I suppose we can’t really complain about the lack of film noir releases in December since Noirvember offered several good ones. There’s really not much happening domestically, but a few European discs look interesting (although they will require that you brush up on your French). For these, you’ll need an all-region Blu-ray player (which I highly recommend).
Alan Ladd: The 1940s Collection DVD Turner Classic Movies
Okay, so this isn’t really a noir set, but it dances around the edges of noir. First we get Lucky Jordan (1942) a gangster film that’s Ladd’s first leading role, the spy film O.S.S. (1946) and a 1944 film with a script co-written by Raymond Chandler called And Now Tomorrow. The set also includes the sea voyage adventure Two Years Before the Mast (1946). If you’re an Alan Ladd fan, you won’t want to miss this release, a TCM exclusive available until December 31, 2015.
UPDATE: Jocelyn informed me that, unfortunately, And Now Tomorrow has been removed from this set.
Panique (1946) TF1 Video
About a murder in a Paris suburb, directed by Julien Duvivier. Sorry, apparently no subtitles in any language.
The Crooked Way (1949) Kino Lorber
The only domestic film noir Blu-ray release I could find for December, but it looks to be a good one. There was some confusion over this release last month, but it appears the Blu-ray is actually coming on December 8. The film stars John Payne, my favorite “gets no respect” film noir actor in a WWII veteran amnesia story with cinematography by the great John Alton. I’ve never seen it, but I’ll blind buy it.
Les disparus de saint-agil (Boys’ School) (1938) Pathe Distribution
Although this film predates the standard noir period, it just might contain some noir-ish elements. Three students at a boys’ school form a secret society, planning to leave France for America. Strangely, students begin to disappear from the school. I’m tempted to get this one, but unfortunately it has no subtitles. But as long as your French is in good shape, you’re good to go. Otherwise… c’est dommage. The film is directed by Christian-Jaque and stars Eric von Stroheim.
Goupi mains rouges (It Happened at the Inn) (1943) Pathe Distribution
When a woman is killed in a remote French village and her savings stolen, family members are suspected. This one could have some noir elements, but like the other French films in this post, this one contains no subtitles. Directed by Jacques Becker.
Wish I had better news for December… If you know of any December film noir releases I’ve missed, please comment below.