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VINE VOICEon 21 September 2016
My review is based on the blu ray remaster rather than the movie, the movie is an absolute classic and goes without saying! I have this already on DVD and was unsure as to whether to upgrade to the blu ray, however, I shouldn't have worried at all as I am so impressed with this. Everything is so cleaned up and looks really good, yes, there is some grainy parts but its a very old movie, they have done an excellent job in my opinion on making this classic even more loveable as is a joy to watch. Sound is excellent and clear. I watched this on a 48" Sony LED TV and was very happy indeed with the picture. Extras are good especially the radio dramatization of the title. Recommned. Also purchased the upgrade to Blue Dahlia, love Veronica Lake!
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on 20 June 2017
The story is by Dashiel Hammet, it stars Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake, a 1942 remake from 1934. It centres around the usual fun subjects of political corruption, murder, double crossing, and love triangles. This belongs in the film noir category, the Maltese falcon, The blue Dahlia, and others too many to mention. When Hollywood made films that made an ounce of sense it makes this one funny shocking and sadistic all in the same frame. The writer used to work for the Pinkerton detective agency, thus he has seen the seedy side of American life which adds that extra edge to the character interplay. Alan Ladd is upright and basically honest, Brian Donlevy plays second lead as a character with dubious morals as he seeks election, Veronica Lake smolders as the two men snap and punch their way through the plot. The only disappointment is the blue ray copy seems grainy in appearance,giving it a slightly off putting visual experience, the sound however is smooth for mono. Not just that but there is the radio version, a treatise delivered by a writer and critic, and the obligatory trailer. If you like your films dark and classy, photographed stark reality this is yours, comes with a reversible cover with the original lobby poster on the other side.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 April 2018
This review is for the ARROW ACADEMY BLU RAY released 2016. An excellent transfer. 4.3 ratio, clear crisp B/W picture and good sound, plus optional English subtitles. Extras include a commentary and a useful booklet, plus a 30 min radio version. All good VFM. I don't consider this to be among the best "film noirs" but it certainly isn't a bad one. It's carried by the sheer presence of Donlevy and to a lesser extent by Lake who hadn't quite found her acting chops. Ladd is colourless (and I am a fan). Luckily we also have William Bendix in one of his great psycho heavy roles. Really convincing and scary. The beating he gives Ladd must have really concerned the censors of the time. The film comes in at a fairly brisk 85 mins and is well worth a punt if you like Ladd and the "noirs" of the 40's. (P.S Good to see "Nyoka" Frances Gifford in a good but brief role as Ladd's hospital nurse, and a very early performence from an unbilled Dane Clark as "Slorch" - I think that was his name)>
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on 19 June 2017
A watered down version of Hammett's novel of political corruption turned into a whodunnit and romance. It's an attractive wise-cracking, hard-boiled affair as far as it goes but lacks true film noir credentials.
Alan Ladd is good as cool Ned Beaumont, the brains and loyal right-hand man of Brian Donlevy's political boss, but William Bendix steals the show, as a sadistic hoodlum who enjoys job satisfaction in his work. Veronica Lake appears as the ice maiden love interest but the real love affairs are between Ladd and Donlevy and, even more disturbingly, between Ladd and Bendix. Ladd appears to enjoy taking punishment as much as Bendix enjoys giving it out in the most extended sadistic beating that 1942 censors would allow.
The original intention was to film 'Red Harvest' and we can only dream about what a film that would have been but, as is the case here, the political corruption would have been watered down, complete with a marshmallow-soft happy ending.
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on 15 May 2016
This adaptation of the novel by Dashiel Hammet has more plot turns than a corkscrew on steroids. It deals with the noir world of corruption, coercion and dirty politics. Paul Madvig ( Brian Donlevy)is the local big wheel who has decided to back the reform candidate, Henry for Governor. He has already been annoying the local mob bosses like Nick Varna by shutting down their gambling houses. He is in with the D.A., Farr who did not take too kindly to his losses.

There are several relationships which keep the p,lot wheels spinning. Madvig's sister, Opal is in love with Henry's son, Taylor Henry who is a complete waste of space up to his ears in gambling debts who winds up dead in the gutter. He is found by Madvig's right-hand man and fixer, Ed Beaumont (Alan Ladd) who reports back to his boss about what procedure to follow. Veronica Lake without the peek-a-boo hairstyle played Janet, Henry's daughter; she is in fact, the reason why Madvig was supporting Her Dad. The battle lines are drawn when Varna and his goons try to frame Madvig for Taylor' s killing to wreck Henry's chances of being elected.

Ed Beaumont confronts Varna who aimed to use him as a conduit for raking the dirt on Madvig. He is severely beaten by Varna's goons but eventually escapes via a smashed window and a plummet through a glass roof . It seems as if everybody is doing reverse ferrets and batting for the other side, especially when Opal joins the Varna camp. The camp also has Matthews, a newspaper editor who could splash the 'story'
concerning Madvig's apparent guilt about Taylor's death. The frissons keep coming right up to the end.

There was plenty to keep the audience interested as to the denouement which actually turned out to be somewhat of an anti-climax. The focus was on the muscular performance of Brian Donlevy matched by William Bendix as a sadistic thug. The balance of power kept shifting but there was loyalty,friendship and dependence in the mix. There was the usual noir style of clipped dialogue but Veronica Lake was not in the usual role of a bad-news noir 'dame' like Claire Trevor in 'Farewell my Lovely' or Jane Greer in 'Build my Gallows High' . The plot was too crowded basically and one had to concentrate to follow it.
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on 31 December 2017
I'm a massive film noir fan. I'd never actually seen this movie. Sadly it's an appalling waste of talent. All the big names are there but it the movie never comes together.
It's hard to believe Dashiel Hammet wrote this movie. The story is complete gibberish. The movie has no style or class. I don't mind convoluted story lines but this is no big sleep or murder my sweet,
The bluray looks excellent. Sadly the movie is totally substandard in every way.
I'm giving two stars because it's a nice looking movie. That's about all that's nice about this film
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VINE VOICEon 1 October 2017
Crooked politician Paul Medvig meets a woman, Jane, and falls in love vowing to mend his ways. But her crooked brother is found dead and Paul is now the prime suspect. He tries to clear his name with help from his assisstant. Classic film noir, one of the best and an early team up for Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake. Excellent performances from Brian Donlevy, Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd with plenty of twists and turns. A film that you really have to pay attention to.
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on 25 January 2017
The blu-ray picture quality is very bad. Sometimes it is hard to see Veronica Lake's face properly through all the noise. If you know you like the film, avoid disappointment and wait until somebody other than Arrow Films produces a good version of it.
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on 12 November 2013
Alan Ladd in second version of Dashiel Hammett story. Not really a Film Noir but the cast is well rehearsed especially William Bendix as the crazy. He did this roll in The Blue Dahlia as a brain damaged soldier excellently. Here he's just crazy. He gives Alan Ladd a sound beating and I would not have expected Ladd to get away but he go's out of the window in spectacular fashion in a great piece of stunt acting. No gun play or car chases and no message except if you are given the glass key to success, mind it don't break off in your hand.
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on 16 May 2018
Fabulous film noir, Alan Ladd is stupendous, every flicker of his eyes conveying strange emotions.
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