“…I remember going to see Blackboard Jungle. When the titles flashed up there on the screen Bill Haley and his Comets started blurching “One Two Three O’Clock, Four O’Clock Rock….” It was the loudest sound kids had ever heard at that time. I remember being inspired with awe. In cruddy little teen-age rooms across America, kids had been huddling around old radios and cheap record players listening to the “dirty music” of their life style. (“Go in your room if you wanna listen to that crap… and turn the volume all the way down.”)
But in the theatre, watching Blackboard Jungle, they couldn’t tell you to turn it down. I didn’t care if Bill Haley was white or sincere… he was playing the Teen-Age National Anthem and it was so LOUD I was jumping up and down. Blackboard Jungle, not even considering the story line (which had the old people winning in the end) represented a strange sort of “endorsement” of the teen-age cause: “They have made a movie about us, therefore, we exist…”
From “The New Rock” by Frank Zappa — Life, June 28, 1968
Filed under 1955, Glenn Ford
Indicator’s got a third Columbia Noir Blu-Ray box on the way, and it’s gonna be another good one.
Johnny O’Clock (1947)
Written and directed by Robert Rossen
Starring Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes, Lee J. Cobb, Jeff Chandler
Dick Powell is cool in his second noir picture, Burnett Guffey’s cinematography is often stunning. Robert Rossen does a good job guiding us through the rather complex plot.
The Dark Past (1948)
Directed by Rudolph Maté
Starring William Holden, Nina Foch, Lee J. Cobb
William Holden is an escaped convict in this remake of 1939’s Blind Alley. Lee J. Cobb is a psychologist who’s held hostage and analyzes his captor along the way.
Directed by Henry Levin
Starring Glenn Ford, Broderick Crawford, Millard Mitchell, Dorothy Malone, Carl Benton Reid, Frank Faylen
Another remake of The Criminal Code, with Glenn Ford an inmate and Broderick Crawford the warden. Burnett Guffey shot this one, too, which is always a good thing.
Between Midnight And Dawn (1950)
Directed by Gordon Douglas
Starring Mark Stevens, Edmond O’Brien, Gale Storm, Madge Blake
A prototype for the buddy cop movies, with Edmond O’Brien and Mark Stevens childhood friends who end up cops. Gale Storm is the dispatcher they talk to throughout their shift.
The Sniper (1952)
Directed by Edward Dmytryk
Starring Adolphe Menjou, Arthur Franz, Gerald Mohr, Marie Windsor, Frank Faylen
Arthur Franz plays a freak with a rifle before the freak-with-a-rifle sub-genre even existed. Dmytryk does a terrific job, as does DP Burnett Guffey. Essential.
City Of Fear (1959)
Directed by Irving Lerner
Starring Vince Edwards, Lyle Talbot, John Archer
Vince Edwards escapes from San Quentin and has what he thinks is a vial of heroin. Turns out it’s the ultra-dangerous Cobalt-60, which could wipe out LA. Edwards gets sicker as the movie plays out — and time runs out. A very cool little movie.
The set comes with the kind of extras — commentaries, video essays, shorts (including six from The Three Stooges!), trailers, galleries and more. You don’t wanna miss this one.
Filed under 1950, 1959, Broderick Crawford, Columbia, Dick Powell, DVD/Blu-ray News, Edward Dmytryk, Frank Faylen, Glenn Ford, Indicator/Powerhouse, Marie Windsor, Mark Stevens, The Three Stooges, William Holden
Directed by Gilberto Gazcón
Starring Glenn Ford, Stella Stevens, David Reynoso, Armando Silvestre, Jose Elias Moreno, Dacia Gonzalez, David Silva
Imprint out of Australia has brought out some terrific stuff in recent months, and they’re shining a light on Rage (1967), a film that’s spent way too much time stuck in the dark. This Blu-Ray will be a worldwide first.
Rage is a solid suspense picture. Glenn Ford’s a doctor in a remote construction camp in Mexico. He’s bitten by a rabid dog and has to race to a hospital for the vaccine. Ford is as good as ever, and Stella Stevens is terrific as an “entertainer” who comes to the camp and takes a liking to the doctor. David Reynoso and Jose Elias Moreno are both excellent.
Rage (it was called El Mal in Mexico) was the first true Mexican-American co-production. It was shot entirely in Mexico, in English. And it was one of the first handful of pictures to wear the “Suggested For Mature Audiences” badge in its advertising.
The Blu-Ray has a release date of December 30, 2020.
• Audio Commentary by film historian Toby Roan
• “Stella” a visual essay on Stella Stevens by Critic Kat Ellinger
• Theatrical Trailer
• Limited Edition slipcase on the first 1,500 copies
It’d been decades since I’d seen Rage, and I was really knocked out by it. Recommended.
Directed by Fritz Lang
Starring Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford, Edgar Buchanan, Peggy Maley
Human Desire (1954) is small-town noir as only the great Fritz Lang could do it — and Eureka is bringing it to Blu-Ray in all its B&W widescreen glory.
Glenn Ford’s a train engineer who gets involved in murder, blackmail and about every kind of seediness you can think of — all thanks to Fate and Gloria Grahame. Lang and DP Burnett Guffey come up with some stunning visuals, especially around the railroad yard. And while it’s not the seedy masterpiece The Big Heat (1953) is— which first brought Lang, Ford and Grahame together — it shows how Lang’s stylistics can elevate substandard material. (There were all kinds of problems with thing as it came together.)
Lang in high-definition is always a treat. Can’t wait for this.