As you might expect, October is filled with new horror releases and reissues on Blu-ray and DVD, leaving little room for film noir. However, all is not lost. It might be stretching things to classify some of these titles as noir, but they’re interesting nonetheless.
Thieves Highway (1949) Arrow Academy (UK)
I wouldn’t be surprised if Criterion upgrades their 2005 DVD edition of Thieves Highway to Blu-ray soon. Jules Dassin’s Night and the City received an upgrade this year, so maybe Thieves Highway will be next. In the meantime, if you just can’t wait and have a region-free Blu-ray player, consider this Arrow Academy release.
Sherlock Holmes (Flicker Alley)
Okay, even though it’s not really film noir, I’m very excited to see this newly-discovered film from 1916 of Sherlock Holmes’s silent adventures. Long thought lost, a negative of this William Gillette film was discovered in the vaults of la Cinémathèque française last year, to the delight of silent film fans and Sherlock Holmes devotees everywhere.
In addition to the 116-minute feature film, the Blu-ray/DVD set’s special features include Sherlock Holmes Baffled (1900), the earliest known film to feature the character of Sherlock Holmes, A Canine Sherlock (1912), featuring Spot the Dog, and more. Flicker Alley always does an exceptional job in all their presentations, so if you’re on the fence about this one, don’t be. I’ve been looking forward to this one ever since its announcement nearly six months ago when I also preordered it. If you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan, this is a must-have.
Mulholland Drive (Criterion)
You can call it neo noir, horror, nightmare cinema, whatever: David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive is a masterpiece, probably one the director will never equal, much less surpass. It’s one of those films you can spend a lifetime examining and pondering, yet it’s impact is obvious from even one viewing. I already own the Studio Canal edition from the UK, but will pick up the new Criterion edition as well, which includes new interviews with Lynch, cinematographer Peter Deming, actors Naomi Watts, Justin Theroux, and Laura Harring, composer Angelo Badalamenti, production designer Jack Fisk, and casting director Johanna Ray.
No Man’s Woman (1955) Olive Films
All I really need to know about this film can be summed up in two words: Marie Windsor.
So, not too much for October, at least not much that I’m aware of. If you know of other October noir titles that I’ve missed, please let me know!