Tormented protagonists, sadistic villains, sublimated sex and murder most foul. Take a walk through the shadowy streets of Film Noir in these four atmospheric classics.
In The Suspect (1944) a genial shopkeeper, Philip Marshall, is constantly nagged by his shrewish wife, Cora, while secretly yearning for a pretty young stenographer. When Cora falls to her death the police are suspicious, and Marshall’s neighbour sees a chance for blackmail. A classic noir with an unusual Edwardian setting directed by Robert Siodmak (The Killers), and starring Charles Laughton (The Big Clock), Ella Raines (Phantom Lady) and Henry Daniell (The Body Snatcher).
Meanwhile, The Sleeping City (1950) sees an undercover policeman investigating murder and narcotics racketeering at New York’s Bellevue Hospital. Starring Richard Conte (Thieves’ Highway) and Coleen Gray (Nightmare Alley) this tense, semi-documentary thriller was shot entirely on location by director George Sherman.
In Thunder on the Hill (1951) convicted murderer Valerie Carns is being transported for execution when a flood strands her and her guards at a convent hospital, where Sister Mary Bonaventure becomes convinced of Valerie’s innocence and sets out to find the real killer. Celebrated director Douglas Sirk is best known for his classic melodramas, but he made a number of noir thrillers and this is one of the best; starring Claudette Colbert (It Happened One Night) and Ann Blyth (Mildred Pierce).
Finally, in Six Bridges to Cross (1955) streetwise delinquent Jerry Florea is shot and wounded by rookie policeman Eddie Gallagher while fleeing the scene of a robbery. Despite this, the two develop a friendship as Eddie and his wife take Jerry under their wing, trying to keep him on the straight and narrow. As an adult Jerry marries and seems to settle down, until an armoured security company across the street from him is robbed of two and a half million dollars. Directed by Joseph Pevney (Man of a Thousand Faces) the film stars Tony Curtis (Some Like it Hot), George Nalder (Robot Monster), Julie Adams (Creature from the Black Lagoon) and Sal Mineo (Rebel Without a Cause), with cinematography by the great William H. Daniels (The Naked City).
This showcase of lesser known noir classics features sterling performances from a host of screen greats, as well as taut direction, stunning cinematography, and superb screenwriting from the likes of Oscar Saul (A Streetcar Named Desire), Jo Eisinger (Gilda, Night and the City), Andrew Holt (In a Lonely Place) and Sydney Boehm (The Big Heat). Embrace the darkness with these hard-boiled genre gems.
LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
• High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentations of all four films
• Original lossless mono audio on all films
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing on all films
• Audio commentaries by leading scholars and critics Farran Smith-Nehme (The Suspect), Imogen Sara Smith (The Sleeping City), Josh Nelson (Thunder on the Hill) and Samm Deighan (Six Bridges to Cross)
• It Had to be Done, author and scholar Alan K. Rode takes a detailed look at the life and work of Robert Siodmak director of The Suspect and other classic noirs
• The Real Deal, a visual essay by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas looking at realism and reality in The Sleeping City
• José Arroyo on Thunder on the Hill, a new appreciation by the esteemed film scholar and critic
• Style and Place, a new visual essay by film critic Jon Towlson examining the work of celebrated cinematographer William H. Daniels
• Vintage radio play versions of The Suspect and Thunder on the Hill starring Charles Laughton, Ella Raines, Claudette Colbert and Barbara Rush
• Theatrical Trailers
• Poster and stills galleries
• Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Scott Saslow
• Double-sided fold-out posters for each film featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Scott Saslow
• Hardback collector’s book featuring new writing on the films by film critics Kat Ellinger, Philip Kemp and Jon Towlson [Limited Edition Exclusive]