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Universal R2 Film Noir in February

Universal Pictures have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of 8 Film Noir classics on 12th February 2007. Boasting some of Hollywood’s top names from the 40s and 50s this selection of classics priced at £9.99 each includes a repackaged release of Double Indemnity alongside eight new releases…

Out of the Past - Starring Robert Mitchum as a private eye mixed up with a dangerous woman and some even more dangerous gangsters, Out of the Past is a prime example of film noir, bearing all the hallmarks of the genre, including a spectacularly grim climax.

The Killers - Taken from Ernest Hemingway’s tale and told in flashback, Edmond O’Brien is the man investigating the death of boxer turned hoodlum Burt Lancaster, in his screen debut. Ava Gardner is the femme fatale, Robert Siodmak directs this benchmark noir tale.

The Glass Key - Alongside Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett is one of the titans of film noir, this masterful adaptation of his tale of intrigue and corruption, as gangsters mix with politicians, sees Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake positively smouldering as the henchman and politician’s daughter drawn to each other.

Crossfire - The movie that supposedly set Washington on to liberal Hollywood, ending with the anti-communist McCarthy witch-hunt, this noir tells the tale of a bunch of returning GIs investigated for their part in a brutal anti-semitic murder. Noir stalwarts Gloria Grahame and Robert Mitchum star.

The Blue Dahlia - Noir author Raymond Chandler turned his hand to scriptwriting for his one and only screenplay (which was nominated for an Oscar®, no less). Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake are the leads, who, after The Glass Key, sizzle once more together. He is the returning GI who may or may not have been framed for a murder, she is the femme fatale aiding him.

This Gun For Hire - The first time pairing of Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd, here making his screen debut in fourth billing (although the film is undoubtedly his), This Gun For Hire is an early example of the noir genre. Based on a Graham Greene novel, Ladd is the hitman heading towards a bloody end, Lake attempts to save him.

Murder My Sweet aka Farewell My Lovely - The story is perhaps better known under its original Raymond Chandler title, Farewell My Lovely, this adaptation positively crackles. Dick Powell’s turn as Chandler’s definitive noir private eye, Philip Marlowe, is rated by critics and the noir cognoscenti as being as good as Bogart’s take on the detective. Directed by Edward Dmytryk (Crossfire).

The Big Steal - Robert Mitchum is reunited with Jane Greer after Out Of The Past, alongside noir stalwart William Bendix, in this film, which blends noir elements with a caper and heist film, as assorted types play a cat and mouse game across Mexico, all on the trail of a $300,000 booty.

Double Indemnity - A critically acclaimed noir and one of the finest the genre has to offer, Double Indemnity is a bona fide Hollywood cast. It boasts an impeccable pedigree – director Billy Wilder co-wrote the script with Raymond Chandler from a James M Cain (The Postman Always Rings Twice) novel, Fred MacMurray is the insurance salesman led astray by Barbara Stanwyck’s definitive femme fatale, Edward G Robinson investigates them.

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