Save your coins and get ready to cash in those gift cards you got for Christmas. February’s noir titles might just have you looking underneath sofa cushions to find all your loose change.
The Big Heat (1953) Twilight Time
This is a reissue of Twilight Time’s previous 2012 limited edition (3000 copies) of The Big Heat, supposedly with the same scant supplements: an isolated score and a re-release trailer. This reissue is also a limited edition of 3000 copies. I’m not a Twilight Time hater. I understand why they have to make these limited edition releases (From what I understand, that’s a limitation imposed on them by each film’s owning company), but since I already own the film on DVD, I probably won’t pick this up without a significant increase in supplements.
Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950) Twilight Time
Another Twilight Time limited (again, to 3000 units) edition. Another excellent noir, not quite in the same league as The Big Heat, but essential to your collection. Again, I have the DVD, so I’m going to stick with that for now.
I Confess (1953) Warner Archive
Another film I already own on DVD, but I might pick up this underrated Alfred Hitchcock film since I’ve never been disappointed with a Warner Archive Blu-ray. I assume that Warner will port over the supplements from the DVD: the short documentary “Hitchcock’s Confession: A Look at I Confess,” a newsreel, and a theatrical trailer. If anyone has any information on what might (or might not) be included on the Blu-ray, please share.
No Way Out (1987) Shout Factory
Not to be confused with the 1950 film of the same name, this 1987 Kevin Costner film (with Sean Young and Gene Hackman) is actually a remake of one of my favorite noir movies, The Big Clock (1948). I haven’t seen this one since its original release, so I might have to check it out.
Trumbo (2015) Universal Studios
Although not technically a film noir, Dalton Trumbo had his hand in writing some film noir screenplays. That, combined with a stellar cast, including Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren and John Goodman, make this worth picking up.
The Big Sleep (1946) Warner Archive
Key Largo (1948) Warner Archive
Wow, Warner Archive is blowing the lid off in February! These two films are clearly the biggest noir Blu-ray releases of the month. I can’t wait for these and while I’m hoping we’ll one day see a complete four-movie Bogart/Bacall Blu-ray set, I’m going to go ahead and buy these ASAP. You should, too.
Spies (1928) Kino Lorber Classics
Although not technically noir, Fritz Lang’s silent espionage tale (which I have not seen) is bound to have several pre-noir elements. Plus, Kino always puts together a nice package.
Compulsion (1959) Signal One Entertainment (UK)
An all-but-forgotten Richard Fleischer film (in this country, anyway) from the UK about two law-school students on trial for murder, based on the famous 1924 Leopold-Loeb court case. Starring Orson Welles, Dean Stockwell, Bradford Dillman, E.G. Marshall and Martin Milner, this film was lauded in Europe (nominated for a Best Film BAFTA and the Palme d’Or at Cannes), yet ignored in the U.S., according to John Grant’s entry in Film Noir: The Essential Reference Guide, for its homosexual subtext. Region B locked, so make sure you have a region-free player to watch this one.
That’s all I have for February. If you know of other noir titles I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments section. Happy viewing!