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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

The Woman in the Window (1944) Blu Ray (Eureka!)

Fritz Lang's classic film noir thriller is excruciatingly tense and tightly-constructed. The ending is something of a bone of contention but there's still plenty for everyone to enjoy up until that point, be it Lang's stylish direction or the sultry Joan Bennett.

Joan Bennett is The Woman in the Window

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No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948) Blu Ray (Indicator)

This adaptation of James Hadley Chase's novel of the same name was controversial in its day but can now be seen for what it is: a bad pastiche of Hollywood film noir and gangster movies, albeit with some good visual design. Starring Jack La Rue, Lindon Travers and a pre-Carry On Sid James.

No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948)

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The Reckless Moment (1949) dir: Max Ophüls Blu Ray (Indicator)

Joan Bennett plays a housewife who becomes ensnared in a blackmail plot orchestrated by James Mason's ambiguous antagonist and his mysterious partner in crime. Max Ophüls' last Hollywood film is a gripping and concise film noir classic which is well worthy of rediscovery.

Joan Bennett and James Mason in The Reckless Moment

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The Snake Pit (1948) starring Olivia de Havilland Blu Ray (Indicator)

Olivia de Havilland gives a tour de force performance as a writer suffering from a mental breakdown in this disturbing drama based on Mary Jane Ward’s semi-autobiographical novel. It was directed by Anatole Litvak and also stars Mark Stevens and Leo Genn.

Olivia de Havilland in The Snake Pit

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Dragonwyck (1946) starring Gene Tierney Blu Ray (Indicator)

Vincent Price is the undoubted highlight of this stylishly sumptuous gothic drama which was adapted by Joseph L. Mankiewicz from a novel by Anya Seton. It also stars Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, Glenn Langan and Jessica Tandy.

Dragonwyck (1946)

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The Song of Bernadette (1943) Blu Ray (Eureka!)

This religious drama offers enough sense of wonder and thoughtful debate to grip believers and skeptics alike. Then-newcomer Jennifer Jones delivers an unwavering, Oscar-winning performance, while Vincent Price makes for a memorable antagonist.

Jennifer Jones in The Song of Bernadette

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Laura (1944) dir: Otto Preminger Blu Ray (Eureka!)

This classic film noir mystery is, at its heart, a dreamlike study of obsession - and one which has considerable relevance in today's post-#MeToo era. It features memorable performances by Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb and Vincent Price.

A painting of Laura (1944), a film directed by Otto Preminger

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Ministry of Fear (1944) dir: Fritz Lang Blu Ray (Indicator)

This film noir spy mystery, set in WWII era Britain, is an underrated entry in Fritz Lang's filmography. Expect a lot of art deco production design, chiaroscuro lighting, inventive setpieces and an engaging everyman performance courtesy of Ray Milland.

Hillary Brooke in Ministry of Fear

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Magnificent Doll (1946) starring Ginger Rogers Blu Ray (Arrow)

A tumultuous period in US history is reduced to a trivial romantic melodrama in Frank Borzage's account of former First Lady Dolly Madison. Nonetheless, Rogers tries her best as do co-stars David Niven as Aaron Burr and Burgess Meredith as James Madison.

Ginger Rogers and David Niven in Magnificent Doll

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Four Film Noir Classics Blu Ray & DVD (Arrow Academy)

A worthy noir Blu Ray collection marred by so-so audio-visual aspects. The films are The Dark Mirror, Secret Beyond the Door, Force of Evil and The Big Combo.

Joan Bennett in Secret Beyond the Door

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More DVDs and Blu Rays

CLICK HERE for a guide to the best independent DVD / Blu Ray companies in the UK.

CINEMA

ARTICLES

Monia Chokri in Emma Peeters

RETRO

Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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