Showing posts with label richard basehart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label richard basehart. Show all posts

13 March 2015

DVD Review - He Walked By Night (1948)

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Genre:
Film Noir
Distributor:
Simply Home Entertainment
Rating: PG
Director:
Alfred L. Werker, Anthony Mann
Cast: Richard Basehart, Scott Brady, Roy Roberts, Whit Bissell, Jack Webb
Release: 16th March 2015
Buy: He Walked By Night [DVD]

He Walked by Night is a fairly standard procedural noir fare but has enough style to move it up a level. It was directed by Alfred L. Werker even though Anthony Mann finished the film. It’s very loosely inspired by the real life Erwin "Machine-Gun" Walker who committed a similar strings of crimes as depicted in the finished film.

Richard Basehart plays the killer Roy Morgan, who in the beginning shoots and kills a police officer. This is after the police officer questions him because he is acting suspicious outside an electronics store. The rest of the film is basically the police trying to find this mystery man.

The film’s big set piece is it’s climax, in an L.A storm drainage system. It’s very similar to the climactic scene in Carol Reed’s masterpiece The Third Man and begs the question, did Graham Greene or Carol Reed see He Walked by Night? It’s very possible. The film’s director of photography was John Alton, who also shot one of the textbook examples of classic noir The Big Combo and numerous others; his use of light and shadow is partly what brings He Walked by Night up from being a fairly standard film to a solid one.

I would certainly not say He Walked by Night would be the best starting point for a budding fan of noir; there are dozens you should see before. Despite my reservations it has a strong lead performance by Basehart who plays a psychopathic killer very well. Overall, the film has a brutal nihilism that many of the best noirs do, but due to the standard of storytelling it misses it’s mark in becoming a classic.

★★★1/2

Ian Schultz

31 December 2013

Blu-Ray Review - Il Bidone (1955)

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Genre:
Comedy, World Cinema, Drama
Distributor:
Eureka! Entertainment
Rating:
12
BD Release Date:
30th December 2013(UK)
Director:
Federico Fellini
Cast:
Broderick Crawford, Richard Basehart, Giulietta Masina
Buy: Il Bidone [Masters of Cinema] Dual Format [Blu-ray & DVD]


Il Bidone is one of Fellini’s early films and came out after the worldwide success of La Strada. It was a big flop in the film’s native Italy and abroad. It was made when Fellini for all purposes was still working in the school of Italian neo-realism. Fellini from the 60s onwards would be known for surrealist satires, which I prefer.

Il Bidone is about a group of small time swindlers (the title translated is The Swindlers) called Augusto (Broderick Crawford), Picasso (Richard Basehart), and Roberto (Franco Fabrizi) who prey on poor farmers and slum dwellers. The role of Augusto was originally intended for Humphey Bogart, which would have been interesting. Fellini always a mischievous director in the opening scene dresses up his swindlers as Catholic priest. They trick some poor farmers out of their money by in exchange for some bogus buried treasure.

The film has a great set piece in which the conmen pretend to be city officials. They go to a slum and pretend to be city officials and scam everyone by saying they will give them a council house if they put down a deposit. It’s perfect shows the lengths that the 3 conmen will go to get a quick buck.

The film isn’t Fellini at his finest see his masterful 8 ½ but it’s a interesting slice of neo-realism which a slight film noir edge. It was criticised by some for just being a crime film but it’s a scathing attack on the greed. It’s worth checking out and as usual Masters of Cinema has done a very nice package.

★★★★

Ian Schultz


28 November 2013

Felini's Il Bidone (1955) To Get Duel Format Masters Of Cinema Release

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Genre:
Comedy,Drama, World Cinema, Arthouse
Distributor:
Eureka! Entertainment
Release Date:
30th December 2013 (UK)
Format:
Dual (DVD&Blu-Ray)
Rating:
12
Director:
Federico Felini
Cast:
franco fabrizi, richard basehart, broderick crawford, Giulietta Masina,


Eureka Entertainment have announced that they will be releasing IL BIDONE, one of the most acclaimed films of the 1950s by legendary filmmaker Federico Fellini (8-1/2, Nights of Cabiria, La Dolce Vita). The first Blu-ray release anywhere in the world of this classic drama, will be released in the UK in a Dual Format (Blu-ray &DVD) edition as part of the Masters of Cinema Series on 30 December 2013.

Federico Fellini followed up his iconic breakthrough La strada with this brilliant drama - an unsparing look at the dog-eat-dog values of post war Italian society that nonetheless manages to navigate expertly between the lightly comic and the emotionally stark to become one of his richest, most moving works.

Il bidone [The Swindle] follows three small-time conmen - the ageing Augusto (Broderick Crawford), "Picasso" (Richard Basehart), and Roberto (Franco Fabrizi) - as they prey upon the poor and gullible for modest gains. However, once Augusto is unexpectedly reunited with his daughter, now struggling with her studies, the moral and emotional demands of his lifestyle begin to take their toll sooner than he had anticipated.

With its masterful set pieces and host of superb performances (including the director's wife and muse Giuletta Masina), this forms the centrepiece of what has been termed Fellini's "Trilogy of Loneliness" (with bookending films La strada and Le notti di Cabiria), and may be the darkest examination of human nature he ever attempted. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present this long-undervalued classic in a new high-definition restoration.



SPECIAL FEATURES

• Beautiful new high-definition master, with the film appearing in 1080p on the Blu-ray
• Optional English subtitles
• Original theatrical trailer
• 36-PAGE BOOKLET featuring the words of Federico Fellini, rare imagery, and more!
• More to be announced!

Pre-order or Buy - Il Bidone [Masters of Cinema] Dual Format [Blu-ray & DVD]