Blu-Ray News #233: Noir Archive Volume 3: 1956-1960.

I’ve been making my way through the first glorious volume of this terrific series from Kit Parker and Mill Creek Entertainment, and now they’ve announced the third. There’s another great lineup on the way (no pun intended).

The Shadow On The Window (1956)
Directed by William Asher
Starring Phil Carey, Betty Garrett, John Barrymore, Jr., Jerry Mathers

Jerry Mathers goes into shock after seeing his mom hassled by a group of thugs, then helps his dad (Phil Carey) and the cops rescue her. The Beaver is really good in this.

The Long Haul (1957)
Directed by Ken Hughes
Starring Victor Mature, Diana Dors

A British noir picture with Mature all tangled up in the shifty trucking industry — and a hood’s girlfriend.

Pickup Alley 6S

Pickup Alley (1957, UK Title: Interpol)
Directed by John Gilling
Starring Victor Mature, Anita Ekberg, Trevor Howard

Victor Mature and Anita Ekberg in a B&W Scope picture about dope smugglers — directed by the guy who did The Plague Of The Zombies (1966)! Where’s this movie been all my life?

The Tijuana Story (1957)
Directed by Leslie Kardos
Starring Rodolfo Acosta, James Darren, Jean Willes

Another lurid geography lesson from the great Sam Katzman. I love Rodolfo Acosta — his tiny part in One-Eyed Jacks includes one of the coolest single shots in all of Cinema, if you ask me (which you didn’t). Here, he’s got the lead!

She Played With Fire (1957, UK Title: Fortune Is A Woman)
Directed by Sidney Gilliat
Starring Jack Hawkins, ArleneDahl, DennisPrice, ChristopherLee
More UK noir, this one about a painting and insurance fraud.

The Lineup (1958)
Directed by Don Siegel
Starring Eli Wallach, Robert Keith, Warner Anderson, Richard Jaeckel

The TV series is turned into a typically tough and tight Don Siegel film. Siegel’s San Francisco movies (this and Dirty Harry) really get in the way of the city’s whole peace and love/hippie vibe. This time, it’s a town crawling with dope, crooks and killers. This set’s worth it for this one alone!

The Case Against Brooklyn (1958)
Directed by Paul Wendkos
Starring Darren McGavin, Maggie Hayes, Warren Stevens, Nestor Paiva, Brian G. Hutton

A documentary-style, true-story crooked cop picture starring Darren McGaven. Paul Wendkos also did The Legend Of Lizzie Borden (1975). Produced by Charles H. Schneer in-between Harryhausen movies. Oh, and Nestor Paiva’s in it.

The Crimson Kimono (1959)
Directed by Samuel Fuller
Starring James Shigeta, Glenn Corbett, Victoria Shaw

On the surface, it’s a detective story, but that’s never how a Fuller movie works, is it? Fuller understood that the best way to tackle an issue/message in a picture was to wrap it up in something else like a cop story or a Western. He also knew that if you stuck to B movies, the suits didn’t pay much attention and left you alone to do what you wanted. This one’s terrific.

Man On A String (1960)
Directed by Andre De Toth
Starring Ernest Borgnine, Kerwin Mathews, Alexander Scourby, Colleen Dewhurst, Glenn Corbett, Ted Knight, Seymour Cassel

Ernest Borgnine stars in this 1960 spy picture based on the life (and autobiography, Ten Years A Counterspy) of Boris Morros, a Russian-born musical director in Hollywood (John Ford’s Stagecoach, 1939) who was first a Russian spy, then a counterspy for the FBI. Andre de Toth focuses on the double-crosses that stack up like cordwood.


Filed under 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, Andre de Toth, Christopher Lee, Columbia, Darren McGavin, Diana Dors, Don Siegel, DVD/Blu-ray News, Ernest Borgnine, John Gilling, Kit Parker, Mill Creek, Nestor Paiva, Sam Fuller, Sam Katzman, William Asher

12 responses to “Blu-Ray News #233: Noir Archive Volume 3: 1956-1960.

  1. Jeremy Entract

    Some terrific movies yet again! Several (if not all) I really want. BUT I am p….d that I had to cancel my order for Vol 1 when I realised it will only play on Region 1 players. I know!!! I fouled up. My player is all regions for DVD but Region 2 only for Blu. What a nit!


  2. john k

    I’ve been waiting ages for someone to release some of the Warwick pictures
    on Blu Ray. Warwick had a pre-Bond Albert R Broccoli with his partner
    Irving Allen make a whole series of fairly big budget pictures mainly
    with American leads.
    PICKUP ALLEY (Interpol) has Victor Mature who made more Warwick’s
    than anyone else,including THE BANDIT OF ZHOBE also directed by
    Gilling. I was hoping for a box set someday but this release will suffice
    for now. Wait ’till you see Sid James play a New York bartender.
    Pretty slick stuff with Gilling’s usual flair,too bad he never got to direct
    a Bond movie;attitude may have had something to do with it-more of that
    THE LONG HAUL is very “Warwick Like” and was panned by critics at
    the time,’though time has been kind to this one;a blend of Noir,Kitchen
    Sink Drama and Trucker Thriller.

    I don’t know how Gilling’s bad tempered antics went down with Hollywood
    stars like Mature,Ray Milland and Jack Palance or indeed with stars like
    Scott Brady on Gilling’s earlier B Movies like 3 STEPS TO THE GALLOWS
    (White Fire)
    Certainly it’s oft recorded how difficult he was to deal with at Hammer.
    Assistant director Doug Hermes “John was a very difficult man to work
    with;always shouting and barking”
    Christopher Lee found Gilling very difficult on the excellent PIRATES
    OF BLOOD RIVER Hammer’s best swashbuckler,by far.
    Oliver Reed “People loathed John because they say he was a bully,He was
    brash,gruff,but I liked him”

    Try as I may I simply cannot source any quotes from anyone who
    worked with Gilling at Warwick-I’m sure there are some interesting
    stories out there.
    In the meantime I’d love to see Gilling’s HIGH FLIGHT and THE BANDIT
    OF ZHOBE get released on Blu Ray in all their CinemaScope/Colour


  3. john k

    The real “acid test” for these Mill Creek Noir Sets is,of course what is
    Gary of DVD Beaver going to make of them.
    Well,the good news is that Gray has given volume 1 “Two Thumbs Up”
    Gray’s really gone to town on Volume one he’s certainly doing his bit to
    make sure they are good sellers which I’m sure they will be.
    Gary has reviewed each film in volume one separately and in each
    case agrees that the Kit Parker Blu Ray versions advance over the DVD’s.
    Gary neatly sums it all up with the statement….”For Noir fans this is Nirvana.”
    BTW despite a previous comment from Mr Jeremy Entract Gary assures
    us that the discs in the Kit Parker set are all Region Free.


    • I’m working on posts on Escape In The Fog and The Miami Story. They all look terrific. Columbia does a real nice job with all their materials.

      Can’t wait for #2, and I’m glad it’s confirmed that they’re region free.

      PS – The Scream Factory Tarantula! Blu-Ray is really nice.


  4. john k

    All the titles on Sony’s MOD series were restored in high-def,so the fact
    that Gary thinks that the Kit Parker Blu Ray’s look better than the DVD’s
    bodes very well. I’m really looking forward to the black & white CinemaScope
    films THE LONG HAUL and PICKUP ALLEY on Blu Ray as the DVD’s looked stellar.
    If the market for it existed wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a Katzman/
    Castle/Sears Western collection on Blu Ray.
    BTW,Toby,have you noticed that Olive Films have HOW TO STUFF A WILD
    BIKINI due on Blu Ray. Is this the first of these things to appear in high
    def in all it’s Panavision/Pathecolor glory?


  5. john k

    All of Sony’s MOD DVD’s were remastered in high definition,so the fact
    that Gary thinks that the Kit Parker Blu Ray’s look better bodes well.
    I’m really looking forward to the two CinemaScope pictures in high def-
    THE LONG HAUL and PICKUP ALLEY-the DVD’s looked stellar.
    If the market existed, it would be rather grand to have a Blu Ray collection
    of some of those Katzman/Castle/Sears/Salkow Westerns.
    BTW,Toby have you noticed that Olive Films will soon release HOW TO
    STUFF A WILD BIKINI on Blu Ray. Is this the first of these things to
    appear in high def in all it’s Panavision/Pathecolor glory?


  6. john k

    Whoops,sorry Toby duplicate comment my first attempt vanished and
    later appeared after I re-sent!


  7. john k

    Be careful what you wish for…………
    Regarding my earlier comments regarding Warwick Films I note with
    great interest that the UK’s Eureka has just announced COCKLESHELL
    HEROES on Blu Ray due in July.
    I simply cannot wait to see this film in high def in all it’s CinemaScope
    glory,like it’s follow up HIGH FLIGHT the film is more about the training
    rituals of a crack combat outfit.
    COCKLESHELL HEROES is a great entertainment with a top notch


  8. Jeremy Entract

    Thanks, John and Toby, for both confirming that this set is in fact region-free! I was guided by Amazon and clearly that info was wrong.
    Now trying to reinstate my order.


  9. Jeremy Entract

    Got it – order reinstated! Thanks again, guys.


  10. Correction: THE LONG HAUL was not filmed in ‘SCOPE. A terrific action-packed Victor Mature Flick about vicious truckers in England,this is,- from Warwick; and just one on a great menu of film titles the public had to choose from, and mostly, They were mostly DOUBLE-FEATURES, and MOVIE THEATERS changed their programs on a twice-and sometimes a thrice- weekly basis !! All of these memories from a wonderful and magical time Americans had spent in the Movie Theaters of the 1950’s!


    • It’s Pickup Alley that’s in Scope.

      As fast as movies came and went at local theaters back then, I don’t know how people kept up. It’s fascinating to look at any newspaper from, say, 1957 and see all the great stuff playing around town. Two Randolph Scott movies, for instance. Sounds like Heaven to me.


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