VCI Entertainment and Kit Parker Films present "Hammer Film Noir, Vol. 3" (1952) --- (Dolby digitally remastered)...Film noirs tend to revolve around heroes who are more flawed and morally questionable than the norm, often fall guys of one sort or another...the characteristic heroes of noir are described by many critics as "alienated"; in the words of Silver and Ward, "filled with existential bitterness."...certain archetypal characters appear in many film noirs--hardboiled detectives, femmes fatales, corrupt policemen, jealous husbands, intrepid claims adjusters, and down-and-out writers...as can be observed in many movies of an overtly neo-noir nature, the private eye and the femme fatale are the character types with which film noir has come to be most identified, but a minority of movies now regarded as classic noir feature either...crime, usually murder, is an element of almost all film noirs; in addition to standard-issue greed, jealousy is frequently the criminal motivation...a crime investigation--by a private eye, a police detective (sometimes acting alone), or a concerned amateur--is the most prevalent, but far from dominant, basic plot...in other common plots the protagonists are implicated in heists or con games, or in murderous conspiracies often involving adulterous affairs...false suspicions and accusations of crime are frequent plot elements, as are betrayals and double-crosses...amnesia is far more common in film noir than in real life, and cigarette smoking can seem virtually mandatory.
First up 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.
1. Dane Clark (aka: Bernard Zanville)
Date of birth: 26 February 1912 - Brooklyn, New York, USA
Date of death: 11 September 1998 - Santa Monica, California
2. Terence Fisher (Director)
Date of birth: 23 February 1904 - London, England, UK
Date of death: 18 June 1980 - Twickenham, London, England, UK
3. 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
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 "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. Alex Nicol (aka: Alexander L. Nicol Jr.)
Date of birth: 20 January 1916 - Ossining, New York
Date of death: 29 July 2001 - Montecito, 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. 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
Great job by VCI Entertainment and Kit Parker Films for releasing the "Hammer Film Noir, Vol. 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: 140 mins on DVD ~ VCI Home Video KPF 553 ~ (7/25/2006)