Blu-Ray News #143: Highway Dragnet (1954).

Directed by Nathan Juran
Starring Richard Conte, Joan Bennett, Wanda Hendrix, Reed Hadley, Mary Beth Hughes, Iris Adrian

Highway Dragnet (1954) is a tough little Allied Artists noir picture, from a story co-written by Roger Corman. I’ve been waiting for this one to make it to DVD and/or Blu-Ray for quite some time. It’s terrific — and it’s on its way from Kino Lorber, with a 4K restoration prepared by Paramount.

Richard Conte is a Korean War vet wanted for murder, after a woman he meets in a bar winds up very dead. On the lamb, he ends bumming a ride from a fashion photographer (Joan Bennett) and model (Wanda Hendrix).

Nathan Juran started out as an art director and became a director after World War II. He did a number of picture I really love: Law And Order (1953), The Deadly Mantis (1957), 20 Million Miles To Earth (1957), The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad (1958) and so on. Highway Dragnet was a pretty early credit for him, and he does a great job with this one, keeping things cooking as it winds its way to a pretty cool wrap-up. Watch for it early next year. Highly recommended.


Filed under 1954, DVD/Blu-ray News, Kino Lorber, Monogram/Allied Artists, Nathan Juran, Richard Conte, Roger Corman

14 responses to “Blu-Ray News #143: Highway Dragnet (1954).

  1. Kevin Coon

    YES!!!! FINALLY!!!!


  2. john k

    As we have discussed many times before over at Toby’s Western site
    there are a considerable number of Allied Artists (and Monogram) films
    that decades ago ended up being sold to Republic-now owned by
    I may be wrong but I believe this is the first Allied Artists title to be
    released by Kino in their on-going deal with Paramount-let’s hope lots
    more will follow.
    HIGHWAY DRAGNET is a great way to get the ball rolling.
    I too really love the Juran pictures Toby mentions and the several
    Westerns that he made with Audie Murphy-DRUMS ACROSS THE RIVER
    being one of Audie’s best.
    The movies Nathan Juran made with producer Charles Schneer really
    raised his profile and I’m sure, had he lived, Toby fave Fred F Sears
    would have worked on some of the bigger budget-color Harryhausen
    projects as well.


    • Drums Across The River is terrific.

      I’ve always felt some of the later Harryhausen pictures didn’t have the snap to them that the early ones did, and I’m gonna blame it on the direction. Juran and Sears had a touch when it came to those modest genre pictures that many other directors lack.


  3. john k

    Hi Toby,
    Totally agree about the later Harryhausen pictures CLASH OF THE TITANS
    I’ve always found somewhat of a slog.
    I note Kino-Lorber have recently announced a 50’s Republic picture
    that I’ve never heard of A WOMAN’S DEVOTION (1956)
    This seems to be one of the last,if not the last, Republic A Movie and stars
    Ralph Meeker and Janice Rule and it’s in Trucolor.
    Some sources state this as being a widescreen film (Naturama?) others
    don’t.At any rate the Kino version is from a new 4K scan so it should look
    gorgeous..the plot sounds like classic Noir and will add to the arguement
    can a color (widescreen ?) film be considered a Noir-I’d certainly place
    SLIGHTLY SCARLET in that genre,others wouldn’t.
    You have to hand it to Kino they can never be accused of playing it safe-and I’d be very interested in hearing from other Hannibal 8 followers who
    have any additional info on this title.
    Kino have also,I might add, announced the delightfully cheesy Pine Thomas
    romp SANGAREE on Blu Ray (Also in 3D) this one will look sensational
    in high definition.


  4. Jerry Entract

    This one goes HIGH on my shopping list. I won’t day I’m exactly hopeful this deal could see the release of films like “AT GUNPOINT” eventually but…….


  5. john k

    Jerry…..first let me say it’s great to see you make a guest appearance
    aboard the H8
    As I have stated many times before over at Fifties Westerns the chance
    of Kino releasing films like AT GUNPOINT depend on how sales went for
    similar fare like ROBBERS ROOST and the two splendid recent
    Randolph Scott Westerns.
    I thought of you today because I see CBS have announced Blu Ray
    editions of a little known series called THE CALIFORNIANS a short
    lived series that I know little of.
    The leads are hardly “star names” but the guest cast list,as with all
    vintage TV series, is impressive,to say the least.
    Among the credits are such impressive names as Byron Haskin,
    William Castle and Jacques Tourneur,on directing duties.
    The fact CBS are releasing this series on Blu Ray suggests that
    the master elements must be in very good shape.
    I’m wondering if CBS see this as the way to go for vintage TV series
    releases. Toby,I guess you will know this are not CBS now owned
    by Paramount.?


  6. Jerry Entract

    Thanks for your kind thoughts, John. I didn’t get a BluRay player for my BIG birthday over the weekend but the family did treat me to an Apple I-POD so listening to Bluegrass (and more) in the car suddenly becomes a lot more convenient.
    Am I the last person on here to have an I-POD? (Probably!)


    • Mike Richards

      Just in time Jerry, l read that Apple will soon discontinue the iPod. You are right, great for plugging into the car, unfortunately my car is too old to have that facility!!!!!!!
      Happy birthday.


  7. john k

    Jerry-I don’t even know what an I-POD is!!!


  8. Jerry Entract

    You would probably like an I-POD, John – IF you knew what it was of course!!


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