Film Noir Releases in June 2016

Just a quick word or two about these new releases. I hope you find these monthly lists helpful. If you’ve been following these posts for awhile, you know that some months are pretty slim and others are exploding (like this month). Although I could include releases from many other countries, I’m going to limit myself primarily to those released in the U.S., UK, and France. I know the European discs will (usually) only work for those with a region-free player, but I hope some of these releases will cause you to consider a region-free device. If you know of any releases of interest outside of these three countries, please feel free to add them in the comments section. Thanks, and thanks for reading.

Now, gear yourself up for an amazing June:

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The Maltese Falcon (1941) 75th Anniversary


I figure I’ve seen The Maltese Falcon (1941) at least 10 times, but last night was the first time I’d seen it on the big screen (at the Annapolis Harbour 9 as part of TCM’s 75th anniversary of the film, delighted to be joined by my friends Dana, Patrick, and Karen). You’d think the screen size wouldn’t make that much of a difference after having seen the movie so many times, but the revelations were stunning.

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The Phenix City Story (1955) Phil Karlson


The Phenix City Story (1955) Phil Karlson
Film Noir Collection Vol. 5 (Warner Home Video)

The Phenix City Story is one of those odd films you’re not exactly sure how to handle. Is it film noir, crime drama, true crime expose, or something else? Some writers of works dealing with film noir include it while others ignore it. It’s a question best settled by each individual viewer.

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Running on Empty (1988) Sidney Lumet


Running on Empty (1988) Sidney Lumet
Lorimar/Warner Brothers
Warner Archive DVD


The first time we see 17-year-old Danny (River Phoenix) he’s swinging a bat at high school baseball practice. He easily strikes out, then announces to one of his teammates, “Baseball is my life.” He’s either the most cynical kid on the team or he’s trying to hide something. Maybe Danny actually is good at baseball, but he can’t let anyone know it. That would draw too much attention to himself and that would draw too much attention to his parents, Arthur and Annie Pope (Judd Hirsch and Christine Lahti), and that must never happen. It’s not that Arthur and Annie are shy people; they’re wanted by the FBI for bombing a napalm lab in 1971.

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Possessed (1947) Curtis Bernhardt


Possessed (1947) Curtis Bernhardt
Warner Brothers
Warner Archive Blu-ray


A strange, frightened, forlorn woman (Joan Crawford) wanders the streets of Los Angeles, asking everyone she meets if they’ve seen “David.” Eventually she awakens in a hospital, where doctors learn that her name is Louise Howell, a disturbed woman who slowly, reluctantly tells her story in flashback.

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