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Hammer Film Noir Collector's Set (Bad Blonde / Blackout / The Gambler and the Lady / Heat Wave / Man Bait / Stolen Face) [Import]

George Brent , Marguerite Chapman , Ken Hughes , Patrick Jenkins    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Customers buy this Movies & TV with Hammer Film Noir Collector's Set, Vol. 2 (Terror Street / Wings of Danger / The Glass Tomb / Paid to Kill / The Black Glove / The Deadly Game / The Unholy Four / A Race for Life) [Import] CDN$ 32.93

Hammer Film Noir Collector's Set (Bad Blonde / Blackout / The Gambler and the Lady / Heat Wave / Man Bait / Stolen Face) [Import] + Hammer Film Noir Collector's Set, Vol. 2 (Terror Street / Wings of Danger / The Glass Tomb / Paid to Kill / The Black Glove / The Deadly Game / The Unholy Four / A Race for Life) [Import]
Price For Both: CDN$ 65.86

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hammer Films Delivers Entertaining Film Noirs Jan. 10 2011
By Moodywoody TOP 500 REVIEWER
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Hammer Films may have been a so-called "discount" studio, but the quality and professionalism of their films would never show it. In fact, you can only describe this studio as the master of the B-movie, and by B-movie I do not mean low quality, but simply films that were not major studio releases and made with a limited budget. More often than not, I have found myself enjoying B-movies more than many films there were regarded as a major studio release. Historically, film noirs often were originally made as B-films, since film noirs largely came into being by directors and producers attempting to make the most of limited budgets.

This collection of film noirs from Hammer Films are terrific entertainment. There is not a bad movie in this collection if you enjoy the film noir genre. There is a certain quaint innocence to these films in that they give a sense that those who made them had a true love of film making. The writing and directing is superb and the acting so professional that the viewer becomes so engrossed in the films that the limited budgets are not noticeable.

The two films starring Dane Clark are lots of fun, and the movie Stolen Face, starring film noir icon Lizabeth Scott is a real unexpected bonus in this collection. Bad Blonde and Man Bait feature some great femme fatales along with fairly well known stars in George Brent, Diana Dors, and Barbara Payton.

My favourite film is this collection, however, is Heat Wave starring Alex Nicol and Hillary Brooke. An archetype film noir, it delivers all the elements of a film noir one comes to expect from such films. Hillary Brooke is great as the femme fatale, and the under rated Alex Nicol is in fine film noir form. It is also enjoyable to see Sidney James in a supporting role.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Films that are not really film noirs. June 21 2013
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The film is actually not a film noir. It is a pretention of film noir, and an essay that should be interesting for people wanting to know about these stories which are really essays and not really film noir.
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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
118 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CRIME AND ECSTASY IN BRITISH SHADOWS May 23 2006
By Ray K. Sibul - Published on Amazon.com
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If you don't care for Hammer horror, perhaps Hammer noir will please you.
Schemes that eventually backfire and send the noir characters to their doom or near doom is the unrelenting charm of these little British crime thrillers from the fifties.
Vci Video has now released 6 of these British noirs in an impressive set of 3 DVDs. The collection includes the following films with their catchy B-movie titles: BAD BLONDE (1953); MAN BAIT (1952); STOLEN FACE (1952); BLACKOUT (1954); GAMBLER AND THE LADY (1952); and HEAT WAVE (1954).
Of course, black-and-white low-keyed cinematography underscores the shadow friendly environment in all of these moody films.
The always nervous Dane Clark is here twice (in two films), cooking up something. Diana Dors, Barbara Payton, Lizabeth Scott, Naomi Chance, Belinda Lee, and Hillary Brooke: all these blond ladies become fatally attractive again. And besides Dane Clark, there are also George Brent, Paul Henreid, Alex Nicol, and Tony Wright in the lineup of fall guys.
These well made low budget films received second feature billing, below the main attraction in American movie theaters throughout the fifties, and were released here in the US by Lippert Pictures. Ironically, those second features on the lower half of double bills, very often turned out to be much more interesting (and inventively done) than were the higher budget presentations that overshadowed them. By the way, I am also enchanted by the strikingly attractive poster art of the noir titles decorating the double feature disc labels in the Hammer noir collector's set. Lippert Pictures often put out the most magnificently colorful (and sometimes delightfully gaudy) posters to entice the movie going public. Some of this movie paper is now much in demand by collectors, and is hard to find.
Visual melodramatics lend enormous strength and much flavor to the scheming and shadowy action in every one of the films in the set. Some visually dramatic displays, however, are absolute knockouts. Note, especially, GAMBLER AND THE LADY's wonderfully bizarre, over-the-top ending (poor Dane Clark!).
We finally have the opportunity to enjoy and own these long neglected and mostly forgotten Hammer/Lippert noirs in very good condition. I really do think this is paradise in low-key black and white. What more could one ask?!
Without hesitation, 5 stars to this great set at such a bargain price to boot!
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Movie Collection - Poor Packaging and Presentation July 1 2006
By Moviefanatic - Published on Amazon.com
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The selection of movies is FANTASTIC! Only The Stolen Face has been previously released in the UK. I could not stop watching them. We should be greatful to VCI for bringing these titles out of obscurity. Hopefully, they will continue this trend in the future. I have only one complaint - presentation and packaging. Frankly, I was quite shocked when I opened the case which was quite thick. I thought there would be three individually packaged DVDs inside the case with great poster art as has been shown on the cover pages of the individual releases. Unfortunately, once I opened the case, I saw the three DVDs stacked together on one spindle. The DVDs were not individually packaged and there was absolutely no poster art except the one on the cover page. VCI did a great job of presenting these great titles to us and I wish they put a little more care towards the presentation and packaging.
65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Hammer & VCI Film Noir Collection of Six Classic British Noir (1950's) " Aug. 27 2006
By J. Lovins - Published on Amazon.com
VCI Entertainment and Kit Parker Films present "Hammer Film Noir Collector's Set, Vol. 1-3" (1952) --- (Dolby digitally remastered)...Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe Hollywood crime dramas that set their protagonists in a world perceived as inherently corrupt and unsympathetic...Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as stretching from the early 1940s to the late 1950s...Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography, while many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Depression...the term film noir (French for "black film"), first applied to Hollywood movies by French critic Nino Frank in 1946, was unknown to most of the American filmmakers and actors while they were creating the classic film noirs..the canon of film noir was defined in retrospect by film historians and critics; many of those involved in the making of film noir later professed to be unaware at the time of having created a distinctive type of film.

First up we have "BAD BLONDE" (1953) (81 min. B/W)...under director Reginald Le Borg , producer Anthony Hinds, book author Max Catto, screenplay by Guy Elmes and Richard H. Landau , music score by Ivor Slaney ...the cast includes Barbara Payton (Lorna Vecchi), Frederick Valk (Giuseppe Vecchi), John Slater (Charlie Sullivan), Sid James (Sharkey), Tony Wright (Johnny Flanagan), Marie Burke (Mother Vecchi), Selma Vaz Dias (Mrs. Corelli, Vecchi's sister), Enzo Coticchia (Mr. Corelli), George Woodbridge (Police Inspector), Bettina Dickson (Barmaid), John Brooking (Barnes) . . . . . our story based on a novel by Max Catto is very close to "The Postman Always Rings Twice", but this time the male lead is a boxer...Barbara Payton is blackmailing Tony Wright into killing her husband Frederick Valk, will he go through with it...only the final scene will tell, Valk is a scene stealer and gives it all he's worth.

Second on the collection is a Lippert Picture release "MAN BAIT (1952) (84 min. B/W)....under director Terence Fisher, producer Anthony Hinds, screenplay by James Hadley Chase and Frederick Knott, musical score by Frank Spencer ....the cast includes George Brent (John Harman), Marguerite Chapman (Stella Tracy), Raymond Huntley Clive Oliver), Peter Reynolds (Jeffrey Hart), Diana Dors (Ruby Bruce), Eleanor Summerfield (Vi), Meredith Edwards (Inspector Dale), Harry Fowler (Joe, clerk), Conrad Phillips (Detective Todd), Nelly Arno (Miss Rosetti, clerk), David Keir (Mr. Quince, clerk), Eleanor Bryan (Mary Lewis, clerk), Isabel Dean .(May Harmon), Jack Faint (Club Manager), Harold Goodwin (Frank, the waiter) . . . . . our story involves blackmail and murder with George Brent who runs a bookstore where employee Marguerite Chapman is in love with him...but wait there is more, a sexy untrusting good-looking Diana Dors who also works in the bookstore who has eyes for her boss...Brent has an invalid wife who needs an operation abroad and so cashing an insurance policy to pay for the operation everything seems like it will pan out, hold on it gets better, as Dors sees a good for nothing Peter Reynolds shoplifting, but doesn't tell boss...Dors and Reynolds become close, Reynolds has Dors blackmail Brent when he kissed her in a moment of letting his guard down...what will he do, can he keep this away from his wife Isabel Dean, can Chapman help him clear himself as Dors is found murdered and Brent is the prime suspect...all in all the best performance in this film noir is Diana Dors, completely natural and believable . . . . .there's a great deal of entertainment here for all the film noir fans out there...all courtesy of VCI Entertainment, who in my humble opinion is the best there is in restoring early serials and features like this one.

Third feature on the bill we have "BLACKOUT" (1954) (87 min. B/W)...under director Terence Fisher, producer Michael Carreras, screenplay by Richard H. Landau, novel by Helen Nielson, Cinematographer Jimmy W. Harvey, music score by Ivor Slaney ...the cast includes Dane Clark (Casey Morrow). Belinda Lee (Phyllis Brunner), Betty Ann Davies (Alicia Brunner), Eleanor Summerfield (Maggie Doone), Andrew Osborn (Lance Gorden), Harold Lang (Travis), Jill Melford (Miss Nardis), Michael Golden (Inspector Johnson), Alfie Bass (Ernie) . . . . . our story has an exceptional cast, with one of my favorite film noir actors Dane Clark, who can get into more trouble in only a few reels of this flick...in this better than average "Brit Noir" our drifter Clark is up to his neck with a frame up, murder suspect, mind games, plus he needs to clear his name in this psychological thriller "Murder by Proxy" was the British title..the beautiful blonde Belinda Lee is throwing 500 pounds around and Clark is the pigeon...where did the blood on his coat come from, and who has been murdered, will he be left holding the bag...don't leave the theatre you're about to find out who's who in this classic film noir plot.

Fourth film is a Lippert Picture release "STOLEN FACE" (1952) (72 min. B/W)....under director Terence Fisher, producer Anthony Hinds, screenplay by Martin Berkeley and Richard Landau, Walter Harvey (Cinematographer), musical score by Malcolm Arnold ....the cast includesPaul Henreid (Dr. Philip Ritter), Lizabeth Scott (Alice Brent/Lilly), Andre Morell (David), Mary Mackenzie (Lilly), John Wood (Dr. Jack Wilson), Susan Stephen (Betty), Arnold Ridley (Dr. Russell), Everley Gregg (Lady Harringay), Cyril Smith (Alf), Janet Burnell (Maggie), Grace Gavin (Nurse), Diana Beaumont (May), Alexis France (Mrs. Emmett), John Bull (Charles Emmett), Dorothy Bramhall (Miss Simpson), Richard Wattis (Wentworth) . . . . . our story has heroine Lizabeth Scott is playing a dual role, the good, the bad and the ugly...Paul Henreid is believable as the plstic surgeon who can't seem to do anything right, professionally or with his love life...can a different face change a person, or will trouble surface and begin to eat away at the players of this "Film Noir"...is love or murder in the future of the Hammer film crew...don't take another step, as you're eyes are about to be opened and the mystery right in front of your nose... . . .there's a great deal of entertainment here for all the film noir fans out there...all courtesy of VCI Entertainment, who in my humble opinion is the best there is in restoring early serials and features like this one.

Fifth feature we have "THE GAMBLER AND THE LADY" (1952) (72 min. B/W)...under director Pat Jenkins, director, producer and screenplay by Sam Newfield, producer Anthony Hinds , book author Max Catto, screenplay by Guy Elmes and Richard H. Landau , Walter Harvey (Cinematographer), music score by Ivor Slaney ...the cast includes Dane Clark (Jim Forster), Naomi Chance (Lady Susan Willens), Meredith Edwards (Dave Davies), Thomas Gallagher (Sam), Eric Pohlmann (Arturo Colonna), Anthony Forwood (Lord Peter Willens), Kathleen Byron (Pat), Martin Benson (Tony, Pat's dance partner), George Pastell (Jacko Spina), Julian Somers (Licasi, club manager), Max Bacon (Max), Mona Washbourne (Miss Minter), Jane Griffiths (Lady Jane Greer), Anthony Ireland (Richard Farning), Enzo Coticchia (Angelo Colonna) . . . . . our story opens with Dane Clark a casino owner opening as gambling house right in the middle of the mob locals, which doesn't set well with either side...wanting to climb the ladder of the English upper class, he falls in love with one of them...are the upper class accepting or laughing at him, is he in danger of losing his business, friends and even his life...wonderful scenes from Dane Clark in this crime dama mixed with various themes of celebrity status, betrayal and suspense . . . .there's a great deal of entertainment here for all the film noir fans out there...all courtesy of VCI Entertainment, who in my humble opinion is the best there is in restoring early serials and features like this one.

Sixth and final feature is another fine Lippert Picture release "HEAT WAVE" (aka: "The House Across the Lake") (1954) (68 min. B/W)....under Director / Book Author / Screenwriter Ken Hughes, producer Anthony Hinds, Jimmy W. Harvey (Cinematographer), musical score by Ivor Slaney ....the cast includes Alex Nicol (Mark Kendrick), Hillary Brooke (Carol Forrest), Susan Stephen (Andrea Forrest), Sid James (Beverly Forrest), Alan Wheatley (Inspector MacLennan), Paul Carpenter (Vincent Gordon), Hugh Dempster (Frank), Peter Illing (Harry Stevens), John Sharp (Mr. Hardcastle), Joan Hickson (Mrs. Hardcastle), Gordon McLeod (Doctor Emery), Monti DeLyle (Head Waiter), Cleo Rose (Abigail), Howard Lang (Inspector Edgar), Harry Brunning (Railway Porter) . . . . .our story has Alex Nicol who has experienced down and out luck all his life...Hillary Brooke who can manipulate men within her life even murder...Brooke is about to be cut out of her husbands will and has no time for him to die of natural causes...both actors and supporting cast are convincingly good, with outstanding direction and screenplay by Ken Hughes...this post war film noir sets the bar high for other films to measure up to.

1. George Brent (aka: George Brendan Nolan)
Date of birth: 15 March 1899 - Shannonsbridge, County Dublin, Ireland
Date of death: 26 May 1979 - Solana Beach, California
2. Hillary Brooke (aka: Beatrice Peterson)
Date of birth: 8 September 1914 - Astoria, New York, USA
Date of death: 25 May 1999 - Bonsall, California
3. Diana Dors (aka: Diana Mary Fluck)
Date of birth: 23 October 1931 - Swindon, Wiltshire, England, UK
Date of death: 4 May 1984 - Windsor, Berkshire, England, UK
4. Terence Fisher (Director)
Date of birth: 23 February 1904 - London, England, UK
Date of death: 18 June 1980 - Twickenham, London, England, UK
5. Paul Henreid (aka: Paul Georg Julius Hernreid Ritter Von Wassel-Waldingau)
Date of birth: 10 January 1908 - Trieste, Austria-Hungary. [now in Italy]
Date of death: 29 March 1992 - Santa Monica, California
6. Ken Hughes (aka: Kenneth Graham Hughes) (Director)
Date of birth: 19 January 1922 - Liverpool, England, UK
Date of death: 28 April 2001 - Los Angeles, California
7. Reginald Le Borg (Director)
Date of birth: 11 December 1902 - Vienna, Austria-Hungary (now Austria)
Date of death: 25 March 1989 - Los Angeles, California
8. Belinda Lee
Date of birth: 15 June 1935 - Budleigh Salterton, Devon, England, UK
Date of death: 12 March 1961 - near San Bernardino, California
9. Sam Newfield (aka: Samuel Neufeld)
Date of birth: 6 December 1899 - New York, New York, USA
Date of death: 10 November 1964 - Los Angeles, California
10. Alex Nicol (aka: Alexander L. Nicol Jr.)
Date of birth: 20 January 1916 - Ossining, New York
Date of death: 29 July 2001 - Montecito, California
11. Barbara Payton (aka: Barbara Lee Redfield)
Date of birth: 16 November 1927 - Cloquet, Minnesota
Date of death: 8 May 1967 - San Diego, California
12. Lizabeth Scott (aka: Emma Matzo)
Date of birth: 29 September 1922 - Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA
Date of death: Still Living

1. Scene selection
2. Trailers
3. Photo gallery
4. Bonus comments: The World of Hammer Noir by Richard M. Roberts

Great job by VCI Entertainment and Kit Parker Films for releasing the "Hammer Film Noir Collector's Set, Vol. 1-3" (1952), digital transfere with a clean, clear and crisp print...looking forward to more of the same from the '40s and '50s vintage...order your copy now from Amazon or VCI Entertainment, stay tuned once again with a top notch "Classic Film Noir" that only VCI Entertainment (King of the Serials) can deliver...just the way we like 'em!

Total Time: 457 mins on 3-DVD-Set ~ VCI Home Video KPF 554 ~ (8/29/2006)
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just ok. Feb. 11 2007
By Coronet Blue - Published on Amazon.com
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A good introduction to "B" films. These are late 1940's (actually from the 50s) dramas with some noir elements. The films look great--as if they haven't been seen in 50 years--which is probably the case, since they're not too exiting.

I won't give a running commentary like some reviewers but I thought Heat Wave was pretty fair. The story is essentially the same as The Postman Always Rings Twice but its well done and not as slow as the other films. Hillary Brook, who went on to superstardom with Abbott & Costello, was quite a dish and gives a great performance.

Dane Clark, a prominent figure in many Hammer/VCI movies is perfectly adequate but like the movies themselves, a bit lightweight. Robert Mitchum he ain't.

All in all, good transfers and a lot of content for the money. Or course there is better noir available (even from VCI, for example Blond Ice) and I know of at least one Hammer non-horror film that's quite good, The Four Sided Triangle.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Noir, British style Nov. 24 2006
By mrliteral - Published on Amazon.com
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Back in the `30s and `40s, many movie studios had their specialties. Warner Bros. was known for its gangster and "social problem" films; MGM did the musicals, and Universal did the monster movies. Later, in the `50s and `60s, Britain's Hammer Films got a reputation for being a good horror house, starting with The Curse of Frankenstein and continuing for a couple of decades of Frankenstein, Dracula and other movies. Before Curse of Frankenstein, however, Hammer didn't yet have the horror identity and during this time, it made other types of films, including crime movies. The Hammer Film Noir collection brings together six such movies from the early 1950s; while not really awful, they do demonstrate that Hammer Films's strengths were elsewhere.

Bad Blonde features Barbara Payton as the title character, married to a wealthy but slovenly middle-aged boxing manager. In a story that more than slightly resembles The Postman Always Rings Twice, she seduces a boxer and convinces him to murder her spouse. As with many of these of this films, the English actors come off a bit stiff; certainly John Garfield and Lana Turner did this same plot better. The second film on the first disc is Man Bait in which George Brent gets entangled in a blackmail attempt and is later framed for murder; in the hands of a Hitchcock, this innocent-man-wrongly-accused plot is a classic; in lesser hands, however, it is merely passable.

The second disc has Stolen Face, a strange mix of Pygmalion and a crime story. A plastic surgeon, unable to be with the woman he loves, alters the face of a female convict to look like his love and then marries her. Unfortunately, cosmetic surgery doesn't take the crook out of the girl. This film features the most familiar faces for American viewers: Paul Henreid of Casablanca fame (and who also was involved with a different sort of double identity movie with The Scar) and Lizabeth Scott from Too Late For Tears and The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. Unfortunately, their skills don't completely save this movie which has a rather flaky ending which relies on an accident.

The other movie on this disc is the best in the set, Blackout, which features Dane Clark as a down-on-his-luck American in London who wakes up after a drunken bender to find he is married to a beautiful and wealthy woman. Of course, she has something up her sleeve, and when her father turns up dead, he winds up on the run. Clark's wise-cracking character helps elevate this film above the others in this set.

Clark is also in The Gambler and the Lady on disc three as one of the title characters (hint, he's not the lady). He's a minor gangster trying to go legit and gain acceptance from who he considers his social betters. His pretensions alienate his dancer girlfriend even as he starts going out with a member of the nobility (the Lady of the title). He also gets entangled with more serious mobsters who are trying to muscle into his territory. Though not as good as Blackout, this movie is also improved by Clark. The final film, Heat Wave, is basically the same story as Bad Blonde, except the lead character is a writer instead of a boxer.

With the exception of the four-star Blackout, all these others rate from a low three stars to a high three stars. The extras in the set are relatively minor: a few trailers, some minor commentaries (typically less than five minutes a movie) and some brief biographies/filmographies. Overall, this set rates three stars. It's not bad stuff, but for good film noir, you need to go elsewhere. This set is really only for die-hard fans of the genre who want to see some movies that are relatively obscure.
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