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A WWII veteran's peaceful life is shattered by haunting memories of the past when one of his former comrades suddenly arrives in town with murderous intentions. The drama unfolds in Act of Violence (Van Heflin. 1948/82 min.). Up next, a Boston detective traces a murder case to an innocent man, while the victim's landlord blackmails the real killer. It's a tangled web of suspicion in Mystery Street (Ricardo Montalban. 1950/93 min.). B&w/NR.
Act of Violence (1948) is the real film noir McCoy, albeit so meticulously directed by Fred Zinnemann in postwar-European style that it's virtually an art-film noir. Van Heflin plays a model small-town citizen suddenly confronted with a guilty WWII past, in the dark, limping, permanently trenchcoated figure of Robert Ryan. The film systematically dismantles the domestic security of Heflin's life till he's forced to flee his own home, which has become a trap, and escape into the nightworld of the big city. Mary Astor is superb as one of its few sympathetic denizens. Co-featured with Act of Violence is Mystery Street (1950), a hard-edged movie about a B-girl's murder and some of the proto-CSI techniques the police use to solve the crime. Directed by John Sturges, from a script by Richard Brooks and Sydney Boehm, the picture is enhanced by atmospheric Boston and Cape Cod settings and camerawork by Mr. Film Noir himself, John Alton. --Richard T. Jameson
I bought this 2 movie DVD because of one of the movies, "Mystery Street". It had been talked about on a TV crime procedural show some time ago, I believe it was either... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Thomas Donlon
I can't remember when a movie and the performers in it,, moved me in the way this film has. No names, no stars names, as if I had just walked in to your house: or,my house. Read morePublished 17 months ago by michael
What a good deal! I love classic movies, especially film noir. Add to that that Van Heflin, Robert Ryan and Mary Astor are some of my favorite actors, and I like movies that are... Read morePublished on May 9, 2013 by MrMRD
The characters make a look-see worthwhile.
Act of Violence stars a young Janet Leigh (from Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO fame) and Mary Astor (the villain) in The Maltese... Read more
Act of Violence is one of those near-forgotten post-war noirs that really deserves to be better remembered than it is. Read morePublished on December 18, 2010 by Trevor Willsmer
Two unknown Noir films to me turned out to be fantastic movies and an enjoyable evening !
"Act of Violence" with Ricardo Montalban as a very sharp and witty Police detective... Read more
I'd seen Mystery Street and is a pretty good police procedural, closer to Naked City than Film Noir. But Act Of Violence was a revelation. Read morePublished on July 31, 2010 by Coronet Blue