April holds almost nothing as far as U.S. releases go, but there are quite a few nice Region B releases if you live in Europe or own a region-free player. I’m very excited to see so many interesting releases from the new UK label Indicator. (Anyone who has bought one, please let me know what you think.) So here we go…
Arlington Road (1999) Fabulous Films (Region B, UK)
I saw this neo-noir years ago, but remember it as a film that harkens back to the tension and suspense of many of the great film noir movies. This time the threat is terrorism, a subject unfortunately very appropriate to our times. Jeff Bridges suspects his neighbor Tim Robbins may be a home-grown domestic terrorist. Although I own this on DVD, I’m tempted to pick up this Region B Blu-ray.
Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982) Fabulous Films (Region B, UK)
Carl Reiner’s Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid is still a lot of fun 35 years later, parodying film noir by combining (then) modern actors with classic noir clips. When you consider how challenging this must have been without CGI, the film comes off as even more impressive. Part of the fun is in seeing how many of the movies you can identify.
Panic in the Streets (1950) Signal One Entertainment (Region B, UK)
Doctor Clinton Reed (Richard Widmark, playing a good guy for a change) and New Orleans Police Chief Tom Warren (Paul Douglas) have 48 hours to track down and isolate a killer (Jack Palance) infected with pneumonic plague. Nice performances.
The Scar (1948) Kino Lorber
The only U.S. release for April. Also known as Hollow Triumph, The Scar follows Johnny Muller (Paul Henreid), a criminal who’s just robbed a casino and seeks to avoid the casino owner’s henchmen. The twist? Muller is an exact double of Victor Bartok (also played by Henreid) a local psychologist, aside from the psychologist’s facial scar. You can no doubt guess how Muller seeks to make himself look more like Bartok… I’m not a huge fan of the film, but I’m going to pick it up mainly for the Imogen Sara Smith audio commentary.
The Lady from Shanghai (1947) Indicator Series, Blu-ray + DVD (Region B, UK)
This Orson Welles film is a must-own for film noir fans and since I wasn’t too jazzed about the Mill Creek Blu-ray release, I’m probably going to pick this edition up. The final score is Indicator = 3; at least three supplements (audio commentary by Peter Bogdanovich, an appreciation by Welles scholar Simon Callow, a discussion with Bogdanovich, and probably more), Mill Creek = 0.
Experiment in Terror (1962) Indicator Series, Blu-ray + DVD (Region B, UK)
Lee Remick stars as Kelly Sherwood, a San Francisco bank teller who learns that she and her sister (Stephanie Powers) will be killed unless Kelly goes along with a scheme to steal $100,000 from the bank where she works. By all accounts this is an excellent tension-filled film from a director not typically known for such films: Blake Edwards.
Hardcore (1979) Indicator Series, Blu-ray + DVD (Region B, UK)
Twilight Time released this title last August, so if you live in Europe and have been looking for a Region B release, this could be for you. It’s been awhile, but personally I don’t think I could watch this one again…
That’s it for April. If I missed anything, please let me know in the comments below.