Prepare yourselves…. There’s a ton of stuff coming next month. You may not want to wait for people to get you these November film noir releases as presents for the holidays, which is perfectly understandable. Okay, there’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started.
As always, all of the following are Blu-ray only releases unless otherwise indicated and releases in the U.S. unless otherwise indicated. I left off some of the European titles that are already available in the U.S. and also pretty much ignored re-releases that we’ve previously seen unless something new has been added.
I Wake Up Screaming (Kino Lorber)
I reviewed this film last year and really enjoyed it. Although I have the Fox Film Noir DVD, I’ll be picking this one up. I don’t know if this will be a new scan of the film, but the Eddie Muller commentary on the DVD will be ported over, which is reason enough to pick up this release.
The Film Detective’s Film Noir Collection: Hollow Triumph (1948), Kansas City Confidential (1952), The Red House (1947) (Film Detective, 3 BDs)
I found few details on this set, other than a line on Amazon that claims “All are restored from 35mm archival film elements and released in their original theatrical aspect ratios.” Each of these films has previously been released separately by Film Detective, so I’m sure this set is simply a repackaging of those editions. The only Film Detective edition of these three that I own is Kansas City Confidential, which looks and sounds quite good and is probably the best edition available, although it does not include the Eddie Muller interview with Coleen Gray that appeared on the Image Entertainment DVD release from way back in 2002. Even knowing that this set will probably include no extras, it’s a good deal if you want to own all three movies (and you should).
House of Strangers (1949) ESC Editions (France, Region B)
Edward G. Robinson plays Gino Monetti, a banker in the Lower East Side’s Little Italy. Gino has four sons, three of whom work for him at the bank, but he’s been a real jerk to them all. Hey Gino, it’s only a matter of time, buddy… This film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and co-starring Susan Hayward and Richard Conte is seeing its Blu-ray debut here in an Fnac (a French retail outlet) exclusive. There’s very little that I can find on this release other than the fact that it has no subtitles, so I’m assuming the release is in English and not dubbed into French. It will be interesting to see whether we see a U.S. release of the film (a 20th Century Fox property) anytime soon. Anyone with more information, please feel free to weigh in.
The Roman Polanski Collection (Screenbound Pictures) (UK, Region B)
Knife in the Water (1962) /Repulsion (1965)/Cul-de-sac (1966)
Knife in the Water has had a Criterion DVD release (from 2003) and Blu-ray releases in the UK, Italy, and Japan. Repulsion and Cul-de-sac both have Criterion Blu-ray releases, so I wonder if Criterion is going to be able to add Knife to the Water to their Blu-ray line-up soon? Regardless, all three look like they’ll also be available individually from Screenbound Pictures. No information on supplements.
I, the Jury (1982) Kino Lorber
I remember being underwhelmed by this remake of the 1953 film based on Mickey Spillane’s most famous novel, but perhaps I’ll revisit it. I just can’t see Armand Assante as Mike Hammer… Maybe it’s just me.
The Man Between (1953) Studio Canal (UK, Region B)
As far as I can tell, this Carol Reed film has never had a previous Blu-ray release and even DVD copies are few and far between. This post-WWII kidnapping thriller set in Berlin stars James Mason and Claire Bloom, and while it contains elements of The Third Man and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, it appears to be quite inferior to both.
The Small World of Sammy Lee (1963) Studio Canal (UK, Region B)
This appears to be the same release I reported on last month. The date has been bumped back and the cover changed, but otherwise it’s the same Studio Canal/Vintage Classics release.
10 Rillington Place (1971) Powerhouse Films (UK, Region B) BD and DVD
This film, based on the Ludovic Kennedy book about London serial killer John Reginald Christie, was previously released by Twilight Time, but that edition may be expensive to get your hands on. Even with international shipping, this Powerhouse Films edition should be much more affordable if you have an all-region player. Supplements unknown.
Man on Fire (1987) Kino Lorber
An ex-SEAL (Scott Glenn) has had enough of war and accepts a job as a bodyguard for the daughter of a wealthy Italian businessman. John Grant warns in his A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir that many editions of the film run 88 minutes, which create major problems with the film’s ending. This Kino Lorber edition runs the full 92 minutes.
Pretty Poison (1968) Twilight Time (not the actual cover)
On parole from a mental institution, Dennis Pitt (Anthony Perkins) meets a pretty teenage girl (Tuesday Weld) and convinces her that he’s a secret agent. As you might suspect from the title, she’s got issues also. As with most Twilight Time titles, this one is limited to 3000 units.
Cry of the City (1948) Kino Lorber
From Robert Siodmak, one of noir’s finest directors, comes this film about two boyhood friends (Richard Conte and Victor Mature) who end up on different sides of the law. I’m a big fan of Siodmak and many consider this Richard Conte’s finest work. I don’t know about you, but I need no further enticements.
Daisy Kenyon (1947) Kino Lorber
Otto Preminger also knew a thing or two about film noir, and although I’ve never seen this one, a love triangle noir starring Joan Crawford, Dana Andrews and Henry Fonda means I’m going to pick it up.
The House on 92nd Street (1945) Kino Lorber
You can read my previous thoughts on this very interesting (and in some cases groundbreaking) film noir here. As with I Wake Up Screaming, I imagine we’ll get the same supplements ported over from the Fox Film Noir DVD, including an Eddie Muller commentary.
Boomerang (1947) Kino Lorber
Want more Dana Andrews? Well, look no further. Here Andrews plays a prosecutor who believes in the innocence of a man (Arthur Kennedy) who stands accused of murder. Directed by Elia Kazan, also starring Lee J. Cobb, Jane Wyatt, Ed Begley and Karl Malden.
The Blue Lamp (1950) Studio Canal (UK, Region B) (not the actual cover)
I’m not familiar with this Basil Dearden film, but since it’s Dearden, I’m interested. Looks like it may be more police procedural than noir, but I’m okay with that.
The Lodger (1944) Kino Lorber
In this historical noir (set in 1889 London), Robert Burton (Cedric Hardwicke) and his wife rent their spare room to a strange man named Slade (Laird Cregar) while Jack the Ripper terrorizes the city. Hmmm…. A connection, perhaps? I can’t wait to see this one. This release includes an audio commentary by Alain Silver and James Ursini as well as a new commentary by film historian Gregory William Mank. You’ll also get an “making of” featurette and a radio adaptation performed by Vincent Price and Cathy Lewis. Done.
Rocco and His Brothers (1960) TF1 Video (France, Region B) 1 BD, 2 DVDs
I only include this release in case you haven’t already bought the Eureka/Masters of Cinema UK release.
At this point if you have any money left, you’re doing better than I am. Man, what a month. And here’s a big standing ovation to Kino Lorber for giving us eight film noir titles in November! Well done, ladies and gentlemen!
As always, if I have missed any November film noir releases, please let me know in the comments below.