If ever there was a collection to introduce anyone to the joys of the film noir of the 1940's and 50's, this collection is it. It offers a nice variety of film noir styles, some big and iconic film noir stars, and above average film noir stories.
The best in my opinion are the two films that feature the superstar of film noir actors, Robert Mitchum. Where Danger Lives is one of the best film noirs you'll ever view. Robert Mitchum fills the screen with his charisma, and the beautiful and under-rated Faith Domergue is one of the most beautiful femme fatales one could be so unfortunate to ever meet. A classic of the genre.
The Big Steal is another classic film noir with the legendary Robert Mitchum, and one of the great film noir actresses of the period, Jane Greer. The film does a great job of presenting the down and out locale of an exotic Mexican village. William Bendix, as usual, does a great job in playing the seedy nemesis to Robert Mitchum's film noir anti-hero.
The next two gems in this collection are Decoy and Tension. Decoy is an absolute film noir classic and an archetype of the genre. Directed by Jack Bernhard and written by Ned Young, these two gentlemen made a film noir on a very limited budget that would be remembered. The femme fatale in this film is unforgettable, played with film noir relish by a very sexy Jean Gillie, and frankly, the black humour in this film is really something to behold.
Tension is your classic film noir which finds our beautiful film noir femme fatale, Audrey Totter, turn her obsessed boyfriend into a murderer. The talented Richard Basehart, one of the great film noir lead actors, carries this film with suspenseful flair.
The final film I would like to comment on is Crime Wave. A really good film noir, this film also stands out for the iconic quality of the actors in this film. Sterling Hayden, Gene Nelson, Charles Bronson, Ted de Corsia, and the charismatic scene stealer, Timothy Carey. What a lineup!!! If ever one wanted to find a film noir archetype, this film would be it.