Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 1 (The Asphalt Jungle / Gun Crazy / Murder My Sweet / Out of the Past / The Set-Up)
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Film Noir Classics Collection, The: Volume 1 (DVD) (5-Pack)
Asphalt Jungle (1950)- You have a lot of time to think when you're locked away seven years. So criminal mastermind Doc conceives what he believes is the perfect heist. John Huston explores the feverish grab for the big score and how it unravels in The Asphalt Jungle, a renowned tale of dishonor among thieves whose cast includes. Gun Crazy (1949) - When gun fancier Bart Tare sees Annie Laurie Starr's sideshow sharpshooting act, he's a dead-bang goner. The two become bank robbers on the run, eluding roadblocks and roaring into movie history as one of the benchmark film-noir works. Murder My Sweet (1944)- They say crime doesn't pay. Private detective Philip Marlowe knows better. The fat wad of folding moneywarming his pocket is the kind of thing that keeps him going through thick and thicker as he wades chin deep into a mystery involving a missing necklace and a missing hoodlum's moll named Velma. Murder, My Sweet is film at its most noir, creating a moody sense moody sense of a world that never plays on the level. Out of the Past (1947)-Everything you want in a film noir you'll find in Out of the Past. A tenacious detective (Robert Mitchum) spinning his wheels to make good. A drop-dead beauty (Jane Greer) up to no good. A moneyed mobster (Kirk Douglas) with a shark's grin. Plus double-crosses and fall guys. Shadowy rooms and bleak souls. The Set-Up (1949)- Boxing Wednesdays. Wrestling on Fridays. Stoker Thompson is on Paradise City's Wednesday card, fighting after the main event. He's been 20 years in the game and is sure he's just one punch away from big paydays. But there's one thing Stoker doesn't yet know: his manager wants him to take a dive tonight.]]>
Some boxed sets claim to be definitive, but are haphazardly selected. Not this one. Four of the five titles here can legitimately lay claim to being essentials in the film noir canon, and the fifth, The Set-Up, is a terrific boxing picture with a strong noir atmosphere. If you're a fan of noir--or have no idea what it's all about--this collection is a treat.
Of course, none of these movies were made as "film noir." The term was coined later by French critics to describe the moody, anxious feel of postwar American movies, especially the genre that highlighted duplicitous dames and susceptible men lost in the criminal jungle. Indeed, the title The Asphalt Jungle conveys the edgy urban arena of these pictures. That film is John Huston's masterly 1950 account of a heist, with Sterling Hayden the disenchanted, noirish hero. Joseph H. Lewis's Gun Crazy (1949) is one of the most supercharged (and sexually perverse) of noir films, with John Dall and Peggy Cummins as young criminals in love. Murder, My Sweet (1944) is a straight adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel Farewell, My Lovely. Amid the film's shadowy chiaroscuro, former musical comedy star Dick Powell makes a career-changing transition as Chandler's private dick, Philip Marlowe. Out of the Past puts Robert Mitchum (perhaps the quintessential noir actor) in trouble with gangster Kirk Douglas, complicated by classic femme fatale Jane Greer. Jacques Tourneur provides the evocative direction. And The Set-Up plays out an ingenious boxing tale in "real time," superbly enacted by (former boxer) Robert Ryan. --Robert Horton
- 5 classic film noirs all with commentary:
- The Asphalt Jungle
- Gun Crazy
- Murder My Sweet
- Out of the Past
- The Set-Up
- See individual DVDs for more details
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Top customer reviews
Out of the Past features Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and Kirk Douglass and the witty dialogue, convoluted plot and femme fatale that gives noir its specific flavor. And then there is the tragic ending for the hero who tried to escape the past. This is a favorite of mine and it gets better with each viewing. Highly recommended.
Murder My Sweet is based on a Chandler novel and is stunning as well. Dick Powell searches for a stolen necklace and a lost girlfriend, not realizing that the two are connected until it is too late. Filmed in amazing experimental style and with a good girl and a bad girl to give contrast to the usual fatale stereotype. Another favorite.
The remaining three films are almost as good and feature great directors, actors and writers showing us the seamy side of war and post-war America. A definitive collection for the noir lover or for those who want to explore the genre beyond the best known classics such as The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep and the Thin Man. Recommended.
The Asphalt Jungle (1950), directed by John Huston and starring Sterling Hayden as a streetwise hooligan hired on as muscle for a big-time heist, caught in the middle when things go seriously sour. The picture, presented in fullscreen (1.33:1), looks very good, limited to a few, very minor flaws, and the Dolby Digital audio, available in both English and French, comes across sharp and clean. There is a so-so commentary track featuring author/film noir specialist Drew Casper with co-star James Whitmore, along with a theatrical trailer, an introduction by director John Houston (0:49), and subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
Gun Crazy (1949) aka Deadly Is the Female, directed by Joseph H. Lewis and starring John Dall and Peggy Cummins as a pair of pistol packing newlyweds who embark on a life of crime because it's a hell of a lot easier (and exciting) than actually working for a living, that is at least until the Johnny Law makes the scene...the picture, presented in fullscreen (1.33:1), looks very good, limited to a few, very minor flaws, and the Dolby Digital audio is sharp and clean. There is a commentary track featuring author/film noir specialist Glenn Erickson, along with subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
Murder, My Sweet (1944), directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Dick Powell and Claire Trevor, the former playing Private Eye Philip Marlowe, caught up in a mystery involving a stolen jade necklace, a couple of hot tomatoes, and a corpse or two. The picture, presented in fullscreen (1.33:1), looks very clean and clear, and the Dolby Digital mono audio comes across clearly. As far as extras, included is a commentary track with author/film-noir specialist Alain Silver, a rough looking theatrical trailer, and subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
Out of the Past (1947), directed by Jacques Tourneur and starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, and Kirk Douglas. Mitchum plays a once private eye now fulltime schlub whose past catches up to him after getting too close to a dame he was only supposed to find for a well to do client, and ultimately ends up on the wrong end of a murder investigation. The picture, presented in fullscreen (1.33:1), is strong, and the Dolby Digital mono audio comes across well. As far as extras, included is a commentary track with author/film-noir specialist James Ursini and subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
The Set-Up (1949), directed by Robert Wise and starring Robert Ryan as an aging boxer who gets crossed by his unscrupulous manager while going for his last, big shot. The picture, presented in fullscreen (1.33:1), comes across well with few, if any, noticeable flaws, and the Dolby Digital mono comes through cleanly. As far as extras, there's an audio commentary track featuring director Robert Wise and Martin Scorsese, along with subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.
While each film in this set is outstanding in its own right, my personal favorites are The Asphalt Jungle and Murder, My Sweet.
By the way, if you dig on these, you might want to check out the other DVD sets in the series, listed below...and the quote I used for the title of this review came from the film Murder, My Sweet.
Film Noir Classics Collection, Volume 2
Born to Kill (1947), Clash by Night (1952), Crossfire (1947), Dillinger (1945), The Narrow Margin (1952).
Film Noir Classics Collection, Volume 3
Border Incident (1949), His Kind of Woman (1951), Lady in the Lake (1947), On Dangerous Ground (1952), and The Racket (1951). This set also includes a bonus disc which includes a handful of short features
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During WW II no American movies were exported to Europe. After the war’s end these movies were then seen in France and elsewhere.Read more
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