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The Complete List of Classic Film Noir on DVD + An Introduction

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The Complete List of Classic Film Noir on DVD + An Introduction

Old 12-29-02, 11:07 PM
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The Complete List of Classic Film Noir on DVD + An Introduction

As promised in a previous thread, I have come up with a (sort of) complete list of film noir on DVD. This should please the 4 or 5 people that are actually interested. To avoid posts asking, “Where is (Blank)?”, I have provided an introduction, my methods and sources, and a list of suggested reading.

INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED NOIR?

FILM NOIR: MOVEMENT OR GENRE?

(Forgive me if the following seems a bit clipped. I didn’t feel like typing everything out again, so this is a slightly modified version of a post I made in the thread “Recommendations for modern film noir” in the Movie Forum.)

There is a long-standing debate between film geeks like myself as to whether film noir should be considered a "genre" or a "movement". My problem with calling film noir a genre is it is too vague and, in most descriptions, deals only with crime movies and leaves out perfect examples of noir, such as "Sweet Smell Of Success" and "The Big Carnival". I side with the "noir as a movement" camp, a series of films connected by similar styles (odd, often low, angles, the use of light and, especially shadow, etc.) and themes (most notably alienation and obsession). Opinions vary on the length and time of the noir cycle, but it is generally considered as emerging in the late 30s/early 40s and ending before the 60's. (Some point to "Touch Of Evil" (1958) as being the last true film noir, although I think it's impossible to narrow it down to one film.)

SO CAN ANY MODERN FILM BE CONSIDERED FILM NOIR?

My problem with labeling any modern film as "noir" is that (partly because of the vagueness of the term), any film with a crime element is immediately classified as film noir. (No offense to anyone, but I fail to see how "Seven" could possibly be considered film noir.) These movies may contain a femme fatale or a less-then prefect protagonist, but they do not contain the unifying elements (mentioned above) of the noir movement.

That is not to say that there aren't many modern films influenced by the noir movement. But an influence is not enough to make the movie a true film noir. If a film were released today with elements of German expressionism or Italian Neo-realism, they would not be considered a part of those movements. Neither should a crime movie be considered a film noir.

This is not an issue of me feeling that "older is better". The noir movement is over. Changes in the social and political landscape as well as filmmaking and technique helped to bring about the end of the noir cycle. There are some fine modern "noirish" films around, but they lack the elements that defined the movement.

WHERE THE HECK ARE ALL THE FOREIGN FILMS?

Good Question. I’m glad you asked.
There are two reasons why I did not include foreign films (with the exception of a few “British films”, such as “The Third Man”).

Reason #1: Despite it’s roots in German expressionism and the great number of “foreign” directors who became masters of the form, film noir is generally considered to be an American movement.
Now, I don’t need foreign film buffs jumping on me for not including “High And Low”. Brilliant movie? Yes. Noirish in many aspects? Yes. A true film noir? I’m not so sure.

Reason #2: Quite simply, I’m not as knowledgeable of foreign film as I should be. If someone else wants to post a list of “foreign film noir”, I’d love to read it.

METHODS AND SOURCES

My list of classic film noir came from the indispensable book, “Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style” (Third Edition), edited by Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward. Any film made after 1965 was disregarded. (It’s a great book, but a few of the choices are bizarre. “Taxi Driver” does not fit in the same group as “Double Indemnity”.)
I then turned to “Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir” by Eddie Muller to add a few more titles that I felt were missing from the other book and confirm some of the stranger choices.
Finally, all films were researched at www.imdb.com.
Any film listed as film noir by at least two of these sources (and fit in the given time frame) was then checked at Amazon.com for DVD availability.

UPDATE: Since Warner, Universal, and Fox have all started releasing speial film noir lines and collections, I will add these DVDs as well, even when they don't check out with at least two of the sources listed above.

Also, because I'm too lazy to look everything up myself, Cameron's "Fox Film Noir Thread" can be found here:
http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=402987

CAN THESE SOURCES BY TRUSTED?

Yes, for the most part. I may quibble a bit about some of their choices, but I believe that, combined, they gave me the best, most complete list possible. Personally, I would not consider “Niagara” to be film noir (It’s in color, for cryin’ out loud!), but it did check out from all three sources. I have also added “The Third Man” and “Night of the Hunter” because, even though they didn’t completely checkout, they did come close. Also, they are considered by many (myself included) to be two of the best examples of the movement.
I also have a bit of a problem with grouping the work of Alfred Hitchcock with the rest of these films, as they seem to belong to a group all there own….”The Hitchcock Picture”. However, they did fit the criteria, so they are included.

CAN WE TRUST YOU?

Only when it comes to film noir.

AND WHAT MAKES YOU SUCH AN EXPERT, MR. SMARTY PANTS????

My lack of anything resembling a “real life” has given me the time to immerse myself in the world of film noir. Using “An Encyclopedic Reference….” Mentioned above as guideline, I have seen nearly 150 films from the noir movement. (This number does not include films that most consider to be true examples of noir that are not listed in the book. The book, by the way, only lists about 225 films in total.) I have seen most of these films several times and have been able to study them. I have also spent many, many hours reading and researching the subject just for fun. (Yep…just for “fun”.)
So, while I may not be an expert, I am pretty darn knowledgeable

Stay tuned....
jim

Last edited by Gamblor187; 06-27-05 at 06:00 PM.
Old 12-29-02, 11:18 PM
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And now….

THE COMPLETE LIST OF CLASSIC FILM NOIR ON DVD

Angel Face (1952, Otto Preminger)
The Asphalt Jungle (1950, John Huston)
Behind Locked Doors (1948, Budd Boetticher)
The Big Clock (1948, John Farrow)
The Big Combo (1955, Joseph Lewis)
The Big Heat (1953, Fritz Lang)
The Big Knife (1955, Robert Aldrich)
The Big Sleep (1946, Howard Hawks)
The Black Angel (1946, Roy William Neill)
Blonde Ice (1948, Jack Bernhard)
The Blue Gardenia (1953, Fritz Lang)
Boomerang (1947, Elia Kazan)
Born To Kill (1947, Robert Wise)
Body And Soul (1947, Robert Rossen)
Brute Force (1947, Jules Dassin)
Bury Me Dead (1947, Bernard Vorhaus)
Call Northside 777 (1948, Henry Hathaway)
Cape Fear (1962, J. Lee Thompson)
Cause For Alarm (1951, Tay Garnett)
Champion (1949, Mark Robson)
The Chase (1946, Arthur Ripley)
Clash By Night (1952, Fritz Lang)
Crime Of Passion (1957, Gerd Oswald)
Criss Cross (1949, Robert Siodmak)
Crossfire (1947, Edward Dmytryk)
D.O.A. (1950, Rudolph Mate)
The Dark Corner (1946, Henry Hathway)
Desperate Hours (1955, William Wyler)
The Damned Don't Cry (1950, Vincent Sherman)
Dark Corner (1946, Henry Hathway)
Dark Passage - (1947, Delmer Daves)
Dark Waters (1944, Andre De Toth) - OOP?
Dead Reckoning (1947, John Cromwell)
Detective Story (1951, William Wyler)
Detour (1945, Edgar G. Ulmer)
Dillinger (1945, Max Nosseck)
Double Indemnity (1944, Billy Wilder)
A Double Life (1947, George Cukor)
The Enforcer (aka Murder, Inc.) (1951, Raoul Walsh)
Experiment In Terror (1962, Blake Edwards)
Fallen Angel (1945, Otto Preminger)
Fear In The Night (1947, Maxwell Shane)
Force Of Evil (1948, Abraham Polonsky)
Fourteen Hours (1951, Henry Hathaway)
Fury (1936, Fritz Lang)
Gilda (1946, Charles Vidor)
Gun Crazy (1949, Joseph H. Lewis)
Hangmen Also Die (1943, Fritz Lang)
Harder They Fall (1956, Mark Robson)
He Walked By Night (1949, Alfred Werker [Anthony Mann: uncredited])
High Sierra - (1941, Raoul Walsh)
The Hitch-Hiker (1953, Ida Lupino)
House Of Bamboo (1955, Sam Fuller)
House of Strangers (1849, Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
The House On 92nd Street (1945, Henry Hathaway)
House On Telegraph Hill (1951, Robert Wise)
I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang (1932, Melvyn LeRoy)
Impact (1949, Arthur Lubin)
In A Lonely Place (1950, Nicholas Ray)
I Wake Up Screaming (1941, H. Bruce Humberstone)
Kansas City Confidential (1952, Phil Karlson)
Key Largo (1948, John Huston)
The Killers (1946, Robert Siodmak)
Killer’s Kiss (1955, Stanley Kubrick)
The Killing (1956, Stanley Kubrick)
A Kiss Before Dying (1956, Gerd Oswald)
Kiss Me Deadly (1955, Robert Aldrich)
Kiss Of Death (1947, Henry Hathaway)
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950, Gordon Douglas)
Lady From Shanghai (1948, Orson Welles)
Lady On A Train (1945, Charles David)
Laura (1944, Otto Preminger)
Leave Her To Heaven (1945, John M. Stahl)
The Letter (1940, William Wyler)
The Limping Man (1953, Cy Endfield)
Loan Shark (1952, Seymour Friedman)
The Long Night (1947, Anatole Litvak)
Macao (1952, Josef von Sternberg [Uncredited: Nicholas Ray])
The Maltese Falcon (1941, John Huston)
The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950, Felix E. Feist)
The Manchurian Candidate (1962, John Frankenheimer)
Mildred Pierce (1945, Michael Curtiz)
Mr. Arkadin (1955, Orson Welles) - Various lousy copies available. Criterion release coming soon!
Murder, My Sweet (1944, Edward Dmytryk)
Naked City (1948, Jules Dassin)
The Naked Kiss (1964, Sam Fuller)
The Narrow Margin (1952, Richard Fleischer)
Niagara (1953, Henry Hathaway)
Night And The City (1950, Jules Dassin)
Night Of The Hunter (1955, Charles Laughton)
Nightmare Alley (1947, Edmound Goulding)
Notorious (1946, Alfred Hitchcock)
No Way Out (1950, Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
Odds Against Tomorrow (1959, Robert Wise)
Out Of The Past (1947, Jacques Tourneur)
Panic In The Streets (1950, Elia Kazan)
Pickup On South Street (1953, Sam Fuller)
A Place In The Sun (1951, George Stevens)
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946, Tay Garnett)
Quicksand (1950, Irving Pichel)
Railroaded (1947, Anthony Mann)
Raw Deal (1948, Anthony Mann)
The Red House (1947, Delmer Dawes)
Rififi (1955, Jules Dassin)
The Scar (AKA Hollow Triumph) (1948, Steve Sekely)
Scarlet Street (1945, Fritz Lang)
The Second Woman (1951, James V. Kern)
The Set-Up (1949, Robert Wise)
Shadow Of A Doubt (1943, Alfred Hitchcock)
The Shanghai Gesture (1941, Josef von Sternberg)
Shock! (1946, Alfred Werker)
Slightly Scarlet (1956, Allan Dwan)
Somewhere In The Night (1946, Joseph L.Mankiewicz)
Sorry, Wrong Number (1948, Anatole Litvak)
Spellbound (1945, Alfred Hitchcock)
Strange Illusion (1945, Edgar G. Ulmer)
Strange Impersonation (1947, Anthony Mann)
The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers (1946, Lewis Milestone)
The Stranger (1946, Orson Welles)
Strangers On A Train (1951, Alfred Hitchcock)
Street With No Name (1948, William Keighley)
Sudden Fear (1952, David Miller)
Suddenly (1954, Lewis Allen)
Sunset Boulevard (1950, Billy Wilder)
Sweet Smell Of Success (1957, Alexander MacKendrick)
T-Men (1947, Anthony Mann)
They Made Me A Fugitive (1947, Alberto Cavalcanti)
The Thief (1952, Russell Rouse)
Thieves Highway (1949, Jules Dassin)
The Third Man (1949,Carol Reed)
This Gun For Hire (1942, Frank Tuttle)
Too Late For Tears (1949, Byron Haskin)
Touch Of Evil (1958, Orson Welles)
Undercurrent (1946, Vincente Minnelli) - Coming 5/29/07!
Vicki (1953, Harry Horner)
The Well (1951, Leo C. Popkin, Russell Rouse)
Where The Sidewalk Ends (1950, Otto Preminger)
Whirlpool (1949, Otto Preminger)
White Heat (1949, Raoul Walsh)
Without Warning (1952, Arnold Laven)
Woman On The Run (1950, Norman Foster)
The Wrong Man (1956, Alfred Hitchcock)
You Only Live Once (1937, Fritz Lang)


I should note that some of these films are only available in cheap, public domain prints. Some of the transfers are terrible. ("Mr. Arkadin". I'm looking at you.) Post in the review forum if you want to know about transfers and DVD reviews.

jim

Last edited by Gamblor187; 04-12-07 at 04:39 PM.
Old 12-30-02, 06:14 AM
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RECOMMENDED READING:

Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference To the American Style (Third Edition)– Edited by Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward
Dark City: The Lost World Of Film Noir – Eddie Muller
The Film Noir Reader: Volumes 1-3 – Edited by Alain Silver, et al
Hard Boiled: Great Lines From Classic Noir Films – Peggy Thompson, et al
More Than Night: Film Noir In Its Contexts – James Naremore
Film Noir: The Dark Side Of The Screen (20th Anniversary Edition) – Foster Hirsch

FILM NOIR ON TV

Turner Classic Movies - You can find lots of classic noir here, but the best time to look is "Darkness Before Dawn", every Saturday morning at 10:00AM.

The Mystery Channel - You'll find a few classics here and there. Every Monday at 8:00PM, they show a noir film. I'm not sure that I always agree with their choices, but it's worth checking out.

Check www.tv-now.com for a monthly list of film noir on television. Some of their choices are just bizarre, and they list a lot of neo-noir, but it is an invaluable source for noir buffs like myself. Follow the link below for their monthly film noir schedule.

http://www.tv-now.com/stars/filmnoir.html

RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:

I have also been using these sites (especially the first two) to discover lesser knoen film noir for my DVD list.

www.noirfilm.com - good forum for noir fans and a great place to get hard to find titles

http://home.bellsouth.net/p/s/commun...pid=184153&ck= - "Sidney's Home Page" - Wow! This guy took many major reference book on noir, listed each film, and tried to come up with a definitive list based on which titles showed up most often.

www.noircity.com - Noir expert Eddie Muller's webiste

http://www.eskimo.com/~noir/ - Film and Roman Noir

http://www.classicnoir.com/

http://www.cinepad.com/filmnoir/dark_room.htm - The Dark Room

http://members.cox.net/mike_keaney/ - Noir expert Mike Keaney's website

http://home.mindspring.com/~ghtch/ - Neon Haunts

http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/ShadesofNoir/ - Shades of Noir - Subsbribe to this e-mail group and discuss film noir with other fans. Highly Recommended!

Hopefully, my own crappy little film noir website will be added to this list soon.

Last edited by Gamblor187; 06-03-06 at 03:43 PM.
Old 12-30-02, 10:08 AM
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can we jump on in for discussion yet?
Old 12-30-02, 01:22 PM
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• Quoth Gamblor187 •<HR SIZE=1>Thanks for the help.<HR SIZE=1>


No problem ... I'm looking forward to your list.

das
Old 12-30-02, 01:35 PM
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Minority Report = brilliant modern film noir
Old 12-30-02, 04:18 PM
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So, would Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid be considered noir?
Old 12-30-02, 09:51 PM
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Originally posted by Scot1458
can we jump on in for discussion yet?
The floor is open!

However, to avoid clutter, may I suugest that this thread try to stay focused on the DVD List. Most of my comments in the introduction were put here to avoid the inevitable "What is film noir" questions and to keep this separate from any "neo-noir" threads. These comments are also available in the Movie Talk forum, so perhaps any discussion on them should be focused there to keep this post strictly DVD-related.

May I also suggest that comments about modern film noir be posted in the Movie Forum thread, "Recommendations For Modern Film Noir"? This thread (which also includes most of my introduction) can be found at http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=143339

Last edited by Gamblor187; 12-30-02 at 09:53 PM.
Old 12-30-02, 10:18 PM
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My cousin who lives here with us uses Dark City as his bible. I believe they list something like 400 film noir movies. He currently has 208. Unfortunately they are all on vhs. Great flicks though.Nice thread.
Old 12-30-02, 10:28 PM
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Thanks for all this cool info! I only have 21 titles on dvd that were on the list. 5 I have on vhs. there seems to be alot of good films coming out in 2003 on dvd so I expect my noir collection to grow!!

by the way...I have the following books which I need to study more:

The Noir Style..have you seen this? it's kinda like a coffee table book but I think the pics are wonderful!!

The BFI Companion to Crime...but it's not all noir.

Shades of Noir

Film Noir(....reference to the american style)..also 3rd edition

Dark City Dames..The Wicked Women of Film Noir!!!

Last edited by gutwrencher; 12-30-02 at 10:43 PM.
Old 12-30-02, 10:38 PM
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• Quoth gutwrencher •<HR SIZE=1>how about The Big Clock? is this film not noir?<HR SIZE=1>


It certainly fits the The Big [Insert Noun] formula prevalent on the list.

das
Old 12-30-02, 10:47 PM
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Originally posted by das Monkey
• Quoth gutwrencher •<HR SIZE=1>how about The Big Clock? is this film not noir?<HR SIZE=1>


It certainly fits the The Big [Insert Noun] formula prevalent on the list.

das
yeah..lol...but I just realized it was a list of films on dvd! that one is not out yet. my bad.
Old 12-31-02, 01:33 AM
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Some of the DVDs you listed are TERRIBLY and awfully out of print. I have my (rare... but Id rather a cleaner and easily accessable) copy of Double Indemnity.

This particular one is one of my ALL-TIME faves. The Dialogue is just too perfect.

There's a speed limit in this state Mr. Neff, 45 miles an hour...
Old 12-31-02, 01:51 AM
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Originally posted by exparr0t
Some of the DVDs you listed are TERRIBLY and awfully out of print. I have my (rare... but Id rather a cleaner and easily accessable) copy of Double Indemnity.
I will update the list within the next couple of days to mark which ones are out of print. I was aware that "Double Indemnity", but I didn't realize that it was so hard to find now. There used to bee dozens of copies on Ebay that you could easily get for under $10. Now I see that the asking price is much higher.

(Oh well. I've got my copy. )

To save me from looking them all up again, do you know what other ones are out of print? I know that "The Film Noir of Anthony Mann" is OOP, but you can still buy the single titles from that collection.

jim
Old 12-31-02, 10:28 AM
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Originally posted by gutwrencher


The Noir Style..have you seen this? it's kinda like a coffee table book but I think the pics are wonderful!! [/B]
That's a wonderful book. Unfortunately, it's a wonderful book that costs $50. I check it out of the library a couple times each year because I just don't want to spend that much money.

However, if someone would like to buy me a present to thank me for all the work that I put into this list, I would gladly accept this book.

jim
Old 12-31-02, 10:35 AM
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Originally posted by Gamblor187
That's a wonderful book. Unfortunately, it's a wonderful book that costs $50. I check it out of the library a couple times each year because I just don't want to spend that much money.
It's available on Half.com and Amazon Marketplace (same seller) for $16.99.

Rob
Old 12-31-02, 10:35 AM
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Jim, great list!!! The hunt is on. I'm going to try to get as many as I can. Thanks!
Old 12-31-02, 10:42 AM
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You must include Chinatown in your list even though it was released in the 70's. It is a true film noir.


If someone else wants to post a list of “foreign film noir”, I’d love to read it.
Rififi might qualify.
Old 12-31-02, 04:19 PM
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Originally posted by indycohiba
You must include Chinatown in your list even though it was released in the 70's. It is a true film noir.
not if you judge film noir a stylistic movement not a genre
Old 12-31-02, 04:53 PM
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When the heck is Fox going to released the original Kiss of Death on DVD? It may not be the best of film noir but it was Richard Widmark screen debut and he was pretty creepy playing the psychopath Tommy Uno.
Old 01-01-03, 03:41 PM
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Originally posted by RobCA
It's available on Half.com and Amazon Marketplace (same seller) for $16.99.
Thanks for the heads-up. I ordered it from Half.com, along with a couple other film noir books. I also ordered DVDs of "Blue Gardenia", "Slightly Scarlet", "The Red House", and "Cinema's Darkside" (featuring "Impact" and "The Second Woman").

jim
Old 01-01-03, 03:47 PM
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I am sticking to the guidlines that I described in the first post. If I were to add "Chinatown" (which I don't even consider a true film noir) that would just open the flood gates. Pretty soon, I'd be asked to add "The Usual Suspects", "Blade Runner", "The Man Who Wasn't There", etc.

This list will remain exclusive to classic film noir as described above. If someone else wants to make up a complete list of "neo-noir" on DVD, feel free to do so. But good luck defining that term and get ready to type up a very long list.

jim
Old 01-01-03, 03:56 PM
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Thanks again for the list of dvds. I just ordered:

T-Men

Blue Gardenia

Railroaded

Slightly Scarlet

...and cant wait to get 'em!
Old 01-01-03, 04:11 PM
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I am sticking to the guidlines that I described in the first post. If I were to add "Chinatown" (which I don't even consider a true film noir) that would just open the flood gates. Pretty soon, I'd be asked to add "The Usual Suspects", "Blade Runner", "The Man Who Wasn't There", etc.
Well, its your list have it like you want. This is a movie that could be considered either way, but its stature almost demands that it is included in the true since of a noir. Here are Roger Ebert's comments:

"Chinatown was seen as a neo-noir when it was released--an update on an old genre. Now years have passed and film history blurs a little, and it seems to settle easily beside the original noirs. That is a compliment."

and his review... http://www.suntimes.com/ebert/greatmovies/ebert06.html
Old 01-01-03, 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by indycohiba
Here are Roger Ebert's comments:

Now years have passed and film history blurs a little, and it seems to settle easily beside the original noirs. That is a compliment."
maybe Ebert's eyes blurred a little bit while watching the film. this isnt even close to being in the same class as "classic" Noir. I liked the film and all...very good. to me though it's like night and day. then I never did agree with most film critics.

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