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The Film Noir Classic Collection: Volume 1

Dick Powell , Claire Trevor , Edward Dmytryk , Jacques Tourneur    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 58.90
Price: CDN$ 44.18 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Film Noir Classic Collection: Volume 1 + Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 2 (Born to Kill / Clash by Night / Crossfire / Dillinger (1945) / The Narrow Margin (1952)) + Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 3 (Border Incident / His Kind of Woman / Lady in the Lake / On Dangerous Ground / The Racket)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 137.78

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Some boxed sets claim to be definitive, but are haphazardly selected. Not this one. Four of the five titles here can legitimately lay claim to being essentials in the film noir canon, and the fifth, The Set-Up, is a terrific boxing picture with a strong noir atmosphere. If you're a fan of noir--or have no idea what it's all about--this collection is a treat.

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

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DARK NIGHTS. COOL FILMS. NOIR AT ITS BEST June 30 2004
A dark night. A rain-drenched sidewalk. A streetlight flickering on the pavement. Murky shadows, creepy shapes. A gunshot. A beautiful woman chased down the street by a man whose body is encased in a trenchcoat and whose face is obscured by a fedora. Relax. Loosen up. Enjoy. You haven't witnessed a crime, but are witness to the America's newest nostalgia craze: Film Noir. Shadows, Lies and Private Eyes: The Film Noir Collection is a set of five flicks overflowing with dames, gats and double-crosses, and packaged with bonuses including audio commentaries, trailers, interviews and other assorted gimcracks and gewgaws.
Gun Crazy, which film noir expert Eddie Muller refers to as "a noir Bonnie and Clyde," stars Peggy Cummins and John Dall. (To noir buffs, these two are major stars. To all others ...who?) The blatant sexuality of Dall's love for guns and Cummins love for ... well ... killing people is extraordinary for 1949, and today, the creepy carnality is still disturbing.
The masterpiece The Asphalt Jungle (1950) walks the line between gangster and noir, but with a young Marilyn Monroe and a studly Sterling Hayden, John Houston's tale of dishonor among thieves torches the screen with lust and violence.
The Set-Up, directed by Robert Wise way, way before The Sound of Music and starring Robert Ryan, is the personal favorite of both the director and the star. Filmed in real time, it's a 72 minutes tale of life before, during and after the boxing match that defines a fighter's life. It's all here --- the smoke-filled rooms, the bloodthirsty fans, the savagery in the ring, the delusional dreams of boxing's palooka world.
Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer heat up Jacques Tourneur's Out of the Past (1947).
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars STUNNING BOX SET OF VINTAGE FILM NOIR! July 6 2004
By Nix Pix
The mid to late 1940s produced a string of classic film noir motion pictures that effectively paved the road to more cynicism and realism in the movies. Now, Warner Brothers Home Entertainment effectively brings together five of the most riveting examples of the genre in one compelling box set. What follows is a brief plot outline of each of the five films included.
GUN CRAZY: Sigmund Freud would have a field day with Bart Tare (John Dall), the gun crazy marksman who just can't live without always having a firearm in his possession. Feeling more than a little inadequate, shall we say, Bart soon teams up with Laurie Starr (Peggy Cummins) a woman for who the moniker - girls gone wild - must have been invented. Laurie's high life fuels both their rabid passions for each other and a life of crime. The film is one of those cautionary tales that attempts to chart what happens to individuals to whom life does not follow the straight and narrow trajectory. THE ASPHALT JUNGLE: is an artfully gritty jewel heist caper gone horribly wrong. Director, John Huston employs both an economy of plot and depth of his characters to flesh out the story. Sam Jaffe is Doc, the criminal mastermind with a weakness for hoop earrings and tight skirts. Louis Calhern is the middle aged, penniless fencer, Ennrich, and sugar daddy to Marilyn Monroe. There is nothing cartoonish or cliché about Sterling Hayden's particularly powerful Dix Handley, the tense enforcer of the group.
Jacque Tourneur's OUT OF THE PAST stars Robert Mitchum as sleepy-eyed Jeff Bailey, the ultra-cool, ultra savvy former P.I. hiding out from his former life as a gas station owner. But the past catches up with Bailey in the embodiment of Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The irresistible lure of 5 film noir classics, handsomely packaged in one classy prsentation is certain to make this boxed-set a best-seller.
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!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Film Noir collection! Dec 24 2004
By A Customer
What a deal 5 great film noir movies, all of them are very worth seeing. Excellent quality in packaging and picture quality. If you have never seen noir pictures this is the place too start!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Great Movies on DVD June 29 2004
For many years film noir fans have been waiting for some of these titles to appear on VHS and only dreaming of them being released on DVD. These are five must-own films for any fan of classic film noir. Much of the American cinema of the last 35 years owes a debts to these films and filmmakers. Most notable:
* 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.
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