I must admit that I bought this disc because I was intrigued with the idea of casting Edward G. Robinson and George Raft as adversaries in the same film. Of course, these gentlemen are two of the "giants" of the crime/film noir genre. Unfortunately they are let down by a hackneyed script and mediocre production values.
The film takes place in Montreal during the "cold war", and "the other side" wants to kidnap a brilliant scientist and the details of a top-secret project he is working on. Their agent, who poses as a book-seller ( ruthless Peter Van Eyck ), hires an American gangster ( tough, no-nonsense George Raft )--exiled to Portugal--to come to Montreal, reassemble his old gang and grab the scientist. As this plan takes shape, a couple of related murders get the attention of an RCMP inspector ( a cerebral Edward G. Robinson ). Can the inspector foil the plot and save the scientist before he is whisked off somewhere behind the Iron Curtain ?
As I have indicated, this is not a very good film, but Messrs. Raft and Robinson still have a formidable presence. George Raft is perfect as a guy you really don't want to cross ! On the other hand, I agree that the great Edward G. Robinson is wasted here--this role couldn't have been much of a challenge for him, and it could have been played by any competent, journeyman actor. There is another reason to sit through this movie--Audrey Totter. As Mr. Raft's ex-girlfriend who is "recruited" to charm the scientist, Ms. Totter gives us another rivetting performance that has made her one of film noirs' best "femmes fatales".
I have yet to see a truly complete definition of "film noir" and I am certainly no expert. I suspect, however, that "A Bullet For Joey"s status as film noir could be open to debate.
The disc has a decent full-frame, black and white picture, and mono sound.
On the cover of the DVD is a terrific representation of Robinson, Raft and Totter, and all three are very watchable. However, on the back I see words like "pulls out all the stops for excitement and edge-of-your-seat suspense"--"explosive"--"breathtaking"--"pulse-pounding"--"crackling"--"rapid-fire"--"action-packed". If you swallow all this hype, I have some "Ocean-Front Property in Arizona" that you might be interested in !
Apart from the stars, this one is disappointingly routine.