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Blonde Ice [Import]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Leslie Brooks, Mildred Coles, Julie Gibson, James Griffith, John Holland
  • Directors: Jack Bernhard
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Special Edition, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Vci Video
  • Release Date: Sept. 1 2004
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C2IVE

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: DVD
The forerunner of 1987's Black Widow (Theresa Russell, Debra Winger), Blonde Ice features B actors in a B film noir. Leslie Brooks plays the title character, a newspaper columnist who marries for money and makes sure she gets the dough she's due from her marriages as soon as she can. The whole time she's hooking up with rich guys, she's really in love (or whatever dames like this call love) with a guy she works with on the same paper.
One of the most interesting things about this film is the possibility that noted B director Edgar Ulmer (Detour, Bluebeard, Strange Illusion) may have written the script for the film under its original title, Single Indemnity. The intent, no doubt, was to play off the huge success of the A noir Double Indemnity, released four years earlier. But the releasing studio didn't cotton to this blatant title rip-off and threatened suit. Hence the title change to Blonde Ice.
This is a compact little film, clocking in at around 74 minutes. The DVD comes with some nice extras. Aside from a short description of the Edgar Ulmer connection, there's film restorer Jay Fenton, who's interviewed about film restoration and who supplies both the liner notes and a commentary on the film. There's a bonus very early TV noir episode, "Into the Night"--very creaky. An even wackier extra is some big-voiced crooner singing "Satan in Satin", no doubt inspired by this film. There's bios and filmographies of the cast and crew. And there's even a postcard showing our heroine dolled up in a bathing suit in a cute pose, circa the '40s.
This is not a strong, compelling film noir like Murder, My Sweet or Double Indemnity. But it's worth having as one of the premier B noirs for those, like me, who're noir fanatics.
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By Marc Prescott on Dec 16 2012
Format: DVD
Unable to view the video due to it being a poor copy (pixelation and streaking) So I downloaded the film (public domain - copyright expired) loved the movie perfect quality. Great movie highly recommend the film.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 26 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
You're not well, Claire July 25 2004
By Steven Hellerstedt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Claire (Leslie Brooks) is blonde, beautiful, and deadly. As is true of most film noir heroines, money and power are more important to her than love, and this society page columnist lets nothing stand in the way of her shady ambitions. Or, as the tagline has it - Ice in her veins, icicles on her heart. Claire marries and murders, is the target of an extortionist and murders, becomes engaged and murders. Off in an innocent corner is sports columnist Les Burns (Robert Paige,) his love blinding him to her homicidal ways.

Brooks and Paige head an unusually strong cast of veteran character actors in the Poverty Row movie BLONDE ICE. In a role that could easily have been taken over the top, Brooks plays the sociopath with passionate restraint. Paige, who appearance here is evidence to the downward track his career was on, plays the poor love-struck sap with a sensitive touch.

True to its Poverty Row heritage corners were cut and money was saved at almost every turn. There aren't a lot of expensive tracking and dolly shots, and you'll notice the same curtains in Les's apartment, in a lawyer's office and hanging off the windows in a room holding an election night party.

The cast is filled with veteran character actors who'd either fallen off the A-movie list or were on it only as bit players. Nobody strays too far out of their comfort zone in this one. For instance, Emory Parnell plays police Capt. Bill Murdock. In the 250 movies he's credited with appearing in, Parnell almost always played the cop, good or bad (in this one he's a grouchy good one.) The only non-veteran in the cast is James Griffith, who plays newspaperman Al Herrick, a friend and co-worker of Claire and Burns who smells a rat a little earlier than anyone else. Although BLONDE ICE is his first movie, Herrick would go on to appear in about 100 more. Here he plays a bit of a weasel, someone who's every look, word and gesture carries an insinuation.

The VCI Entertainment dvd comes with a number of special features that truly make this one a bargain value. The special features include:

- A twenty-two minute, early 1950s television episode of Into the Night, starring Wallace Ford. This one offers another take on the theme of the deadly female. Fans of Ford will get a kick out of this one, although I have to admit that I find him annoying. Non-fans won't miss anything by skipping this it completely.

- Ray Barber does an early (1950?) music video, singing the bluesy "Satan Wears a Satan Gown" while Johnny Stage-struck waits in the alley for his lady love.

- A number of trailers for vintage film noirs.

- An interview with film restorer Jay Fenton.

- A commentary track with Jay Fenton.

- Film bios of the stars.

- And, for hard-core noir geeks, there's "A Fascinating Possibility," which in text discusses the possibility that legendary DETOUR director Edgar Ulmer may have had a hand in writing the script for BLONDE ICE.

The five stars are for fans of the genre. If you count yourself a fan of film noir, you'll love BLONDE ICE.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
B Noir Murderess--the first black widow Nov. 1 2003
By LGwriter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The forerunner of 1987's Black Widow (Theresa Russell, Debra Winger), Blonde Ice features B actors in a B film noir. Leslie Brooks plays the title character, a newspaper columnist who marries for money and makes sure she gets the dough she's due from her marriages as soon as she can. The whole time she's hooking up with rich guys, she's really in love (or whatever dames like this call love) with a guy she works with on the same paper.
One of the most interesting things about this film is the possibility that noted B director Edgar Ulmer (Detour, Bluebeard, Strange Illusion) may have written the script for the film under its original title, Single Indemnity. The intent, no doubt, was to play off the huge success of the A noir Double Indemnity, released four years earlier. But the releasing studio didn't cotton to this blatant title rip-off and threatened suit. Hence the title change to Blonde Ice.
This is a compact little film, clocking in at around 74 minutes. The DVD comes with some nice extras. Aside from a short description of the Edgar Ulmer connection, there's film restorer Jay Fenton, who's interviewed about film restoration and who supplies both the liner notes and a commentary on the film. There's a bonus very early TV noir episode, "Into the Night"--very creaky. An even wackier extra is some big-voiced crooner singing "Satan in Satin", no doubt inspired by this film. There's bios and filmographies of the cast and crew. And there's even a postcard showing our heroine dolled up in a bathing suit in a cute pose, circa the '40s.
This is not a strong, compelling film noir like Murder, My Sweet or Double Indemnity. But it's worth having as one of the premier B noirs for those, like me, who're noir fanatics.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A Good B-Movie Film Noir Is Rescued Aug. 12 2005
By Erik Rupp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Blonde Ice was one of hundreds of movies made by "poverty row" movie studios such as PRC and Monogram. Many of these were literally thrown in the trash once their theatrical run was over. A large number of these movies are lost - there are no prints in existence anymore.

Blonde Ice was thought to be in that category until film restorer Jay Fenton, working with VCI, put together two prints that he discovered. Each was significantly damaged, but when the good parts of each print were combined a single print in good condition was created. This process, along with many other stories, are told by Jay Fenton as special features on the VCI version of Blone Ice.

The film itself will not make anyone, even hardcore B-Movie noir buffs, forget Double Indemnity, but it is one of the better movies to come out of poverty row in that era. Leslie Brooks is perfectly cast as the title character, and the story is fairly well written and directed (considering the miniscule budget that the movie had).

As to which version of Blonde Ice to buy, I've got to recommend the VCI version. They spent the time and money with Jay Fenton to restore the movie, and it was an investment well spent as their DVD of Blonde Ice is truly something special. You will not find a better print of Blonde Ice available (or even one as good), and the extras on their DVD are worth the price of admission alone! (By the way, I am NOT on the VCI payroll, I just believe in rewarding and crediting those who go above and beyond the call...)

If you're a B-Movie fan, a film noir fan, or just curious about Hollywood's poverty row studios of the 1940's you should definitely check out VCI's Blonde Ice DVD (and skip this version from Alpha/Gotham).
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
"You're not warm. You're cold...like ice." July 2 2005
By Dave - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Starring in what might just be THE definitive femme fatale role of film noir, Leslie Brooks plays Claire Cummings, a selfish, cold-blooded, and very sexy young blonde who uses men and then discards them while climbing her way up the social ladder. Eventually, Claire murders one husband, then a second husband, along with a would-be blackmailer who underestimated "Blonde Ice". Before she can kill again, the police (and her discarded boyfriends) learn the truth and set out to stop her.

While the ending was totally predictable, I still found this awesome classic one of the very best B noirs I've ever seen. I'd never heard of Leslie Brooks before watching this film and from what I've since read this was her best role (and performance). "Blonde Ice" is an unusually dark movie, even for film noir, and I guess that's why it stands out among the dozens of B noirs that were released in the 1940's and 1950's. The Alpha dvd has a good picture quality but the sound is rather poor. Still, for the cheap price I paid for it I'm not complaining. A definite must for all fans of film noir!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Ice in Her Veins, Icicles on Her Heart Sept. 29 2009
By Borowy26 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
"Blonde Ice" is a decidedly low rent film noir that highlights the criminal exploits of a femme fatale played by Leslie Brooks.

Claire Cummings (Brooks) is a ruthlessly ambitious social climber who uses and discards men in order to secure wealth, security and social position. When the picture opens, Cummings is late for her own wedding to Carl Hanneman (John Holland), a furnace manufacturer. Among the wedding guests are several of Cumming's colleagues from "The San Francisco Tribune" where Claire worked as a society reporter. In addition to the newspaper's editor, Hack Doyle (Walter Sande), sportswriter Les Burns (Robert Paige), reporter Al Herrick (James Griffith) and Burns' secretary, June Taylor are also in attendance. Burns and Herrick are two of Claire's former suitors. Herrick discovered Claire working as a stenographer and helped her secure a position on the newspaper before losing her to Burns.

No sooner than the brief wedding ceremony is completed, Claire asks her husband to excuse her so that she can say goodbye to members of "the old gang." She promptly joins Burns on the terrace where she suggests that her newly acquired marital status should not be an impediment to continuing their former relationship on an extramarital basis. Burns accuses Claire of deriving a "sadistic" kick out of inviting him to the wedding. After exchanging a kiss and an embrace with Les, which arouses the jealous suspicions of Hanneman, Claire assures Carl that she thinks of Burns as "a brother" and she is simply grateful to him for helping to advance her journalistic career. As the bride and groom depart for their honeymoon, Burns tosses his engraved cigarette case, a gift from Claire onto the lawn at the Hanneman mansion.

While in Los Angeles, the newlyweds begin quarreling when Hanneman objects to his wife's expensive habits. When Claire wins a wager at the race track, Carl is shocked to learn that she risked $[...] on a single horse race and questions the wisdom of her placing such large bets. Back at their hotel suite, Carl discovers that his wife has been secretly corresponding with Les. He seizes one of the incriminating letters, packs a suitcase and leaves for San Francisco to institute immediate divorce proceedings. He announces his intention to cut off Claire without so much as a single cent in alimony.

One day later, Claire calls Les at the newspaper office and asks him to make airplane reservations for her and to pick her up from the airport that same night. She informs him that her husband has been called away on business. When they drive to the Hanneman residence, Les discovers Carl's dead body in a neatly constructed tableaux which indicates that the man may have committed suicide.

Police Captain Bill Murdock (Emory Parnell) and District Attorney Ed Chalmers (Selmer Jackson) are not so certain: the gun found near Hanneman's body bears no fingerprints and his coat does not have any powder burns. Claire insists that she and her dearly departed husband were "supremely happy" throughout their marriage. Murdock reminds her that the entire duration of her marriage was "one week."

While the investigation is pending and her late husband's million dollar estate is tied up in probate court, Claire fixes her attentions upon a prominent attorney, Stanley Mason (Michael Whalen), who is also favored to win a seat in Congress. Initially, Claire claims to be interested solely in protecting her legal rights in the probate case, but, of course, she has other designs as well.

Soon Claire is actively romancing Mason, but she begins to receive threatening calls from a blackmailer. She buys off a charter pilot named Blackie Talon (Russ Vincent) temporarily by giving him some of her jewelry to pawn. Blackie has a gambling problem of his own, so he has no intention of going away without securing a larger payment at a later date.

In short order, Claire dumps Les for a second time and becomes engaged to Mason the lawyer/politician. Unfortunately, Claire did not anticipate that one of Mason's closest friends is Dr. Geoffrey Kippinger, a psychiatrist who takes a special interest in studying Claire's manners and morals. Kippinger is convinced that Claire is mentally unstable and that her problems relate back to her impoverished childhood which occurred as the result of her father abandoning his wife and daughter.

"Blonde Ice" is an over the top delight that allowed Leslie Brooks a rare chance to showcase her viciousness after a Hollywood career spent in largely supporting roles. For example, Brooks played one of the women who was a romantic interest of Paul Henreid in "The Hollow Triumph," but Joan Bennett had the more important role of the female lead. She makes the most of her opportunity despite a somewhat trite and clichéd script. "Blonde Ice" was adapted by Kenneth Gamet from a novel by Whitman Chambers entitled "Once Too Often." Jack Bernhard, of "Decoy" fame, handles the directorial assignment and veteran cinematographer George Robinson photographed the quickly made, low budget film.

One of the amusing features of "Blonde Ice" is how all of the male cast members seem to be completely smitten with Claire and totally oblivious to her cunning and manipulative nature while many of the female cast members seem to recognize her for exactly what she is and drop casual comments about her that go unheeded by the clueless men. June Taylor, played by Mildred Coles, is Burns' loyal and devoted secretary. Although she is privately in love with him, Burns completely ignores the brunette "Girl Friday" while chasing after the selfish blonde with an ice cold heart.

This is one of those enjoyable movies in which the dialogue is pleasingly overripe and the audience is always several steps ahead of the dim witted on screen actors. The climactic scene which rapidly ties up all of the loose ends has to be seen in order to be believed.

A persistent rumor about the film suggested that Edgar Ulmer had a hand in creating the scenario for "Blonde Ice" or at the very least he gave the script its shooting title. Ulmer made a passing reference to the film in an interview with Peter Bogdanovich, but also seemed to confuse the plot of "Blonde Ice" with that of another Producers Releasing Corporation knock off "Apology for Murder." While film scholars have argued as to whether or not Ulmer was mistaken about the origins of "Blonde Ice," I am inclined to believe that he may have seen the scenario at some point in time. The producer of "Blonde Ice" was Martin Mooney, a specialist in hardboiled crime dramas, who worked with Ulmer at P. R. C. (derisively known as "Pretty Rotten Crap" in the industry), most notably on "Detour" and "Club Havana." A few years later, both men worked for the short lived Film Classics Studios, another second tier studio, which ultimately released "Blonde Ice."

"Blonde Ice" was thought to have been a lost film until its rediscovery several years ago. The last known prints had been televised in the Seventies. The best currently available print of the film was restored by Jay Fenton, who was able to replace missing footage and recreate a most serviceable print of the movie.
Fenton's restored print is the one used for this particular DVD.

This is a fine example of "B" film production that makes the most of its typecasting of veteran character actors.


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