The Film Detective will be kicking off the month of November with the release of a Blu-ray three-pack on Nov. 2 featuring three film noir classics. Included in the Film Noir Collection are The Red House, Hollow Triumph and Kansas City Confidential.
The Red House is writer/director Delmer Daves’ 1947 film adaptation of George Agnew Chamberlain’s twisted mystery thriller of the same name (restored from original source 35mm film elements). Edward G. Robinson and his sister (played by Judith Anderson) have kept a deep dark secret from their adopted child (played by Allene Roberts in her screen debut), but now that she is in high school that is about to come to an end … questions are being asked!
Director Steve Sekely’s 1948 film noir adaptation of the Murray Forbes novel, Hollow Triumph, finds Paul Henreid as a murderer on the run who hits upon the perfect hide-in-plain-sight identity … only to fall victim to his own cleverness. And lastly, we have Director Phil Karlson’s 1952 film noir gem, Kansas City Confidential, starring John Payne as an ex-con patsy framed by “Mister Big” (Preston Foster) as part of an elaborate heist scheme. The restoration is from original 35mm source material (with a restored audio track as well).
All three films have been available from The Film Detective as individual Blu-ray product offerings … this Nov. 2 package is priced so that you basically buy two and get the third one free. That’s a sweet deal!
Not done yet! The Film Detective is also releasing — on Nov. 2 — ten new film restorations on the DVD format. All priced-to-collect!
Leading the parade is the ultra rare DVD release of director Ken Kennedy’s 1962 thriller, The Silent Witness. This Emerson Films production got a regional “checkerboard” theatrical release that went on for at least 18 months (a limited number of 35mm prints were struck and “bicycled” from market to market during that period).
The storyline features Marjorie Reynolds (Holiday Inn, Ministry of Fear, etc.) as a recently widowed wife of a police officer who has a teenage son named Danny (played by Billy Shanley), who, by chance, witnesses the murder of a woman (Andrea Lane — Panic in the Year Zero) by her “boyfriend” (played by George Kennedy in one his early film roles), a professional wrestler named Gus Jordan.
Tristram Coffin (King of the Rocket Men, Perils of Nyoka, Spy Smasher, etc.) stars as a police lieutenant who has a thing for Danny’s mom, but she keeps him at bay, not wanting to be involved with another member of law enforcement (too painful, etc.). When Danny becomes the target of Jordan’s rage it is Coffin to the rescue!
What’s cool about The Silent Witness, which is basically a B-movie “filler” with an interesting cast, is that it also features Dick Haynes, who made quite the name for himself in radio and early television broadcasting. The Silent Witness was filmed on location in Denver.
Also on the Nov. 2 DVD release slate from The Film Detective are a trio of classic Westerns from the 1930s. These are: Director Robert Hill’s 1934 Western, Frontier Days, which features father and son — Bill Cody and Bill Cody, Jr. — in a tale of murder and mistaken identity (an early sound film shot on location in the Lone Pine area), director Edward F. Cline’s 1934 film adaptation of Zane Grey’s The Dude Ranger (starring George O’Brien as the Dude … Irene Hervey co-stars) and director Robert Hill’s 1937 film release of The Feud of the Trail, which was a star vehicle for Tom Tyler (Harley Wood co-stars).
Another interesting film restored for DVD is the 1933 “poverty row” aviation thriller titled The Flaming Signal, which features John Horsley (Charlie Chan's Courage, Fighting Lady, etc.) as an aviator who crashes near a remote “Hawaiian” island with his dog Flash (played by Flash the Wonder Dog). There he has to contend with a brutal trading post operator (played by Noah Berry), while trying to make time with the daughter (Marceline Day) of the local missionary. Legend has it that The Flaming Signal was going to be the first in a series of Flash the Wonder Dog movies, but that never materialized.
Rounding the out the Nov. 2 release package are Murder with Music (1941), Crashin’ Broadway (1933), Mission to Glory (1977), The Hanged Man (1974) and documentary filmmaker Marshall Flaum’s 1963 release of Hollywood: The Great Stars, hosted by Henry Fonda and featuring such “stars of tomorrow” as brother and sister Warren Beatty and Shirley MacLaine!!!