Film Noir: The Dark Side of the Cinema

boxToday I’m taking a look at the recent box set Film Noir: The Dark Side of the Cinema from Kino Lorber, a set which includes five films that you could purchase separately or in this collection. Let’s take a brief look at each film, then the set as a whole.

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The Visit (2015) and a Challenge to M. Night Shyamalan


The Visit (2015) M. Night Shyamalan
Universal DVD – library (1:34)

At least there’s some discussion going on about whether or not The Visit marks a return to something even approaching a good film from M. Night Shyamalan, which has certainly not been the case for quite a few years. As I often try to do before watching a film, I avoided any spoilers, synopses, or even trailers for the film, instead simply putting a hold on the DVD from the library.

I will briefly recount my thoughts, including pleasant surprises, levels of disappointment, and a challenge to Mr. Shyamalan.

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The 2016 Eisner Awards – Young Readers Edition


It’s always a real pleasure to talk with Gwen Tarbox about comics for young readers over at The Comics Alternative and recently we discussed our thoughts on the 2016 Eisner Award nominees and winners in the three young readers categories:

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)

If you’re into comics and graphic novels or have a young reader who’s into good comics, I hope you’ll check out the show!



The theater will be empty for awhile… Yes, the blog will be on hiatus for the next several days. During that time, I invite you to check out some other great movie blogs:

B Noir Detour


Now Voyaging

Mike’s Take on the Movies

Rupert Pupkin Speaks

Criterion Blues

Vic’s Movie Den

Silver Screenings

And these podcasts:

Attaboy Clarence

The Secret History of Hollywood

You Must Remember This


Much of my hiatus will have nothing to do with movies, unfortunately, but I do plan on visiting the town where John Ford grew up, so that’s something! See you later…


The Great Movies, Episode 7: Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Last night marked the six-month (oops – actually seven-month) anniversary of our Great Movies series at the Severna Park Library and it was our largest crowd yet: 45 people in attendance. For the first time, we had people arriving quite early, asking when we were going to open the doors. Ten minutes before the movie started, we had more than half the seats filled.

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The Long Wait (1954) Victor Saville


The Long Wait (1954)
Directed by Victor Saville
Produced by Lesser Samuels
Written by Alan Green and Lesser Samuels
Based on a novel by Mickey Spillane
Cinematography by Franz Planer
Edited by Ronald Sinclair
United Artists
Rarefilmm (1:34)


The Long Wait opens with “Once” (written by Harold Spina and Bob Russell), one of the most un-noirish songs ever, which makes us think we’ve walked into a romance picture instead of a film noir. Thankfully the mood changes as we see a hitchhiker (Anthony Quinn, above) who gets picked up, then seconds later – in an almost laughable sequence of edits – finds himself first in a wreck, then in a hospital (wearing a robe that proclaims “County Hospital” just in case we’ve missed that fact), then suffering from amnesia. This all happens in the first four minutes of the film (which of course includes the song, which you’ve probably forgotten by now).

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Black Tuesday (1954) Hugo Fregonese


Black Tuesday (1954)
Directed by Hugo Fregonese
Produced by Robert Goldstein
Written by Sydney Boehm
Cinematography by Stanley Cortez
Editing by Robert Golden
Music by Paul Dunlap
United Artists
Rarefilmm (1:20)

Black Tuesday has to be one of the angriest, grittiest, most unflinching movies in all of film noir, due in large part to Edward G. Robinson’s stellar performance as Vincent Canelli, a ruthless and utterly terrifying gangster.

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