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:
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.
I know a lot of people watch many more movies than I do, but in March, I averaged a movie a day every day, mainly due to being sick for a week and attending the Annapolis Film Festival (but not at the same time!). This post will not include any of the festival films, which I plan to review and post individually. “Movies Watched in March 2015 Part I” can be viewed here.
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.
March is looking to be a record-breaking month here at the blog, especially considering that the Annapolis Film Festival is coming up next week, so I thought I’d go ahead and get the first installment of my March movies up and running:
Running on Empty (1988) Sidney Lumet
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.
Possessed (1947) Curtis Bernhardt
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.
Part II features more film noir, two Oscar-winning films from this year, a nominee from a few years ago, and more. Enjoy!
The Locket (1946) John Brahm
Warner Archive DVD
John Willis (Gene Raymond) is all set to marry Nancy (Laraine Day), the woman of his dreams, until he’s approached by a man named Harry Blair (Brian Aherne). Blair, claiming to be Nancy’s former husband, warns Willis that he’s about to marry a thief, a liar, and quite possibly a murderer, all in one. Thus begins one of the most complicated uses of flashback in all of film noir – a flashback within a flashback within a flashback.