121 of 129 people found the following review helpful
Not a bad set for the price,
This review is from: The Ultimate Film Noir Collection (5 DVD Set) (DVD)
This is a pretty good set of some standard and less-standard B film noir. First, the movies themselves rated best to worst, not counting picture and sound quality:
1. DOA (10/10) Very good example of film noir with a lot of the best elements of the genre. A very complex story with great characters that make it worth watching over and over again.
2. Scarlet Street (10/10) The most dark and bleak film here, a very close tie with DOA Probably the most emotionally powerful film in this set, if you like gloomy endings, watch this one first!
3. Detour (9.5/10) One of the best film noirs, even compared to the movies made on a better budget. Also, like the two movies above, ends with a very dark mood.
4. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (8.5/10) A pretty great movie all around, from the point of view of noir or not. Some great acting from everyone involved, can seem to be more melodrama than noir at times, but much darker.
5. Whistle Stop (8.5/10) I might be partial to this one because its one of the first film noirs I ever saw. Has a pretty dark vision of the world overall despite the ending.
6. The Hitchhiker (8/10) A very dark and tense noir about two army buddies picking up a hitchhiker who holds a gun on them for days and makes them do his bidding. Unlike most film noir, this one takes place in the desert, not the city.
7. Quicksand (7.5/10) A decent little movie about a likable guy who gets wrapped up in one crime after another to cover his earlier crimes.
8. He Walked By Night (7/10) More of a straight up crime/detective movie, but plenty of noir-ish elements.
9. Trapped (7/10) Similar to "He Walked By Night" in that it is a crime/detective movie. Just about everyone's a fairly seedy character, no happy endings here.
10. Impact (4/10) Might be a melodrama, a suspense film or a bad court drama, but lacks noir-ish atmosphere almost entirely. Very predictable overall.
The picture and sound quality on these films is always at least watchable, often close to perfect in a few of them. Some films (He Walked By Night, Quicksand) have better quality than others (Whistle Stop, Detour). Keep in mind many of these were made on a fairly low budget...one can only restore so much.
The ones I can see myself watching again are DOA, Scarlet Street, Detour, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers and Whistle Stop. The Hitchhiker and Quicksand were both good films as well, but not in the class of those mentioned above. He Walked By Night and Trapped are both decent films, but not really my brand of noir. Impact was the one complete dud for me.
Also I will mention that in all the films there is a small logo in the bottom right corner of the screen which reads "The Ultimate Film Noir Collection." It can be slightly distracting at times, but I did not find it as distracting as I thought I would at first. Still one must ask...Is it necessary to have?