VCI Entertainment and Kit Parker Films present "Hammer Film Noir Vol. 1" (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.
1. Barbara Payton (aka: Barbara Lee Redfield)
Date of birth: 16 November 1927 - Cloquet, Minnesota
Date of death: 8 May 1967 - San Diego, California
2. Reginald Le Borg (Director)
Date of birth: 11 December 1902 - Vienna, Austria-Hungary (now Austria)
Date of death: 25 March 1989 - Los Angeles, California
1. Scene selection
3. Photo gallery
4. Bonus comments: The World of Hammer Noir by Richard M. Roberts
Second on the double bill 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.
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. 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
3. Terence Fisher (Director)
Date of birth: 23 February 1904 - London, England, UK
Date of death: 18 June 1980 - Twickenham, London, England, UK
Great job by VCI Entertainment and Kit Parker Films for releasing the "Hammer Film Noir Vol. 1" (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: 165 mins on DVD ~ VCI Home Video KPF 551 ~ (7/25/2006)