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Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “The Film Noir Classic Collection, Vol. 4”

(Warner Home Video. 5 Discs. B&W. Full Screen. Not Rated.) Decoy (1946, directed by Jack Bernhard), Act of Violence (1948, Fred Zinnemann), They Live By Night (1948, Nicholas Ray), The Big Steal (1949, Don Siegel), Side Street (1950, Anthony Mann), Where Danger Lives (1950, John Farrow), Tension (1950, John Berry), Mystery Street (1950, John Sturges), Crime Wave (1954, Andre de Toth), Illegal (1955, Lewis Allen).

Five double features (also available separately) from the vaults of Warner Bros., RKO, and MGM, plus one real rarity from Monogram Pictures (Decoy). They Live By Night was a Bonnie-and-Clyde, lovers-on-the-lam with Farley Granger (who provides commentary) and Cathy O’Donnell; they reteam for Side Street, where part-time mail carrier Granger steals what he thinks is $200, but turns out to be $30,000…trouble ensues! Good movie with outstanding B&W cinematography of good ol’ postwar New York, crisp direction by Mann. Worth a look is Where Danger Lives, with RKO stalwart Robert Mitchum and Howard Hughes protege Faith Domergue; he’s a doctor, she’s a suicidal patient he falls for. Mitchum fares less well in The Big Steal, an effort to reteam him with sultry Jane Greer after the far-superior Out of the Past. All in all, with 10 movies, there’s bound to be something noir fans will like. Each title includes a featurette, and most have a trailer.