Blu-Ray News #283: Hollywood Story (1951) And New Orleans Uncensored (1955).

Mill Creek has another William Castle hi-def double bill on the way. This one’s got a couple of his noir pictures. If you’re like me, anything Mr. Castle touched is worthwhile.

Hollywood Story (1951)
Directed by William Castle
Starring Richard Conte, Julia Adams, Henry Hull, Fred Clark, Francis X. Bushman, William Farnum

William Castle spent a few years working as a contract director at Universal-International, directing cool pictures like Johnny Stool Pigeon (1949), Cave Of Outlaws (1951) and this one, Hollywood Story (1951). It’s based on the murder of the silent director William Desmond Taylor and features a handful of silent stars in tiny parts (probably done as a promo stunt more than anything else). It was shot by the underrated cinematographer Carl E. Guthrie.

Hollywood Story was often paired with Huge Fregonse’s Apache Drums (1951).

New Orleans Uncensored (1955)
Directed by William Castle
Produced by Sam Katzman
Starring Arthur Franz, Beverly Garland, Helene Stanton, Michael Ansara, Stacy Harris, Mike Mazurki

After those years at U-I, Castle moved to Columbia and made a slew of movies in Sam Katzman’s unit. This one has a dream cast — Beverly Garland, Stacy Harris, Mike Mazurki, it’s in widescreen B&W, and it runs a brisk 76 minutes. My kind of movie!

This single-disc set comes highly, highly recommended. Let’s hope Mill Creek has more like this on the way!


Filed under 1951, 1955, Beverly Garland, Columbia, DVD/Blu-ray News, Julie Adams, Mill Creek, Sam Katzman, Universal (-International), William Castle

9 responses to “Blu-Ray News #283: Hollywood Story (1951) And New Orleans Uncensored (1955).

  1. john k

    What’s so interesting is that Mill Creek have been able to feature both
    a Universal and Columbia picture in this double bill.
    Mill Creek,as a rule normally release previously released titles in their
    double bills. I’ve no doubt the Universal DVD of HOLLYWOOD STORY
    looked great.
    The DVD Beaver review of the Sony MOD/DVD of NEW ORLEANS
    UNCENSORED is very positive regarding the quality of the disc itself
    but less so regarding the film. Never mind, I guess DVD Beaver do not
    love these Katzman/Castle flicks as much as many of us do.
    For a follow up I’d love to see Mill Creek release UNDERTOW (the
    best of Castle’s Universal Noirs) with THE HOUSTON STORY
    (the best of the Katzman/Castle Noirs) what a great double that would
    make as a follow up to this most welcome release.


    • You’re right, John. Undertow and Houston Story are excellent and would name a nice pair.

      I like New Orleans Uncensored, mainly for its cast and the simple fact that it’s a Castle/Katzman movie. Have a lovely 16mm print of it and have seen it quite a few times.


  2. john k

    A Whistler set would be wonderful too-a few of the best of those
    were directed by Castle-but they are all good.


  3. john k

    It’s all rather odd what’s happening with Sony’s vintage releases
    these days,they have stopped their MOD/DVD series but now seem
    to be concentrating on sparodic Blu Ray releases of hard to find
    catalog titles.
    They have just released the Hammer Jekyll & Hyde comedy
    THE UGLY DUCKLING was long thought to be a “lost” movie but
    a pristine copy was in the vaults all along.
    As it would happen Powerhouse Indicator are working on their
    version,and unlike the Sony/USA edition it will have a raft of extras.
    Just announced from Sony is a Blu Ray edition of MURDER IN
    GREENWICH VILLAGE a Wallace Macdonald B movie from 1937
    with Richard Arlen and Fay Wray.
    If I had money to burn (which I don’t) I would happily shell out $25
    just to see this curio in sparkling high def,furthermore the artwork is
    very appealing.
    At least Sony are still in the vintage movie market and now it would seem
    just Blu Ray editions.
    When all is said and done I don’t know how many takers there will
    be for a 68 minute movie with no extras.


    • Bert Greene

      A b-film from 1937 starring Richard Arlen and Fay Wray? Oh, yep. I’ll be ordering it the minute it becomes available. The Sony Archive line had already been getting a bit interesting with “None Shall Escape” and “Count Three and Pray” last year. Now, this year, with off-the-wall releases like “Murder” and “The Ugly Duckling,” I’m getting very, very intrigued with the possibilities. Whew, think of all those westerns in the Columbia library! Makes me salivate, just thinking of it all.

      Not to mention some of their real oldies. Watched both “By Whose Hand?” (1932) and “Final Edition” (1932) in recent weeks, and they were both terrific fun. Columbia has a lot of good-natured, enjoyable b-movie fare. I even have a fondness for that hokey film they made about girl hoboes, “Girls of the Road” (1940)!


  4. john k

    Hi Bert,
    Sony do seem in their very limited catalog Blu Ray releases
    to be picking really rare,obscure titles.
    I thought their Blu Ray of COUNT THREE AND PRAY was
    excellent-I’ve waited so long to see this film,
    It’s great that you will pick up MURDER IN GREENWICH VILLAGE
    on day one-to see an 83 year old film in pristine quality is very appealing.


  5. Texican

    I would like to see releases of such Universal noirs as Johnny Stool Pigeon, Playgirl and Hold Back Tomorrow.


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