on June 14, 2004
Excellent noir. The cinematography is classic noir, with assured useage of shadow and light, foreground and background and tight close-ups. The action is gritty and realistic, with the slapping around looking positively brutal and much more frightening than the current movie industry standard of blood splattered gore fests. Mr Elam, in fact, was probably cast because of how pathetic he looked being beaten up! The story revolves around two set-ups, one intended and one a secondary effect. "This is America?" my husband queried as our innocent hero is "worked over" in the Kansas City jailhouse. The action moves south to Mexico where our hero pursues the true criminals in order to clear his name. The extent of the crime and the reasons for it as well as the set up are all eventually revealed in the small Mexican fishing village that is too small to hold all these hot tempered men. The pace slows down noticeably in the village, the only major flaw in this otherwise crackerjack film noir which must have influenced every current young urban crime-film director. Highly recommended.
United Artists presents "KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL" (11 November 1952) (99 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- A hard-hitting film noir about a bitter ex-cop who arranges an armored car robbery with a phony florist's delivery truck -- Framed for the robbery, the driver of the real florist's truck, a hero in the war, hunts down the men who set him up to get his share of the loot, revenge or, if possible, a combination of the two -- It is generally agreed that Quentin Tarantino must have seen this movie before scripting Reservoir Dogs.
Here's part of the plot - Tim Foster (Preston Foster) recruits three criminals to help him rob an armored truck- Pete Harris (Jack Elam), Boyd Kane (Neville Brand), and Tony Romano (Lee Van Cleef) --- All star "Noirish" cast of characters and it's right up there with some outstanding dialogue film noir style.
One of the best John Payne noir films -- Definitely entertaining and you can watch this over and over again, catching some scenes you may have missed for full enjoyment -- In many of his films he was an ordinary-guy protagonists in the noir cycle -- Payne is tough, all right, but still shows the flop-sweat of fear; and he's smart, too, but because he's forced to be - what he's trying to hang onto is all he's got, that's gotta be noir at it's best.
Under the production staff of:
Phil Karlson [Director]
George Bruce [Screenplay]
Harry Essex [Screenplay]
Harold Greene [Story]
Rowland Brown [Story]
Edward Small [Producer]
Paul Sawtell [Original Music]
George E. Diskant [Cinematographer]
Buddy Small [Film Editor]
1. Phil Karlson [Director]
Date of Birth: 2 July 1908 - Chicago, Illinois
Date of Death: 12 December 1985 - Los Angeles, California
2. John Payne
Date of Birth: 28 May 1912 - Roanoke, Virginia
Date of Death: 6 December 1989 - Malibu, California
the cast includes:
John Payne - Joe Rolfe
Coleen Gray - Helen Foster
Preston Foster - Tim Foster
Neville Brand - Boyd Kane
Lee Van Cleef - Tony Romano
Jack Elam - Pete Harris
Dona Drake - Teresa
Mario Siletti - Tomaso
Howard Negley - Scott Andrews
Carleton Young - Martin
Don Orlando - Diaz
Ted Ryan - Morelli
Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 5 Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 4 Stars
Overall: 4 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]
Total Time: 99 min on DVD ~ United Artists ~ (07/10/2007)
First, let me say I actually own the DVD of this film and not the Blu-ray. I wanted to write a review of the film and Amazon now only shows the Blu-ray for some reason. The DVD I have is the MGM Film Noir official release of this film. I can highly recommended this movie for any fan of film noir. It's a great film and the DVD video quality is quite good.
I cannot say how good the blu-ray is or if it has any bonus features. Hopefully someone who sees the blu-ray will write a review and let us know. However, if it is an official MGM release, the worse they can do is transfer the same print they already have used for DVD, which is good.
I originally had this movie, along with many others, on a couple cheap film noir collections that I picked up at Wal-Mart. Of the 20 or so movies in those collections, I thought 4 were really great films that I'd like to have a good DVD transfer of. This movie is among my favourite film noir and when the price finally went down (around $10 or less) I ordered it. The picture and sound quality is far superior on this DVD, compared to the cheapie collections I had. Oddly enough, I did find and order 3 other films as well... and one transfer (for the film QUICKSAND, starring Mickey Rooney) was actually WORSE than on my cheapie collection.
on December 24, 2013
This is one of the best tough guy movies ever, with a real hard boiled cast,John Payne ,Preston Foster ,Jack Elam ,Lee Van Cleef ,Neville Brand. It also has great muscular direction by Phil Karlson. For years this film has been in the public domain so the copies available for purchase were often not that good. This is however is a good transfer. It comes with a Blu-ray,dvd, and a post card of the movie poster. All this for a very reasonable price,so I'm very happy with my purchase.
on April 11, 2004
No need to comment on the story, it is engrossing. For a Gotham/Alpha release the sound and image quality is good, suprisingly good. Don't misunderstand, there is no crispness here. It's probably worth the money to purchase the Image version if the quality is better. There are some extras on Image version and none on the Gotham/Alpha version.
on April 26, 2002
A great, great noir film starring John Payne(HELL'S ISLAND, 99 RIVER STREET). But the cast doesn't stop there! It also stars Lee Van Cleef, Jack Elam and Neville Brand. This really is a gritty little crime caper flick. If you watch it, it will be difficult to ignore how the film might have influenced a guy like Quentin Tarantino in the conception of RESERVOIR DOGS. Great dvd!