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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Film Noir > Mystery > Spy > Espionage > Nazis > Drama > WWII > Crime > Murder > Propaganda > Detective > Man Hunt (1941/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Out Of The Past (1947/RKO/Warner Archive Blu-ray)

Man Hunt (1941/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Out Of The Past (1947/RKO/Warner Archive Blu-ray)

Picture: B Sound: B-/C+ Extras: B/B- Films: B/B+

PLEASE NOTE: The Man Hunt Blu-ray is a limited edition of only 3,000 made and is now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, while the Out Of The Past Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. Both can be ordered from the links below.

Here are two Film Noir classics hitting Blu-ray in impressive editions...

Fritz Lang's Man Hunt (1941) was controversial in its time because it attacked the Nazis before the U.S. entered WWII, but Director Lang, a genius filmmaker who fled Germany and left his pro-Nazi wife behind, wanted to land a hit Hollywood film and was thrilled to make this thriller about a hitman named Alan (a young Walter Pidgeon) who is caught just as he is about to assassinate Hitler. He is taken to a head Nazi (George Sanders) who questions him as he denies he even knew Hitler was going to be there. Alan escapes back to the U.S., but the Nazis follow him (!!!) including Sanders, using diplomatic immunity in part.

Alan also gets involved with a pretty woman (Joan Bennett) and uses his wealthy, elite connections to dodge the Nazis, but this only works so well before the next doomed confrontation. Though not a total Noir, it is Noir enough and Lang was responsible for helping to set the style for what became a genre that just happened, not one that was invented by the studios. He was one of the biggest names in German Expressionism and was about to join in the Noir movement with this film in what turned out to be its debut year (thanks to The Maltese Falcon and especially Citizen Kane) so it is a key film, propagandic value and all. It has great acting, suspense, intelligence, a few unintentionally funny moments and great turns by John Carradine and a very young Roddy McDowall. If you have to seen this one, put it on your list fast!

Jacques Tourneur's Out Of The Past (1947) is an even more powerful film, an all-time Noir classic and a remarkable film that just gets better with age. Released by RKO at the peak of their power, Robert Mitchum as Jeff, a former detective trying to have a normal life by running a profitable gas station when old friend and deadly head gangster Kirk Douglas (who is really amazing here) gets him caught in a new web of trouble. In flashback and as part of the challenging, complex narrative structure, we learn Jeff was hired to find Kathie (Jane Greer of Twin Peaks and Prisoner Of Zenda) who has stolen some serious money and more.

However, Jeff realizes there is something more going on here and is streetwise enough to take the best possible precautions to not get in trouble, but when he turns out to be correct, even that cannot help what is to come next.

A remarkable film in any genre, this is one of the great Noirs on every level from the script to the look to the casting, acting, timing and feel and belongs on the same shelf as Citizen Kane, Kiss Me Deadly, The Third Man, Gun Crazy, Detour, Double Indemnity, Kubrick's The Killing and Touch Of Evil as the ultimate achievements in such films. It is that great, important and having it on a high quality Blu-ray is a real movie-lovers event.

The 1080p black and white 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on both films are as good as they have looked in eons. Man Hunt continues the show off the great work the archivists at Fox have been pulling off for years, while Out Of The Past is one of the best upgrades of any RKO film Warner Bros. has been able to deliver to date, showing off incredible Video Black and detail as well. Both epitomize how great Film Noir and monochromatic film stocks can look on Blu-ray and each even offer reference shots that will stun those not used to great black & white shooting. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 lossless Mono mixes on both films are as cleaned up as they can be without ruining the integrity of the original sound, but Man Hunt just sounds marginally better than Out Of The Past, which is slightly rougher despite being made and issued 6 years later.

Extras on both Blu-ray editions include smart, feature length audio commentary tracks, with Man Hunt covered by author Patrick McGilligan and Out Of The Past handled equally well by author and fellow Noir expert James Ursini, but Man Hunt also adds an Original Theatrical Trailer, lossless Isolated Music Score of the impressive work of Alfred Newman and a Making Of featurette on the film dubbed Rogue Male, plus Twilight Time has included another one of their nice, illustrated booklets on the film released with another solid Julie Kirgo essay.

You can order the Man Hunt limited edition Blu-ray while supplies last with other great limited editions while supplies last at this link:


and to order the Out Of The Past Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo


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