Directed by James Edward Grant + William A. Wellman (uncredited)
USA 1954

 

  For years this rare John Wayne production, starring mystery writer Mickey Spillane as himself, was around only in a black and white pan-and-scan version. If this disc is widescreen as promised, it's a real find for noir fans, mystery buffs and circus freaks. In addition to Clyde Beatty's circus in Technicolor, the film offers Mickey as himself with his (late) friend Jack Stang playing Mike Hammer (the name is alluded to but never quite used...because Spillane had sold the rights elsewhere, and his ex-Marine pal Stang was his choice for Hammer, rejected by producer Victor Saville for I, THE JURY). Famously, the movie was in trouble and Mickey himself did an uncredited rewrite, for which Wayne paid him with a white Jag (which Spillane still has in perfect condition!). The music, by the way, is also courtesy of Spillane -- from a MIKE HAMMER album Stan Purdy made with Mickey about a year before. Not a great film, but a real slice of '50s pop culture.

Excerpt from Max A. Collins review on Amazon located HERE.

Poster

Theatrical Release: July 24th, 1954

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DVD Review: Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

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Part of the The Batjac Suspense Collection which includes Ring of Fear / Track of the Cat / Plunder of the Sun and Man in the Vault.

               

Distribution Paramount Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:42:36 
Video 2.55:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.36 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 4.0)  
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.55:1

Edition Details:

• Previews

DVD Release Date: June 6th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 14

 

 

Comments:

I'm not really happy with this image. Something looks very wrong - it may just be that detail is at the low end or that it was the focal manner in which it was shot, but even the Technicolor hues appear awkward to me. To be fair - this is still progressive, tight to the frame edges, and anamorphic -  the 2.55 widescreen ratio is quite magnificent. No extras save that stale Paramount trailer reel and while I'm griping - don't those optional yellow subtitles look ridiculous?

Anyway, the film is not the best  - it flirts with being a Noir, but whoever said there is no bad film noir may not have seen Ring of Fear. This is only acceptable in the boxset - otherwise you might want to pass even for $10.  

Gary W. Tooze

 





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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Part of the The Batjac Suspense Collection which includes Ring of Fear / Track of the Cat / Plunder of the Sun and Man in the Vault.

               

Distribution Paramount Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC



 

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   CANADA

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