The Offence (1972*)
Directed by Sidney Lumet
Produced by Denis O’Dell
Written by John Hopkins based on his play This Story of Yours
Cinematography by Gerry Fisher
Edited by John Victor-Smith
Music by Harrison Birtwistle
Kino Lorber Blu-ray (1:52)
I can’t imagine what it must have been like to see this film in theaters upon its initial release. Audiences would’ve known it starred Sean Connery – who at this point had made six James Bond films – and was directed by Sidney Lumet – who had directed 12 Angry Men, The Pawnbroker, Fail Safe and The Anderson Tapes (also starring Connery). But I don’t think anyone expected the absolute raw, unrelenting power of The Offence.
September is neither the most exciting nor the most densely packed month for film noir and neo noir releases, but I present to you several worth considering, especially if you own an all-region Blu-ray player. As always, unless otherwise noted, the following are Region A (U.S. and Canada) Blu-rays. Here we go:
Miracle Mile (1988*)
Written and directed by Steve De Jarnatt
Produced by John Daly, Derek Gibson
Cinematography by Theo van de Sande
Music by Tangerine Dream
Kino Lorber Blu-ray (1:27)
(mild spoilers initially – more later)
As I mentioned in my recap of the movies I watched earlier this month, I have absolutely no recollection of Miracle Mile coming out in theaters, on cable, or on VHS. If not for Brian and Elric at Pure Cinema Podcast, I probably would’ve never seen it, so many thanks to the guys for recommending a title that has immediately become one of my favorite movies from the 80s.
(Please see the end of this post for an August UPDATE)
We’re not seeing as much film noir from the “classic” era (roughly 1941-1958) being released on Blu-ray and DVD these days, at least not as much as I’d like, but rest assured there are more classic noir titles in the pipeline. Still, you’ll find plenty of good stuff this month including several neo-noir and “noir-stained” titles (although some of those connections might be a bit tenuous). You’ll also notice a few previously announced releases that were delayed for various reasons. As always, the following discs are in the Blu-ray format for U.S./Canada Region A players unless otherwise indicated.
July turns out to be a pretty good month for film noir, especially neo-noir. You’ll find some updates from last month and plenty of new temptations as well. Unless indicated otherwise, all releases are U.S. Region A Blu-ray discs. For the UK Region B discs, you will need a region-free Blu-ray player, which – if you love movies – you should invest in.
One, Two, Three (1961)
Produced and directed by Billy Wilder
Screenplay by Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond
Based on Egy, kettő, három by Ferenc Molnár
Cinematography by Daniel L. Fapp
MGM/UA DVD (1:44)
I’d like to start this review by thanking Kino Lorber for a Blu-ray release that hasn’t even happened yet and won’t be available for another two weeks (on May 30), Billy Wilder’s One, Two, Three (1961) , which I plan to pick up ASAP. I saw the film recently on DVD and was amazed by it, that is, when I wasn’t laughing hysterically. I’m hoping this Blu-ray release will help dispel the erroneous belief that Wilder’s career went downhill fast after The Apartment (1960). It did not and One, Two, Three proves it.
There’s quite a bit in store for noir and neo-noir fans in June with several new releases (and at least one reissue), several of them from across the pond, so if you don’t have a region-free Blu-ray player, now’s a great time to pick one up.
Disclaimer: unless otherwise indicated, all releases are Blu-rays (just one DVD exception this month). Region B discs from France or the UK are identified as such. I’ve stopped listing releases of French films that do not have English subtitles. Unless otherwise noted, the images are those displayed under each title’s entry at Blu-ray.com.
So let’s see what June has to offer…