Although I write regularly here about the movies I watch, there are a lot more I don’t get around to mentioning – the reasons for what write about or ignore are not entirely clear.
Flicker Alley and the Film Noir Foundation have released another fascinating Argentine movie from the early 1950s on the heels of two revelatory releases last year. Román Viñoly Barreto’s El vampiro negro (1953) is even more intriguing than Viñoly Barreto’s The Beast Must Die (1952) and Fernando Ayala’s The Bitter Stems (1956), being a reworking of Fritz Lang’s M (1931) from a very different perspective – that of a mother whose daughter is at risk from the serial child murderer.
More recent releases from Arrow: Nightmare at Noon (1988), a horror-thriller from prolific Greek filmmaker Nico Mastorakis; The Righteous (2021), a bleak, Bergman-influenced study of guilt and grief with supernatural intimations from Newfoundland actor/filmmaker Mark O’Brien; and a superb hi-def restoration of Mike Hodges’ late career masterpiece Croupier (1997) in a two-disk set which includes an engaging documentary in which the 89-year-old filmmaker reminisces about his life and career.
Network and the BFI deliver a potent mix of wartime propaganda and post-war crime in atmospheric black-and-white with Blu-ray releases of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s One of Our Aircraft Is Missing (1942) and Lewis Gilbert’s The Good Die Young (1954), and a massive 20-disk DVD set of B-movie thrillers from the early 1960s mostly adapted from the novels of Edgar Wallace.
After five box sets devoted to film noir B-movies from Columbia Studios, Indicator have embarked on a follow-up covering Universal Studios crime films from the same mid-’40s to late-’50s period. The inaugural set of six titles covers a range of styles, from the classic noir of Michael Gordon’s The Web (1947), Norman Foster’s Kiss the Blood Off My Hands (1948) and Jerry Hopper’s Naked Alibi (1954) to the docu-noir of Joseph M. Newman’s Abandoned (1949) and the shot-in-Italy neorealist melodrama of Robert Siodmak’s Deported (1950). With a host of contextual and critical extras, Universal Noir #1 inaugurates another great series of releases from Indicator.