Thursday, March 15, 2012

Coming to DVD: Women in Danger - 1950s Thrillers

Earlier today I described the brand-new release from the TCM Vault, the UPA Jolly Frolics Collection.

Looking ahead, there's another very interesting release coming from the TCM Vault later this year: Women in Danger - 1950s Thrillers. It will be released on June 4, 2012.

The set is comprised of four restored and remastered films from Universal, making their DVD debut:

WOMAN IN HIDING (1950) starring Ida Lupino, Stephen McNally, Howard Duff, and Peggy Dow

FEMALE ON THE BEACH (1955) starring Joan Crawford and Jeff Chandler

THE UNGUARDED MOMENT (1956) starring Esther Williams

THE PRICE OF FEAR (1956) starring Merle Oberon and Lex Barker

The films will be introduced by Ben Mankiewicz. Extras include publicity materials such as photos, posters, and lobby cards.

I saw FEMALE ON THE BEACH last year at the Noir City Film Festival and would probably buy the set on that basis alone. As I wrote in my review, I'm not certain I would precisely call it a good movie, as it had its moments of pure hokum, but I enjoyed it tremendously. It provided a grand evening of romantic melodrama, and I'd enjoy seeing it again.

It's great to see more Universal films slowly trickling onto DVD. I'm looking forward to this set and will hope for even more Universal films in the future!


Blogger AK said...

Exciting news for Joan fans! I LOVE Female on the Beach (even more than Queen Bee, if that's possible!)and have never found a good copy of it; you've absolutely made my day reading this!
P.S. wasn't Rosalind Russell the screenwriter of The Unguarded Moment (under the pseudonym Clara McKnight)?

7:25 PM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

Rosalind Russell is one of the writers on THE UNGUARDED MOMENT under her own name, credited for original story as I'm recalling.

This is for me the best of the four movies--it's outstanding, one of the finest U-I 50s melodramas outside the vein in which Douglas Sirk reigned supreme (Harry Keller directed it). I hope the transfer is from original elements--TCM showed a copy that was not so good last year and original Technicolor was beautiful here (William Daniels was the cinematographer).

The set as a whole is very good, with THE PRICE OF FEAR maybe relatively negligible in relation to the other three but still worth checking out--I don't remember that one too well.

I'm for release of the entire Universal library. Interesting to meditate on a movie called THE NIGHT RUNNER (1957), because it would have fit the theme of the set, was directed by Abner Biberman, who made THE PRICE OF FEAR, and is a much better and more interesting movie--and stars Ray Danton and the unforgettable (for some of us) Colleen Miller.
This one has gone missing for years--it didn't play on AMC in their better days when they tapped the Universal library and did show so many things from this period.

11:12 PM  
Blogger JH said...

I have been waiting for ANY studio DVD release of both Female on the Beach and the Unguarded Moment FOREVER.
These two titles used to be in heavy rotation on AMC (and possibly A&E filler as well) back in the early/mid-90's, where they affected my impressionable mind and planted a seed that makes me seek out glossy but borderline-trashy, 50's flicks to this day.
Now if only we'd get a studio DVD release of the Scarlet Hour...

Also I just stumbled across a first-time-on-DVD-or-anywhere release of an infamous "lost noir" called Shed No Tears. It stars June Vincent and Wallace Ford, both previously of Black Angel.
I just ordered my copy, but am trying to keep my expectations in check since it's an Alpha Video release.
Also the eponymous Arthur Lyons didn't have that great of an opinion of it in his classic book Death on the Cheap: The Lost B-Movies of Film Noir, so we'll have to see...

10:58 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

JH, glad I could share the good news! Thanks very much for making me aware of THE SCARLET HOUR and SHED NO TEARS. I added SHED NO TEARS to my list of titles to consider the next time I place an order at Oldies.Com; I really enjoyed June Vincent in BLACK ANGEL. The Alpha quality can be all over the place, but at least they're usually watchable. :)

Best wishes,

4:18 PM  

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