Saturday, May 31, 2014

Coming to DVD: Dark Crimes - Film Noir Thrillers, Vol. II

A new TCM Vault Collection DVD set has been announced for release on July 7th: Dark Crimes - Film Noir Thrillers, Vol. II.

The set contains two films directed by Fritz Lang and two directed by William Castle.

The Lang films are YOU AND ME (1938), starring George Raft and Sylvia Sidney, and MINISTRY OF FEAR (1944) with Ray Milland, Marjorie Reynolds, and Dan Duryea.

The inclusion of MINISTRY OF FEAR, which I reviewed in 2011, is a bit curious as the movie was just released last year by the Criterion Collection.

The Castle films are of considerable interest to me: UNDERTOW (1949) costars John Russell and Scott Brady, who also costarred that year in a favorite Yvonne De Carlo Western, THE GAL WHO TOOK THE WEST (1949), and HOLLYWOOD STORY (1951) stars Richard Conte and Julie Adams.

Extras include an introduction by Ben Mankiewicz, an essay by the Film Noir Foundation's Eddie Muller, and Julie Adams speaking on HOLLYWOOD STORY. The set also includes still and poster galleries.

Volume I in this series, released in 2012, contains THE GLASS KEY (1942), PHANTOM LADY (1944), and THE BLUE DAHLIA (1946).

As a side note, I have noticed in recent weeks that several TCM Vault Collections have disappeared from the TCM Shop. These sets include the Columbia Pictures Pre-Code Collection, the Sony Film Noir Classics Vol. III set, and the Women in Danger set.

I would be most interested if anyone knows why TCM has discontinued selling those sets. In the meantime, a word to the wise not to delay too long on purchasing desired TCM Vault sets, as what's available today may not be there tomorrow.


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