David Harding, Counterspy (1950)       Danger Zone (1951)

The Big Chase (1954)






Product Description:
DAVID HARDING COUNTERSPY: Based on the popular 1942-1957 network radio series created by Phillips H. Lord. Howard St. John is the Washington DC-based David Harding head of a covert counter-espionage organization charged with preventing top-secret scientific information from reaching the hands of America's enemies around the world and trying to convince a hell-raising radio correspondent to join the fight.


DANGER ZONE: When you deal with dames you are in the Danger Zone as the character of crime detector Dennis O'Brien (Hugh Beaumont) learns in his inaugural mystery-drama. The private eye first cracks a case involving smuggling ring then tackles an assignment that involves blackmail murder and film noir's top bad guy Tom Neal.


THE BIG CHASE: As his expectant wife (Adele Jergens) enters the hospital in anticipation of the blessed event cop Glenn Langan is off to the races trailing payroll robbers (including Jim Davis and Lon Chaney Jr.) on a mad chase that goes from cars to rowboat to motorboat to helicopter. The chase sequence captured in all its bullet-to-bullet glory comprises a third of the movie.


Theatrical Releases: Various from 1950 - 1954

  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: VCI (1-disc) - Region 0 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution VCI - Region 0 - NTSC
This collection is also available from VCI in the FORGOTTEN NOIR : Collectors Set Vol 3: (David Harding, Counterspy; Danger Zone, The Big Chase; Mr. District Attorney 1947; Ringside; Hi-Jacked; Scotland Yard Inspector; Pier 23; The Case of the Baby)


Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.77 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s


1:10:33 + 55:32 + 59:46
Audio English (original)
Subtitles None

Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios - 1:33

Edition Details:

• Big Chase interview with Robert Lippert Jr. (reenactment) - 9:07

Lord of the Radio (part 1) - 11:43

3 trailers (for other films)

DVD Release Date: April 29th, 2008

Keep case
12 each X 3 = 36



Being VCI - we know we are not venturing in to premium-big-studio-Gene-Tierney-Richard-Widmark-type Film Noir. But I was keen to see Tom Neal (yes, from, my favorite black-cinema; Detour) and enjoyable bit-parter Hugh Beaumont - although he is actually the star of Danger Zone. We can easily dismiss David Harding, Counterspy as not encompassing even some 'broad' definitions of Noir, but both Danger Zone and The Big Chase made our listing HERE. VCI have some deal with the catalogue of impresario, and cinema chain owner, Robert L. Lippert (mostly B-films).

The three features are housed on one, solitary, dual-layered disc. The transfers suffer from being interlaced (as, I believe, are all VCI's DVDs I have seen) and are in their original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. I can't do much more than the provided screen captures can tell you. None are stellar looking. Danger Zone looks the best, The Big Chase next and Harding, Counterspy bringing up the rear. Contrast can be a shade muddy across the board but damage is quite limited. Detail is at the lower end. There are no subtitles offered but audio is another story (see below).  

Audio - All original (monaural or 2.0 channel) but The Big Chase is very weak - especially in the opening. The rest match the unremarkable video quality - audible for the most part but leave a lot to be desired.

VCI are starting to include supplements (also interlaced) of late and although these are not directly relational to the films themselves - the effort is appreciated. We have a 9 minute reenactment interview with Robert Lippert Jr. and it does impart some important information. Next is part 1 (more on other discs in the Collection) of Lord of the Radio - less relevant to Noir and 12 minutes long. After that - 3 trailers (for other films - Motor Patrol, Portland Expose and Terror Street).   

Overall impression: I have never minded this pragmatic manner of DVD production - more films - less extras and cheaper. I enjoyed Danger Zone but less so the other two. The Big Chase is a bit tedious. So is it worth it? Well, the price is sure right - and for the Collectors Set Vol 3 it is about $3/film. It's tough to complain - I like stingy B-stuff at times and even weak, but previously unseen, Noir, on some nights, is better than repeats. This unsurprising package is okay - just don't expect the golden age of dark cinema - and you might enjoy too.            

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus




David Harding, Counterspy (1950)

Director: Ray Nazarro

Starring Willard Parker, Audrey Long, Raymond Greenleaf and Harlan Warden


Screen Captures



Danger Zone (1951)

Director: William A. Berke

Starring Hugh Beaumont, Edward Brophy, Richard Travis, Tom Neal, Pamela Blake and Virginia Dale



Screen Captures




The Big Chase (1954)

Director: Arthur Hilton

Starring Glenn Langan, Adele Jergens , Lon Chaney Jr., Jim Davis, Douglas Kennedy and Jack Daly 


Screen Captures






Recommended Reading in Film Noir (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)




DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution VCI - Region 0 - NTSC



Hit Counter












DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!