Hell on Frisco Bay
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Screen icon Alan Ladd produces and stars in this crime spectacle, shot on location in noir central – San Francisco. Steve Rollins (Ladd) is both ex-cop and ex-con, recently sprung from the stir. Spurning both love (Joanne Dru, as a songstress spouse who strayed) and friendship (William Demarest as his ex-police partner), Steve has one singular quest: Kill whoever set him up for murder, or die trying. Blending adult drama, detective story and noir, Hell on Frisco Bay is a cinema stew that’s heavy on the savor and the flavor, thanks to its colorful CinemaScope and a top-notch supporting ensemble. Heading that ensemble is Edward G. Robinson, delivering one of his most unforgettable mobsters, the utterly repulsive and remorseless Vic Amato. Fay Wray nearly steals the show as a faded screen queen, while Paul Stewart serves up one of his finest performances as Joe Lye, Amato’s hired killer with a conscience.
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Saw this many years on VHS by some fly by night crowd, not what I remembered. I thought Ladd would be an avenging force but he and the other characters are very weak. Except for Robinson who gives a strong performance for a tough character. And I liked Robinson's character goes down swinging and not be a coward in the end.
This Film Noir is for the first time available on blu/DVD by Warner Archive (Alan Ladd's Family owns the rights for many of his movies) and nearly unknow (german Titel: "Blutige Strasse").
The PQ is quite good: sharp and free of any dirt or damages.
SOUND/LANGUAGE: ENGLISH, SDH are optional available
Interesting are not only the main actors also some supporting / small parts like: Rodney Taylor (better know as Rod Taylor from THE BIRDS, THE TIME MACHINE), Fay Wray (1933 "King Kong"), silent movie star Mae Marsh (Intolerance, Birth of a Nation) and Jayne Mansfield (who's playing Mario Dance-Partner in the Nightclub).
TRIVIA the indoor-set of the Police Station is the same set of REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE with James Dean.
Bonus-Features: only a Trailer.
FAZIT: entertaining, thrilling movie.