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Hammer Film Noir Double Feature, Vol. 1 (Bad Blonde / Man Bait )

3.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In 1950, Hammer Films set up a deal with American Producer Robert L. Lippert to produce low-budget crime dramas to be made in the UK. Lippert would send over a shop-worn Hollywood star or promising American newcomer to give the films box-office appeal in the states, supported by the usual fine casts of British character actors that make most British movies worth watching. This five-year arrangement produced over a dozen well-made little B-noirs that seemed to have fallen through the film history cracks.....until now. VCI AND Kit Parker Films are happy to offer another look at these dark, moody pictures made by the company that became one of Britain's most prolific film producers of the 1960's, many directed by Hammer's top director, Terence Fisher, cutting his teeth on mystery and suspense. The Collector's Set contains the Hammer Film Noir Volumes 1 thru 3. Bonus Features: Scene Selection| Bios| Promo Trailer| Photo Gallery| Bonus Comments: The World Of Hammer Noir by Richard M Roberts. Specs: 3-DVD9s; Dolby Digital; 457 minutes; B&W; 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA - R; Year - 1953, 1952, 1954; SRP - $29.99.

Special Features

  • "The World of Hammer Noir" by Richard M. Roberts
  • Bios
  • Trailers

Product Details

  • Actors: George Brent, Marguerite Chapman, Raymond Huntley, Peter Reynolds, Eleanor Summerfield
  • Directors: Reginald Le Borg, Terence Fisher
  • Writers: Frederick Knott, Guy Elmes, James Hadley Chase, Max Catto, Richard H. Landau
  • Producers: Anthony Hinds
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Vci Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 25, 2006
  • Run Time: 158 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FMGTPI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,165 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hammer Film Noir Double Feature, Vol. 1 (Bad Blonde / Man Bait )" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Lovins HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 24, 2006
Format: DVD
VCI Entertainment and Kit Parker Films present "Hammer Film Noir Vol. 1" (1952) --- (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 "BAD BLONDE" (1953) (81 min. B/W)...under director Reginald Le Borg , producer Anthony Hinds, book author Max Catto, screenplay by Guy Elmes and Richard H. Landau , music score by Ivor Slaney ...the cast includes Barbara Payton (Lorna Vecchi), Frederick Valk (Giuseppe Vecchi), John Slater (Charlie Sullivan), Sid James (Sharkey), Tony Wright (Johnny Flanagan), Marie Burke (Mother Vecchi), Selma Vaz Dias (Mrs. Corelli, Vecchi's sister), Enzo Coticchia (Mr. Corelli), George Woodbridge (Police Inspector), Bettina Dickson (Barmaid), John Brooking (Barnes) . . . . .
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Format: DVD
Bad Blonde, starring Barbara Payton, Hammer Film Classics, 1953

Some guys will tell you straight up-never trust a blonde, a good-looking blonde, because she has nothing but murder in her heart and gold more yellow than her hair driving her soul, if she has a soul. Other guys will tell you always trust a blonde, because like the blond in Dorothy Parker's short story, "Big Blonde," she has a heart of gold (and unrequited deep sexual urges too). Me, I can take them or leave, although the blonde in the British crime noir under review, Bad Blonde, should make any man think twice, no, six times before getting mixed up with her. Of course her badness drives this film, and no other attribute.

Of course the story line here is as old as the hills, or as old as there have been hot blondes giving their all to gold-digging, female god-digging, whichever came first. Lorna (played by Barbara Payton), an ex-tramp or something like that, got her hooks into an old- time Italian boxing promoter.
Strictly for the dough and security, okay, after too much time in the flops. But the guy is a buffoon, a rich old buffoon, but a buffoon. Enter one good-looking Johnny Flanagan, a young fighter with promise, and big muscles. They fall for each other, while he is training for the big fight. End of story.

Well, not quite. Although if you have seen enough crime noir you know you have seen this plot unravel before, and more elegantly, in the film adaptation of James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice and others. At some point the old geezer husband is just, well, just in the way, and Lorna starts working her "magic". Naturally Johnny comes to see things her way, kills that old- time promoter (showing a little ingratitude by the way) by drowning him in his very own pond and that is that.
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Format: DVD
I never cease to marvel at just how good a number of early Hammer films really are. Of the 14 films in VCI's HAMMER FILM NOIR series (7 DVDs - 2 films per disc), Volumes 1-3 are all minor gems. Volumes 4-6 are pretty good with 2 films PAID TO KILL and BLACK GLOVE being the standouts. Only Volume 7 (THE UNHOLY 4 and A RACE FOR LIFE) wasn't worth the trouble of releasing. The two films which make up Volume 1 are the cream of the crop with BAD BLONDE being a standout. Originally titled THE FLANAGAN BOY in Britain, this tight little number takes shopworn material and makes it fresh and interesting. Bombshell Barbara Payton is truly bad news as she seduces and then coerces naive boxer Tony Wright into murdering her older, rich husband before executing the ultimate double cross. The script is a decent combination of the THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE and BODY AND SOUL, the camerawork is first rate and the direction by American director Reginald Le Borg is the best of his career. However it's the performances that really make an impact especially Barbara Payton's. When she licks her lips over the boxer, it's a highly charged moment. She did similar good work in Hammer's sci-fi romance THE FOUR SIDED TRIANGLE the same year (1953). Too bad that alcohol and regular tabloid appearances destroyed her career.

The second film MAN BAIT (the original title in England was THE LAST PAGE as a lot of the action takes place in a second hand bookstore similar to 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD) is not as good due to a rather lethargic performance from leading man George Brent. At this point in their history, it was necessary for Hammer to use an on their way up but usually on their way down American "star" in the lead in order to secure financing and have their movies shown in America.
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