESTERN PACIFIC AGENT: A "modern Western," set in the year it was released (1951). The railroad assigns its top agent Kent Taylor to investigate a payroll robbery and the murder of a paymaster. Meanwhile, the felon's father (Morris Carnovsky) is also desperately trying to convince the wayward boy (Mickey Knox) to forsake his life of crime. HIGHWAY 13: It's murder on wheels when a trucking company loses several vehicles in a series of mysterious crashes--and a company honcho dies in a road accident that is equally inexplicable. Truck driver Robert Lowery soon finds himself enmeshed in the whodunit, which involves a café truck stop, an ex-gangster mechanic and indications of sabotage. TREASURE OF MONTE CRISTO: A web of death, intrigue and daring love entwines merchant seaman Glenn Langan, a descendent of the Count of Monte Cristo, as he searches modern-day San Francisco for the fortune in long-missing jewels to which he is the rightful heir. Crooked lawyers, a murder and a frame-up are among the obstacles thrown in his path. Great location photography. ROARING CITY: Private eye Dennis O'Brien (Hugh Beaumont) will do anything for a dame or a dollar, tackling two more assignments filled with pistol-point suspense. The first involves a "fixed" fight, double-crosses and, of course, murder. Later, his reward for hiring out to pose as a young beauty's husband is a knockout blow to the head and a false murder charge! SKY LINER: Attention, Homeland Security! It's GRAND HOTEL in the air as the usual wild assortment of travelers (movie actress, eloping couple, child singer, spinsters, crooks, more) board a LaGuardia Airport flight, unaware that other passengers might be spies and counter-spies, complete with secret documents, poison and elaborate plans to engage in international espionage! ALL ARE FIRST TIME ON VIDEO OR DVD. Bonus Features: Scene Selection, Trailers, Adlets Product Specs: 3-DVD9s; Dolby Digital; 575 min; B&W; 1.33: Aspect Ratio; MPAA NR; Year - 1950, 1950, 1950, 1941, 1950, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1949; SRP - $29.99

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Howard St. John, Ron Randell, Amanda Blake, Lewis Martin, June Vincent
  • Directors: Seymour Friedman, William Berke, Sam Newfield, William Morgan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Collector's Edition, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 575 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001F7XI0G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,249 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Forgotten Noir & Crime: Vol. Four" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Kallis, Jr. on January 6, 2009
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In the days of little or no television, the usual behavior was to go to the movie theater once or twice a week while gaining one's majority of entertainment with what's now called old-time radio (OTR). Usually, there was a new film each week, so besides the blockbusters, there was a steady stream of films coming from"Hollywood."

Many of these films were good, but not great. This is a collection of some of such films. One of the films, Roaring City, is modeled very closely on the radio show of the time, Pat Novak For Hire, but without Jack Webb's delivery on pulp-fiction similies. The Treasure of Monte Cristo is a fairly clever story of a man frame d for a murder, following a strange marriage of convenience. A couple of the films were derived directly from OTR programs, Mr. District Attorney (from the show of the same name) and Counterspy Meets Scotland Yard (from the program known first as Counterspy, then David Harding, Counterspy). "Counterspy" was a sequel for another David Harding film, and the title is a little misleading, since one of the characters is a Scotland Yard agent, a friend of Harding's, who coincidentally is working on the same case as the Counterspies. Another film, Sky Liner, involvs a killing aboard an airliner, the venerable Constellation, where victim and suspects are conveniently isolated aboveground for a lot of the film.

Many of these films are entertaining, though none is really an A film. One could do far worse than in this collection.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Lovins HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 21, 2008
VCI Entertainment and Kit Parker Films presents "FORGOTTEN NOIR & CRIME COLLECTION 4" (1949-1951) --- (Dolby digitally remastered) --- Film noir has sources not only in cinema but other artistic mediums as well...the low-key lighting schemes commonly linked with the classic mode are in the tradition of chiaroscuro and tenebrism, techniques using high contrasts of light and dark developed by 15th- and 16th-century painters associated with Mannerism and the Baroque --- film noir's aesthetics are deeply influenced by German Expressionism, a cinematic movement of the 1910s and 1920s closely related to contemporaneous developments in theater, photography, painting, scultpture, and architecture --- opportunities offered by the booming Hollywood film industry and, later, the threat of growing Nazi power led to the emigration of many important film artists working in Germany who had either been directly involved in the Expressionist movement or studied with its practitioners --- Directors such as Fritz Lang, Robert Siodmak, and Michael Curtiz brought dramatic lighting techniques and a psychologically expressive approach to mise-en-scène with them to Hollywood, where they would make some of the most famous of classic noirs. Lang's 1931 masterwork, the German M, is among the first major crime films of the sound era to join a characteristically noirish visual style with a noir-type plot, one in which the protagonist is a criminal (as are his most successful pursuers). M was also the occasion for the first star performance by Peter Lorre, who would go on to act in several formative American noirs of the classic era ...Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By W. ShipmanJr on April 11, 2009
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Hokey,for the most part (in a good,B-Movie way}yet there are a couple of gems hidden inside.Mickey Knox's intense performance as the amoral,murderous hobo in Western Pacific Agent steals the movie.And,for fans of the great character actors of old,Highway 13 is an especial treat,with real surprises in the casting.No Oscars here,just three discs of good old second feature adventure.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on November 1, 2010
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While I enjoy watching the big film noirs such as Out of the Past or The Asphalt Jungle, I also like watching more obscure films. Kit Parker Films has dug through the vaults of the Poverty Row studios (most particularly, Lippert Productions) and put out some nice collections of movies appropriately enough called Forgotten Noir. Collection 4 has nine movies on three DVDs.

Volume 10 is the first in the set, with previous volumes belonging to other Forgotten Noir collections. Counterspy Meets Scotland Yard is a spy story with a young Amanda Blake (later of Gunsmoke fame) as a secretary hynotized into revealing secret missile information. This movie is the second Counterspy movie featured in these collections. Radar Secret Service is a silly crime movie in which radar somehow gives crime fighters near omniscience; this movie would eventually be given the ultimate bad movie honor, being featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Motor Patrol has motorcycle cops taking on a murderous auto theft ring. This second film also feature Sid Melton, a comic relief character who is in many Lippert films.

Volume 11 has Mr. District Attorney which is something of a screwball comedy about a young prosecutor and a girl reporter taking on mobsters, most notably Peter Lorre. Western Pacific Agent has a detective working for the Western Pacific trying to track down a drifter who has stolen some payroll cash and killed a couple people. This one also has Melton. Highway 13 has a trucker trying to prove his innocence when he's tied to a series of fatal accidents.

Volume 12 contains what I believe is the last of a set of movies featuring Hugh Beaumont as a wisecracking jack-of-all-trades getting tangled up in murders.
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