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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Hammer Film Noir ... Terror Street (1953) & Wings of Danger (1952) ... VCI Home Video"
VCI Entertainment and Kit Parker Films present "Hammer Film Noir Vol. 4" (1953) --- (Dolby digitally remastered)...Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe Hollywood crime dramas that set their protagonists in a world perceived as inherently corrupt and unsympathetic...Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as stretching from the early...
Published on November 25, 2006 by J. Lovins

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dan Duryea shines in a double bill of unexceptional British noirs
Terror Street:

Dan Duryea looked his age (46) when he made this Brit noir in 1953. The bags under the eyes aren't disguised. There are wrinkles on his forehead and creases around his mouth. Those wrinkles and creases, and his skill as an actor, are among the best things about this workmanlike film. Duryea was a fine, interesting actor, with in some movies a...
Published on May 24, 2007 by C. O. DeRiemer


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Hammer Film Noir ... Terror Street (1953) & Wings of Danger (1952) ... VCI Home Video", November 25, 2006
This review is from: Hammer Film Noir Double Feature, Vol. 4 (Terror Street / Wings of Danger) (DVD)
VCI Entertainment and Kit Parker Films present "Hammer Film Noir Vol. 4" (1953) --- (Dolby digitally remastered)...Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe Hollywood crime dramas that set their protagonists in a world perceived as inherently corrupt and unsympathetic...Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as stretching from the early 1940s to the late 1950s...Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography, while many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Depression...the term film noir (French for "black film"), first applied to Hollywood movies by French critic Nino Frank in 1946, was unknown to most of the American filmmakers and actors while they were creating the classic film noirs..the canon of film noir was defined in retrospect by film historians and critics; many of those involved in the making of film noir later professed to be unaware at the time of having created a distinctive type of film.

First up we have "TERROR STREET" (1953) (80 min. B/W) --- Under Montgomery Tully (Director), Anthony Hinds (Producer), Steve Fisher (Screenplay & Story), Ivor Slaney (Original Score), Malcolm Arnold (Stock Music), Walter J. Harvey (Cinematographer), James Needs (Editor) --- the cast includes Dan Duryea (Major Bill Rogers), Eisle Albin (Katherine 'Katie' Rogers), Gudrun Ure (Sister Jenny Miller), Eric Pohlmann (Slossen, the smuggler), John Chandos (Orville Hart), Kenneth Griffith (Henry Slosson), Harold Lang (Harry Cross, desk clerk), Jane Carr (Soup Kitchen Supervisor), Michael Golden (The Inspector), Marianne Stone (Pam Palmer) ------ our story has our hero Dan Duryea as the prime suspect in the murder of his British wife who has been shot ... in this post war film noir Duryea has only 36 hours to discover in his desperation who is the real killer and why ... Duryea is at the top of his game in this British melodrama, as you find yourself completely engulfed in his character and waiting for the next scene to unravel another clue and clear himself ... can he find the real killer before the police track his whereabouts and bring in the wrong suspect ... the scenes between Duryea and John Chandos (the major villain) are riveting.

BIOS:

1. Dan Duryea

Date of birth: 23 January 1907 - White Plains, New York

Date of death: 7 June 1968 - Hollywood, California

2. Montgomery Tully (Director)

Date of birth: 6 May 1904 - Dublin, Ireland

Date of death: 1988 - Unknown

Second on the double bill is a Lippert Picture release "WINGS OF DANGER" (1952) (73 min. B/W) --- Under Terence Fisher (Director), Anthony Hinds (Producer), John Gilling (Screenplay), Trevor Dudley Smith (Novel), Packham Webb (Novel "Dead on Course"), Malcolm Arnold (Original Score), Walter J. Harvey (Cinematographer), James Needs (Editor) ------ the cast includes Zachary Scott (Richard Van Ness), Robert Beatty (Nick Talbot), Kay Kendall (Alexia LaRoche), Naomi Chance (Avril Talbot ), Arthur Lane (Boyd Spencer), Colin Tapley (Inspector Maxwell), Diane Cilento (Jeannette), Harold Lang (Snell, the blackmailer) ------ our second feature film noir is a first timer on DVD, and the intrigue is nerve-wracking just the way we would want it ... is our leading man Zachary Scott having bouts with blackouts and what part does the lovely Kay Kendall play in this twist and turn film noir story ... is Scott's friend Robert Beatty strong armed into the smuggling game, has he turned up missing ... this overlooked noir is loaded with suspense and drama, watch Zach Scott take on this web of smugglers only to find more mystery to this puzzle ------ there's a great deal of entertainment here for all the film noir fans out there --- all courtesy of VCI Entertainment, who in my humble opinion is the best there is in restoring early serials and features like this one.

BIOS:

1. Zachary Scott (aka: Zachary Thomson Scott Jr)

Date of birth: 21 February 1914 - Austin, Texas

Date of death: 3 October 1965 - Austin, Texas

2. Kay Kendall (aka: Justine Kay Kendall-McCarthy)

Date of birth: 21 May 1926 - Withernsea, Yorkshire, England, UK

Date of death: 6 September 1959 - London, England, UK

3. Terence Fisher (Director)

Date of birth: 23 February 1904 - London, England, UK

Date of death: 18 June 1980

Twickenham, London, England, UK

Great job by VCI Entertainment and Kit Parker Films for releasing the "Hammer Film Noir Vol. 4" (1952), digital transfere with a clean, clear and crisp print...looking forward to more of the same from the '40s and '50s vintage...order your copy now from Amazon or VCI Entertainment, stay tuned once again with a top notch "Classic Film Noir" that only VCI Entertainment (King of the Serials) can deliver...just the way we like 'em!

Total Time: 157 mins on DVD ~ VCI Home Video #565 ~ (11/28/2006)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dan Duryea shines in a double bill of unexceptional British noirs, May 24, 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hammer Film Noir Double Feature, Vol. 4 (Terror Street / Wings of Danger) (DVD)
Terror Street:

Dan Duryea looked his age (46) when he made this Brit noir in 1953. The bags under the eyes aren't disguised. There are wrinkles on his forehead and creases around his mouth. Those wrinkles and creases, and his skill as an actor, are among the best things about this workmanlike film. Duryea was a fine, interesting actor, with in some movies a kind of sleazy menace and in others a puzzled sincerity. In Terror Street he raises our expectations every time he's on camera. As Major Bill Rogers, a U. S. Air Force pilot, he's hitched a ride from the States on a military plane so he can talk to his unhappy wife, Katie. When he shows up at their apartment in London, she's missing. Finally he locates her new apartment. She shows up but before they can talk he's knocked unconscious. When he comes to he finds her lying beside him dead, shot with bullets from his gun. He has 36 hours to find the killer; he must be back at the air-base for his return flight. The conclusion is strictly standard fare for cheaply produced noirs, but getting there is surprisingly rewarding.

In Terror Street, Dan Duryea isn't just one more B-noir tough guy hero. He's distraught that his wife apparently left him while he was gone for a year. For most of the movie he's unsure of himself, unsure of what his wife was doing, unsure of why she would have been killed and unsure if in fact she had ever loved him. Only until the last quarter of the movie, when the script requires him to do tough guy things, does his performance begin to look routine.

Unusual in these low-grade noirs, there are several other performances where the quality shines. Ann Gudrin plays Jenny Miller, the smart young woman who runs a mission and who helps Bill. Very subtly, Gudrin let's us see that Miller's feelings, carefully proper, may be moving in ways that surprise her. Eric Pohlman plays a suave antiques dealer with debonaire assurance.

But at least at the end the bad guys have paid the price, Katie's reputation is restored even if she isn't and, while Bill heads back to the States, we find a hint that he plans to stay in contact with Jenny. She smiles. So do we. They'd make a good match.

Wings of Danger:

You know there's a problem when half way through a movie that only lasts an hour and thirteen minutes it seems as if two hours have dragged by. Wings of Danger is another of those Brit noirs where a fading Hollywood name was cast in the lead in hopes of getting some play for the film in America. In this case, the problem with the film is the screenplay; there appears to be no motivation for Richard Van Ness' actions. It doesn't help that Zachary Scott as Van Ness is not too believable when he acts as a tough guy.

Van Ness is a pilot working for Boyd Spencer Airlines, a freight-hauling outfit. Nick Talbot (Robert Beatty), a fellow pilot and friend he doesn't seem too friendly with, disappears in a storm over the ocean. Hints of corruption, smuggling, blackmailing and counterfeiting start to show up. But why should we care about any of this? Richard suffers from blackouts and knows at any time he could wind up in the drink or in pieces on the ground. Why does he keep flying? Not only don't we know, the black-out question never turns into a serious plot issue. It just disappears after a big thing is made of it at the start. Why doesn't Richard help the police when they first come to him? There's no reason except to give the screenwriters the chance to show that Richard doesn't take guff from anyone. Why does Richard decide to investigate for himself without telling the police? Who knows?. Since there's no believable motivation, we know we're watching a movie contrived on the assumption that the viewers will be too dull to notice.

A major problem is Zachary Scott. Tough guys to be believable need to seem as comfortable doing violence with their fists as well as with their words. Scott's trademark as an actor, however, wasn't his physical presence. Scott's distinctiveness was his way of delivering lines that came across as either suave and sleazy (in his best roles, such as The Mask of Dimitrios and Mildred Pierce) or off-handedly condescending (in most of his other films). In nearly every role he had, he was a hard man to warm up to.

If you can picture this in Scott's delivery, you'll have an idea of how the picture doesn't work, both in Scott's believability and in the screenwriting: "Nick had taken a sock at the gale and it had socked him back and broken his neck. It was as simple as that. And yet there was a lot of loose ends and ideas that jabbed at my brain and fizzled out to the edge of nowhere..."

Terror Street and Wings of Danger are the double bill on volume four of the Hammer Film Noir Double Feature series. Terror Street's DVD transfer is very good. The DVD transfer for Wings of Danger is in reasonably good shape.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Could Be Better, February 9, 2007
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This review is from: Hammer Film Noir Double Feature, Vol. 4 (Terror Street / Wings of Danger) (DVD)
VCI has done a fine job with these films, now if only they would restore them and add subtitles. Both prints are good for low budget, but could be better. Sound is fine on both. These films are not to be missed, if you appreciate film noir. For the price, they are well worth it. Terror Street aka 36 Hours is far better fare than then Wings of Danger aka Dead on Course. Naomi Chance is the only real highlight of the latter. Hammer noir pictures usually have an American title and an English title, for those who do not know.
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Hammer Film Noir Double Feature, Vol. 4 (Terror Street / Wings of Danger)
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