Of course, none of these movies were made as "film noir." The term was coined later by French critics to describe the moody, anxious feel of postwar American movies, especially the genre that highlighted duplicitous dames and susceptible men lost in the criminal jungle. Indeed, the title The Asphalt Jungle conveys the edgy urban arena of these pictures. That film is John Huston's masterly 1950 account of a heist, with Sterling Hayden the disenchanted, noirish hero. Joseph H. Lewis's Gun Crazy (1949) is one of the most supercharged (and sexually perverse) of noir films, with John Dall and Peggy Cummins as young criminals in love. Murder, My Sweet (1944) is a straight adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel Farewell, My Lovely. Amid the film's shadowy chiaroscuro, former musical comedy star Dick Powell makes a career-changing transition as Chandler's private dick, Philip Marlowe. Out of the Past puts Robert Mitchum (perhaps the quintessential noir actor) in trouble with gangster Kirk Douglas, complicated by classic femme fatale Jane Greer. Jacques Tourneur provides the evocative direction. And The Set-Up plays out an ingenious boxing tale in "real time," superbly enacted by (former boxer) Robert Ryan. --Robert Horton
The official Amazon reviewer sums it all up beautifully. Each one of these films is a true American masterwork, a definitive example of why film noir continues to captivate audiences as a unique style of filmmaking.
I've spent the better part of the last three days watching all five films, and then again exploring the commentaries. It's been an amazing experience. I've seen all these films before in battered condition, but each one of these DVDs present the motion pictures with stunning quality that brings out all the nuance in the gorgeous cinematography. Obviously a great deal of meticulous restoration as gone on here, and Warner Bros. should be proud of the fine work that they've put in to these releases.
They look so good, you could almost say they look like they were filmed yesterday....except I doubt anyone today could quite re-create the look of the way these films were shot as exqiuisitely today. Just wonderful.
Do yourself a favor, a get this collection. Settle down with Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas, Sterling Hayden, John Dall, Robert Ryan, and a bunch of hard-boiled dames like Jane Greer or Peggy Cummmins. Your life will never be the same!
* The great robbery tracking shot in the back of a station wagon in Gun Crazy
* The minute by minute account of a man coming to terms with his life in The Set-Up
* The great atmosphere and direction in Asphalt Jungle
* The unique perspective of Murder My Sweet
* Out of the Past - two words, Robert Mitchum and at his best
All fine films. Lets hope we see many more from Warner Bros, Universal and MGM.
Is it even... well, truly conceivable?
Do my eyes deceive? I mean, can it really be ....?
My gosh, yes .. yes, it really is! Read more
What a SENSATIONAL collection. Read more