Wouldn't Be In Your Shoes!
(1948/Monogram*)/A Life At
Detective Blu-ray)/No One
Heard Her Scream
(1994/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Step
By Step (1946/RKO/*all
Warner Archive Blu-rays)
Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B/B-/B/B-/B Sound:
B-/B-/B-/B/B- Extras: C/B-/C/B-/C Films: C+/B-/C+/B-/B-
Wouldn't Want To Be In Your Shoes
are now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive
series and can be ordered from the link below.
up are three authentic Film Noir films you should know about and two
films influenced by their realism...
Wouldn't Be In Your Shoes!
(1948) was a small hit Monogram Pictures film produced by future
Hollywood mega-producer Walter Mirisch that is enough of a Film Noir
to be a Noir, but gets way too melodramatic unnecessarily for its own
good as an unemployed dancer (Don Castle) throws his tap shoes
accidentally out the window to shut a cat up, only to find them
mysteriously at his door the next morning after not finding them
below... and they are connected to a murder!
the title, it is based on a story by writer Cornell Woolrich, who had
many of his works turned into films, including a few classics. This
might not be one of them, but it has its moments if you can sit
through the down parts. Elyse Knox is fine as his girlfriend and
Regis Toomey rounds out a decent supporting cast. Also, it looks,
plays and has aged remarkably well considering it low budget.
Life At Stake
(1955) is a Noir trying to be a sort of take-off of Double
but not a total ripoff with Angela Lansbury (free from MGM) gets a
down on his luck home builder (Keith Andes) to come in on some
housing developments with her husband, but she wants something much
more personal to develop between them: sex and murder!
Russ Bender actually wrote the decent, tight screenplay for this, one
of his rare writing jobs for the longtime actor who had an on-screen
career that lasted decades and the supporting cast of unknowns are
not bad here, but Lansbury is in rare form, playing someone who is
bad. However, she is not simply that and the performance is a little
more complex thanks to her work here. Some moments are
unintentionally funny, but others work and it is definitely worth a
look, even when the film slows in parts.
other 'star' is the remarkable, big white convertible Lansbury drives
at one point in the film, a Kaiser Darrin. Moving into the 6-figure
range for the best examples as this posts, only 435 of this U.S. gem
were made (a six-cylinder engine made it an early sports car) and you
would see such cars in later Noirs until the original cycle ended in
1958 (think the convertible in Touch Of Evil or early Corvette
in Kiss Me Deadly) so it adds to the fun and she has some
other great cars here too.
One Heard Her Scream
(1973) is one of the thrillers from the director fo Cannibal
In A Blue World,
this time involving apartment neighbors and murder. A lady who lives
alone (Carmen Sevilla) is puzzled by a fight she hears from married
neighbors next door to her, but then goes into huge shock when she
sees the introverted, creepy, odd husband (Vincent Parra, most
unlikable here) dumping her freshly dead corpse down a broken
elevator's shaft in the building next to them. The lady sees this,
but he sees her!
first, he threatens and stalks her, then oddly, she decides to
capitulate and join him in helping get rid of the body! Then it gets
wilder. Unfortunately, even with its Noir turns, I was never
convinced she would go with him, more twists and turns increasingly
break up any suspension of disbelief, then it concludes with another
wacky twist of sorts. The film tries too hard and never adds up, but
it is an interesting failure and worth a look for the most curious.
Its not very memorable when all is said and done either, but maybe if
you like thrillers, you might like it more.
Darabont's adaptation of Stephen King's prison melodrama The
Shawshank Redemption 4K
(1994) is a film that had moderate success when it first arrived, but
critics (and the Academy) did not immediately embrace it like they
could have. Better than The
another Warner/Stephen King drama made a few years later, the
sometimes more-graphic-than-you-might-remember drama has gained a
larger audience over the years. A great cast led by Tim Robins and
Morgan Freeman are one of the reasons why, though cheers to Darabont
for also pulling it off.
is the third time we are reviewing the film and to understand more of
the plot, you can read this earliest review that reflects the biggest
fans of the film.
in the days of sex symbol, international big screen sensation and
Noir icon Rita Hayworth, the film is able to get as dark and gritty
as prison films of the time, I think people identify with its realism
that is never overdone and done smartly. There are still parts of
the film that never worked for me, but the film has aged even better
than I expected and can be considered at least a minor classic of
some sort. It is also easily one of the best adaptions of any King
novel to date, so fans should be pleased enough with this upgrade.
a true gem and remarkable for its short length, Phil Rosen's Step
(1946) is a real gem of Hollywood narrative economy, fine low-budget
filmmaking, Noir and smart writing as Lawrence Tierney (back together
with the always capable Rosen after their success on Dillinger)
is back as a former military guy just trying to go for a swim on the
beach when he meets a sexy blonde (the always fun Anne Jeffreys)
complete with his pet dog. Then, she disappears,
transcripts for a new employer she lied to to get the job, he has
some very secret information that falls under national security to
obtain, but the person offering it is being careful about getting
together with him. Then a trio of former Nazis are out to stop the
U.S. Government from getting any info as well, going out of their way
to frame the veteran!
to the fun and energetic pace is the supporting cast includes Jason
Robards, Ray Walker, George Cleveland and uncredited turns by Tommy
Noonan and the great John Hamilton. To say this one has aged well is
an understatement, embarrassing so many movies of its kind,
especially of late, with way more money to work with. This should be
shown in all directing and writing schools, it is so good. If you
want a pleasant surprise, catch this one!
for playback performance. The 2160p HECV/H.265, 1.85 X 1, HDR (10;
Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on this film
was lensed by the amazing Roger Deakins, B.S.C., A.S.C., and this 4K
version is much better than the older Blu-ray, which I was never as
much a fan of as my fellow writers. Still, there are some shots here
that are not as impressive as I expected and since this is not a
Dolby Vision disc, I will hypothesize that this is an older HD master
from a few years ago. That's still fine, but I saw this on 35mm film
and can tell you that like Goodfellas 4K, this could be a
little better. The old Blu-ray has aged poorly and is only good for
the extras. The DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on both disc versions sound just fine for
their age, but you can heard some of the recording and sound effects
are older and since this is a dialogue-heavy drama, no need to
upgrade to 7.1 or 11.1 sound.
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on Scream has a
pretty good color range and looks good for its age with the print
only having a few flaws and was apparently shot on Kodak 35mm film,
while the Spanish DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix has obvious dubbing in parts and sonic
limits from its budget and the time it was made. Still, music and
sound effects are not bad and dialogue is about as good as this film
will ever sound.
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfers on all three films are remarkable just because these
smaller film managed to somehow survive, but all look the best I have
ever seen them (I have seen all three before a long time ago) and
though they can all sometimes show the age of the materials used, all
are far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film on
video before in the rare times they got any such treatment.
Unfortunately, there is occasional shimmer and some missing frames on
Stake, but it is fine otherwise.
three also sport DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes of
their original theatrical monophonic sound and though maybe Stake
will turn up in a somewhat better, clearer copy down the line, these
also sound as good as they ever will.
surprisingly include no trailers for any fo the films, but Shoes
has the live-action short The Symphony Murder Mystery
and Technicolor animated cartoon Holiday For Shoestrings,
Stake has an illustrated booklet with a fine essay on the film
and Angela Lansbury by Jason A. Ney and its disc adds a
feature-length audio commentary by Ney and featurette Hollywood
Hitch-Hikers about the indie company Ida Lupino co-founded
that was way ahead of its time, Scream adds Eloy de la
Iglesia and the Spanish Giallo on-camera interview with Film
Scholar Dr. Andy Willis, Shawshank 4K has Digital Copy, while
both discs have Frank Darabont's feature length audio commentary
track and most of the old Blu-ray retains Photo Galleries, two sets
of storyboards and two documentary featurettes: Hope Springs
Eternal: A Look Back At The Shawshank Redemption and Shawshank:
The Redeeming and Step offers the live-action short The
Trans-Atlantic Mystery and Technicolor animated cartoon The
Great Piggy Bank Robbery.
order either of the Warner Archive Blu-rays, I
Wouldn't Want To Be In Your Shoes
go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive