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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film, OK transfer of an excellent film...
This is not meant to be a review of this film, it's a classic film noir, we all know that. What I am concerned with is the transfer quality, which is rather so-so.

The picture is a little shifty, slightly jumpy. It doesn't seem to be the entire picture that moves at times, or at least it manages to shift slightly in different directions; up, down, left,...
Published on July 28, 2008 by Dennis Hendrix

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't stand the test of time
I'm a big Anthony Mann fan but this movie is boring by today's standards. It's not at all in the same league as his "Raw Deal" which is arguably the best forties noir movie ever. The whole movie is narrated like Dragnet. Some deep-voiced guy explains everything for you in between and over scenes that pretend to be a re-enactment of a "true" Secret...
Published 7 months ago by Dangerman


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film, OK transfer of an excellent film..., July 28, 2008
This review is from: T-MEN (DVD)
This is not meant to be a review of this film, it's a classic film noir, we all know that. What I am concerned with is the transfer quality, which is rather so-so.

The picture is a little shifty, slightly jumpy. It doesn't seem to be the entire picture that moves at times, or at least it manages to shift slightly in different directions; up, down, left, right. In short, imagine watching a movie projected into a waterbed, thats the best comparison I can think of.

For anyone who loves film noir, you want you're darkest shadows completely black; there are times, mostly toward the beginning of the film when the darkest areas of the screen here are more dark grey. There's an unmoving grey tint over the black, its a little like looking at something black with a grey mesh like a screen door between you and it.

The audio is generally good, some buzzing in a few areas.

I am not one who typically worries about the best quality, which is part of the reason I am struggling to explain the shortcomings of this transfer with examples that hopefully people can relate to. But, in short, for such a great film I guess I expected a little better transfer.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mann/Alton team exceed themselves in this noir gem, August 1, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: T-Men [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Starting with what must have been a standard postwar script praising the feds (this time, the treasury department), the team of director Anthony Mann and director of photography John Alton turned this into one of the most memorable and seminal films of the noir cycle. The budget was shoestring but their love for their craft must have been extraordinary, because shot after shot triumphs as a little cinematographic wonder -- an object lesson in how to let pictures talk. As T-Men Dennis O'Keefe and Alfred Ryder plunge deeper into the counterfeiters' world, the action becomes increasingly edgy and violent, belying the syrupy patriotic music that puts us to sleep every time we flash back to Washington, D.C. As good as Mann's (and Alton's) other films can be, T-Men shows off their talents to exhilarating advantage. This is a must-see -- even a must-buy -- for anybody interested in this unparalleled and unforgettable decade of film history.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars UNEXPECTED NOIR GEM ON DVD, May 30, 2002
By 
Robin Simmons (Palm Springs area, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: T-Men (DVD)
VCI Entertainment, a small video company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is releasing DVDs of "RAW DEAL" and "T MEN," two forgotten noir B movie classics directed by Anthony Mann.
Allegedly taken from a closed Treasury Department file (the "Shanghia Paper" case), "T Men" (1947) is a clever crime drama that's shot in a documentary style for added realsim. The meticulously detailed set-up is kind of slow going, but the payoff is gangbusters (literally). Dennis O'Keefe and Alfred Ryder are Treasury agents who go undercover, disguised as mobsters, to infiltrate a ring of Detroit based liquor cutters known to be using bogus revenue stamps. The gang's savage leader has already killed a fellow T Man. For the agents, there is almost a perverse emphasis on how they must shut down all normal human feelings to successfully accomplish their missions -- even to the point of standing by while a fellow agent is executed in cold blood. There's no question about the dark noir terrain in this terrific little thriller that is all the more effective thanks to John Alton's brilliant, precise, geometrically composed cinematography.
A surprisingly gripping film with a stunning climax. Definitely worth considering if you're looking for those forgotten noir gems.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An overlooked B-movie crime thriller, October 22, 2000
This review is from: T-Men [VHS] (VHS Tape)
If and when you see this film, ignore the tiresome, moronic narration at the beginning and end that was obviously tacked on by the studio, and enjoy the middle 96% of this tough, well-made, B-movie classic. Before he found fame as a director of westerns, Anthony Mann directed shoestring-budget B-crime thrillers, of which T-Men is the best (better than Raw Deal, much better than Railroaded.) The pseudo-documentary approach combines with John Alton's brilliant underlit noirish cinematography to create a potent brew; engaging, almost mesmerizing. You hate to see the story come to an end. A B-movie masterpiece, one of the great ones of the forties.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Unknown Gem!, November 24, 1999
By 
Doug Roberts (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: T-Men [VHS] (VHS Tape)
What starts out as another Hollywood movie promoting the FBI and other government law enforcement agencies quickly becomes a hard-hitting film noir that exposes the underbelly of an undercover government agent. Dennis O'Keefe and Alfred Ryder must become as bad as the villians they are after in order to infiltrate a ruthless gang of counterfeiters. Watch for Charles McGraw in one of his most sadistic roles as Moxey - the thug who loves to inflict pain. A little known classic by Anthony Mann (who directed all of those great 1950's Jimmy Stewart westerns).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre issue of a Great Noir Film, January 19, 2009
This review is from: T-MEN (DVD)
The collaboration of Mann and Alton created some of the most interesting films in the Film Noir genre. Sadly, these great films from extinct minor studios survive in poor condition.
This Sony T-Men DVD was mastered from a worn copy of the original film. Like its companion film "Raw Deal", this film was "enhanced" to make it more appealing to a wider audience. Alton's great high-contrast photography has been brightened-up in a way where it loses much of the romanticism and drama present in the original untouched film. This process is far worse on "Raw Deal" which looses all its great contrast and dark shadows. T-Men still retains much of its original mystery and darkness.
I prefer the old King Video issues of these films. The film images were unenhanced with a softer focus but the chiaroscuro shadows and film noir dramatic lighting are all there. These DVDs also had a short documentary on each disc discussing Mann, Alton's photography, and film noir.
You can see an unrestored version of Alton's photography in the cheap Alpha Video version of "The Big Combo".
I think Dennis O'Keefe is quite good in this film; I'm surprised that he wasn't in more movies of this era.
These Sony Wonder discs are OK if you can't find the older versions. The digital enhancement gives a crisper image at least.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!, July 30, 2004
This review is from: T-Men (DVD)
Thanks VCI for doing justice to this movie. The quality is great. Sharp, crisp images and great hiss-free sound.

This film sucked me in. I thought everything noirly realistic, such as dialogue and settings. There are twists and turns that really kept me interested.

You even get extras. A short documentary and some trailers.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First Film of Mann's Great Noir Trilogy, July 14, 2005
By 
William Hare (Seattle, Washington) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: T-Men (DVD)
"T-Men" represented the first of the great film noir trilogy combining the unique talents of director Anthony Mann and cinematographer John Alton. Their efforts revealed that in the film noir genre with its emphasis on gritty realism, with authentic street locations often in the darkness of late evening, that it was possible to achieve films of high quality at a low cost. The Mann-Alton trilogy was the product of Eagle-Lion Studios, one of the smallest in Hollywood, but known for top suspense dramas producing optimum bang for dollars

invested.

The other two films in the trilogy that followed "T-Men", which debuted in 1947, were released one year later. "He Walked by Night" was, like "T-Men" a noir docudrama while "Raw Deal" was a thriller about a prison escapee's adventures.

Starring in both "T-Men" and "Raw Deal" was Dennis O'Keefe. The tall, athletically constructed actor's forte was the ability to combine ruggedness with a street-smart demeanor that enabled him to reveal smoothness when the occasion warranted it. This blend made him a natural for the lead role of a United States Treasury Agent posing as a criminal syndicate tough guy.

Reed Hadley narrates the hard-hitting semi-documentary set on the streets of Los Angeles. Much of the action occurs in Ocean Park in seedy hotels and mob hangouts. The film is based on the actual Shanghai Paper Case that occurred shortly after World War Two with the film being made soon after its solution. Adventure script specialist John C. Higgins kept the action moving at a brisk clip, as did director Mann, while Alton's brooding photography invigorated some of the city's seamiest spots with chilling drama in generating perpetual viewer curiosity.

The Washington office was able to piece together a sketch of a conduit passing counterfeit checks in Los Angeles. O'Keefe and partner Alfred Ryder are dispatched to Los Angeles to track the wanted individual down and ultimately blend into the organization before assisting the Treasury Department in shutting down the enterprise. To provide pedigree they assume bogus identities and masquerade as former mob operatives in Detroit, where so much of the counterfeit money has been sent.

When O'Keefe arrives in Los Angeles he capitalizes on the two clues pertaining to the mystery counterfeit conduit of digesting Chinese herbs and taking frequent steam baths by tracking him down. O'Keefe notes that he lost eight pounds in the process after taking steam baths in so many Los Angeles spots.

Veteran character actor Wallace Ford delivers one of his finest efforts as the counterfeit mob legman known appropriately as Schemer, who has settled in Los Angeles after a previous underworld stint in Detroit. At that point he sends for partner Ryder and they use Schemer's contacts to become members of the mob. In the process they encounter the mob's brutally sadistic enforcer Charles McGraw, whose manner is reminiscent of Neville Brand in "D.O.A.".

One of the film's most fascinating scenes emerges when Agent Ryder's wife June Lockhart is vacationing in Los Angeles and the girlfriend with whom she is traveling approaches Ryder when she sees him with Wallace Ford. Since his mob identity is that of a single man he seeks to bluff his way through the potentially fatal encounter when Lockhart, realizing the circumstances, tells her friend that she is crazy and that her husband is "taller and better looking" than Ryder.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "T-Men (1947) ... Dennis O'Keefe ... Anthony Mann (Director) (2005)", January 14, 2011
This review is from: T-MEN (DVD)
Eagle-Lion Films presents "T-MEN" (15 December 1947) (92 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- Deception is the theme that resonates throughout the story of Mann's film and he cleverly delivers that premise of duplicity right into the lap of the audience --- Treasury Agents Dennis O'Brien (Dennis O'Keefe) and Tony Genaro (Alfred Ryder) are put on the case of cracking the major counterfeiting ring that spans between the mob in Los Angeles and Detroit --- O'Brien and Genaro are assigned to begin in Detroit where they research the local crime history and create their undercover identities of two hoods from a defunct Detroit gang.

Wallace Ford gives a standout performance --- His Schemer Burns was outstanding. This has to be an all-time favorite noirs from director Anthony Mann.

Under the production staff of:
Anthony Mann [Director]
John C. Higgins [Screenplay]
Virginia Kellogg [Story\
Aubrey Schenck [Producer]
Turner Shelton [Associate producer]
Paul Sawtell [Original Music]
John Alton [Cinematographer]
Fred Allen [Film Editor]

BIOS:
1. Anthony Mann [aka: Emil Anton Bundesmann] - [Director]
Date of Birth: 30 June 1906 - San Diego, California
Date of Death: 29 April 1967 - Berlin, Germany

the cast includes:
Dennis O'Keefe - Dennis O'Brien aka Vannie Harrigan
Mary Meade - Evangeline
Alfred Ryder - Tony Genaro aka Tony Galvani
Wallace Ford - The Schemer (as Wally Ford)
June Lockhart - Mary Genaro
Charles McGraw - Moxie

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 5 Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 5 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 92 min on DVD ~ Eagle-Lion Films ~ (10/18/2005)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You...sucker.", April 18, 2005
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: T-Men [VHS] (VHS Tape)
People often never ask me "What film would be a good starting point if I wanted to learn about film noir?", but if they did ask me one of the films at the top of my list would be T-MEN. A lot of noirs have all kinds of crazy twists and double-crosses and triple-crosses and it's sometime hard to follow, but T-MEN is very straightforward and enjoyable, not to mention the amazing cinematography by John (RAW DEAL, THE BIG COMBO) Alton who had one of the best quotes ever by a cinematographer: "It's not what you light - it's what you don't light."

Anyway, the story is told in a semi-documentary style complete with a narrator. There's a counterfeiting gang run out of Los Angeles that the Treasury Department has been after for awhile, but the only lead they have is there's a connection with another gang in Detroit, so they send two T-men undercover to infiltrate the gang and see what they can find out. That's all you really need to know. I've seen the film a number of times and still I get really into the story, especially the first half where they are working their way into the gang's confidence.

The direction by Anthony Mann is great as is the acting by everybody involved. The main T-man is played by Dennis O'Keefe who's definitely not a household name, but I've always found his career to be fascinating. As far as I can tell there's never been a book written about him, but I've noticed him quite playing a bit parts in various movies, so I found out who he was, looked him up and he's (according to IMDb) been in over 253 movies and TV shows!!! Usually just as a bit part or an extra but still he's been in a ton of films including DUCK SOUP, I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG, SCARFACE, LIBELED LADY and even his own TV show that only last 18 episodes! Anyway I just thought that was interesting, because nowadays only the biggest of movie nerds would even know who he was.

Back to T-MEN, one of my favorite scenes has this one guy talking tough right before they kill him, they shoot him and as he's falling down he gasps, full of venom, "You...sucker!" What a badass! LOL. Great movie and worthy of earning a spot in your movie collection.

Another plus for T-MEN is Jack Overman actually gets some respectable screen time. Good for him!
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T-MEN
T-MEN by Various (DVD - 2012)
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