(1943/MGM/DVD*)/My Name Is
Julia Ross (1945**)/Night
Dark The Night
(1946/**all MVD/Arrow Blu-rays)
C/B+/B/B/B+ Sound: B (DVD: C) Extras: C-/B/C/B/B Films:
DVD and Night
Blu-ray are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
a spy thriller, several Film Noirs and one of the best of all Neo
start with Jack Conway's Assignment
(1943) with Jean-Pierre Aumont in a dual role as a killer and a good
guy, the latter of which has to pretend to be the evil man to help
the Allies get inside a Nazi operation. In his first Hollywood film,
he was simply billed as Pierre Aumont and the film has some cliches
and is unintentionally amusing, just managing to juggle to dual roles
thing. Then he is torn between two women.
never met a potential movie star they did not want to sign and have
as their next breakout star, so they definitely try to showcase him
at his best and though he became a name star internationally, he did
not become the 'exotic' Frenchman the studio hoped he might for them.
Still, this film has its moments and Signe Hasso and Susan Peters
help make for a good supporting cast, but this is ultimately a
propaganda film, albeit a good one. It is worth a look.
(1975) is the great filmmakers' attempt at making a Neo Noir film (a
Noir that takes apart limits and cliches of old Noirs films and tries
to explore new territory and truths) following Polanski's Chinatown
(1974) and Altman's The
(1973, both reviewed elsewhere on this site) and all three films have
their own takes on re-approaching the world of the private detective.
Hackman is Harry Moseby, in Los Angeles who thought he was happily
married, but his wife (Susan Clark) is hiding something, then he
suddenly gets a much-needed assignment to find the runaway daughter
(Melanie Griffith) of a wealthy family and takes the job. This
brings Harry into the world of location filmmaking and he lands up in
Florida. While a heist film is being made, turns out maybe a real
life fortune or two is at play and he has to investigate, but he is
surprised by marital issues and hobbled by being semi-complacent in
L.A. In a way that puts him at a disadvantage in the situations ahead
without him realizing.
had to think a long time on this one to see if I was missing anything
clever on the part of Penn and company and it has been eons since I
saw the film. Some parts are still a little off in ways that did not
work for me back then either, but Penn and writer Alan Sharp are
erasing cliches from the first scene to make sure Harry is not a hero
or even any kind of subversive anti-hero, something very popular at
it flushes out the characters, makes this more of a character study,
has some fine acting and new kinds of situations that seem more
palpable, plus note the dialogue that is more realistic than most
such films without people just swearing in cliched ways. James Woods
has an early acting turn here and Jennifer Warrens adds to the
unusual goings on, plus the natural locations further dispel anything
fake about the genre or type of mystery material this is.
won't say much more except it has a great conclusion and the film
remains one of Hackman;s most underrated works. Now that this is
out in such a great, restored, upgraded Blu-ray edition, I hope
audiences catch up with it again and it joins the other Neo Noirs of
the time. The next period of such films was 1990 with a slew of
gangster genre films, the year Hackman did his last big lead role in
a major action film, Peter Hyams' underrated remake of the 1950s Noir
Narrow Margin (1990) and that film has a few sly references to
this one. Night Moves is smart and worth going out of your
1.33 X 1 black & white image transfer on Brittany can show
the age of the materials used and the film needs some restoration,
but even in this problematic print, you can see it has a decent look
to it, while the lossy Dolby Digital
2.0 Mono is also a generation down or so, so be careful of high
volume playback and volume switching.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Night
can sometimes show the age of the materials used, but this is far
superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film with nice
color through, handled by Technicolor (maybe in the U.K., they got
three-strip Technicolor prints of the film?) looks to be from a
restored source. I really enjoyed it and the DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix of the original optical theatrical
monophonic sound is as good as it is going to get.
in both releases includes an Original Theatrical Trailer, but Night
Moves adds a Making Of featurette: The Day Of The Director.
for some new Arrow Academy releases...
doesn't love a good film noir? Arrow Academy beautifully restores
yet another classic, this time its Phantom Lady (1944). An
Engineer named Scott Henderson (Alan Curtis) meets a mysterious femme
fatale (Fay Helm) after a fight with his wife. The two strangers go
see a concert together (the one he was supposed to take his wife
too), and go home without even knowing whom one another is. When
Scott returns home that night, he finds his wife strangled with one
of his ties and himself framed for the murder by a trio of
detectives. Things grow even more bizarre and complex from there as
he can't prove where he was that night and he gets a death sentence.
Luckily his secretary (Ella Raines) seeks to help prove him innocent
and hires an Inspector to hopefully prove his innocence...
Lady stars Ella Raines, Franchot Tone, Aurora Miranda, and Thomas
Gomez. The film is directed by Robert Siodmak and written by Bernard
in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a full frame aspect
ratio of 1.33:1 and an English LPCM 2.0 mix, both of which look
pretty great here. The print is in miraculous shape considering and
there's plenty of detail on clothing and nice contrast levels. For a
film as old as this one this is an impressive restoration.
and Deadly: 50 Years of Film Noir, an insightful archival
documentary featuring contributions from Robert Wise, Edward Dmytryk,
Dennis Hopper and more
hour-long 1944 radio dramatization of Phantom Lady by the Lux
Radio Theatre, starring Alan Curtis and Ella Raines
of original stills and promotional materials
sleeve featuring two original artwork options
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new
writing on the film by author Alan K. Rode
Dark The Night (1946) and My Name is Julia Ross (1945) are
two more new titles from Arrow Academy that are certainly worth
picking up if you're a fan of filmmaker Joseph H. Lewis (Gun Crazy
(reviewed on Warner Archive Blu-ray elsewhere on this site), Terror
in a Texas Town). Both films could be considered Film Noirs and
remind me a lot of some of the early Alfred Hitchcock films.
renowned and relentless Paris detective takes his first vacation in
eleven years at a small inn in the French countryside. There he
meets and falls in love with the hotelier's daughter, who had been
betrothed to a neighboring farmer, but who hopes to marry him and
move to Paris. On the evening of their engagement, both the fiancee
and the farmer disappear.
Features for So Dark The Night include...
by Glenn Kenny and Farran Smith Nehme
Dark Place: Joseph H. Lewis
a nice insert booklet with photographs and an essay by David Carins
My Name is Julia Ross (1945), Julia Ross (Nina Foch, Dark
Shadows) secures employment, through a rather nosy employment
agency, with a wealthy widow, Mrs. Hughes, and goes to live at her
house. Two days later, she awakens - in a different house, in
different clothes, and with a new identity. She's told she is the
daughter-in-law of Mrs. Hughes, and has suffered a nervous breakdown.
Is Julia really 'Julia', or, is it true, that she's lost all memory
of who she is?
Name is Julia Ross also stars Dame May Whitty, George Macready,
Roland Varno, Anita Sharp-Bolster, and Doris Lloyd.
films are presented on 1080p Blu-ray with a black and white HD
transfer and a 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio (original ratio 1.37:1)
and is paired with a new LPCM 2.0 Mono mix. The film looks beautiful
on disc with no visible signs of wear or anything. These are
certainly top notch presentations of these films that best previous
Features for My Name is Julia Ross includes...
by Alan K. Rode
Crisis: Joseph H. Lewis at Columbia featurette
insert booklet with photographs and an essay by Adrian Martin
order the Assignment
DVD and Night
Blu-ray from Warner Archive, go to this link for them and many more
great web-exclusive releases at:
Nicholas Sheffo and James