Forgotten Noir & Crime Volume 4

 

   

   

    

("Radar Secret Service" or "Counterspy Meets Scotland Yard" or "Motor Patrol")

("Western Pacific Agent" or "Mr. District Attorney" or "Highway 13")

("Roaring City" or  "Treasure of Monte Cristo" or "Sky Liner")

 

directed by Seymour Friedman, William Morgan , Sam Newfield , William Berke
USA 1941 - 1951

 

Summary: COUNTERSPY MEETS SCOTLAND YARD: When enemy agents obtain leaked secrets about a guided missile reservation, the chief of America's counterspy division and Scotland Yard's top sleuth (Ron Randell) get on an investigative trail which quickly leads to a reservation secretary. RADAR SECRET SERVICE: It's science versus crime when agents of a foreign power working with local gangsters steal a truck loaded with secret atomic materials, and the members of the Secret Service's new "radar unit" use the “latest technology” to run down the lawbreakers. MOTOR PATROL: Roaring down America's highways in the pursuit of justice, motorcycle policemen put the heat on a car theft ringleader who uses a legitimate garage as a front. MR. DISTRICT ATTORNEY (1941): When Harvard Law School graduate P. Cadwallader Jones (Dennis O'Keefe) bungles his first assignment in the D.A.'s office, he is next assigned the make-work job of reviewing the closed case of a crooked city official (Peter Lorre) who vanished with a stolen $100,000. WESTERN PACIFIC AGENT: The railroad assigns its top agent Kent Taylor to investigate a payroll robbery and the murder of a paymaster. HIGHWAY 13: It's murder on wheels when a trucking company loses several vehicles in a series of mysterious crashes--and a company honcho dies in a road accident that is equally inexplicable. TREASURE OF MONTE CRISTO: A web of death, intrigue and daring love entwines merchant seaman Glenn Langan, a descendent of the Count of Monte Cristo, as he searches modern-day San Francisco for the fortune in long-missing jewels to which he is the rightful heir. ROARING CITY: Private eye Dennis O'Brien (Hugh Beaumont) will do anything for a dame or a dollar, tackling two more assignments filled with pistol-point suspense. SKY LINER: It's GRAND HOTEL in the air as the usual wild assortment of travelers board a LaGuardia Airport flight, unaware that other passengers might be spies and counter-spies, complete with secret documents, poison and elaborate plans to engage in international espionage! ALL ARE FIRST TIME ON VIDEO OR DVD.

 

Posters

 

Theatrical Releases - Top Row : January 28th, 1950 /  November 21st, 1950 / May 12th, 1950

Second Row: April 10th, 1950 /27 March 27th, 1941 / December 28th, 1948

Third Row: May 4th, 1951 / 27 August 27th, 1949 /  28 July 28th, 1949

DVD Reviews

DVD Review: VCI (Triple Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime

Disc 1 - 1:07:15, 1:05:54 and 57:34

Disc 2 - 1:07:54, 58:54 and 1:01:04

Disc 3 - 1:17:45, 49:22 and 57:40

Video

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.25 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  Disc 1

Bitrate  Disc 2

Bitrate  Disc 3

Audio English (2.0)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Trailers (2 X 3 discs)

DVD Release Date: November 18th, 2008

3 slim transparent keep cases inside a cardboard box

 

Comments

The Collection comprises 3 'triple feature' discs (VCI's separate Volumes #'s 10, 11 and 12.) Three films per dual-layered disc X 3 discs = 9 films. It's a bit of a family affair with 4 directed by William Berke (Highway 13, Roaring City, Treasure of Monte Cristo and Sky Liner) - who, by the way, also has helmed some other films represented by different VCI DVDs - FBI Girl (1951)  and Renegade Girl (1946) to name a couple. We also have three covered by Sam Newfield (Motor Patrol, Western Pacific Agent and Radar Secret Service) and four with actor Sid Melton proving lighter comedy characters. All are in original 1.33 aspect ratio and all are interlaced.

 

Only "Roaring City" and "Treasure of Monte Cristo" are actually on our somewhat  liberal Noir listing HERE. but all nine have some noir-ish elements - be it simple pulpy crime dramas or typical mainstay plot characteristics - pushy/conniving women, deception, amnesia, ex-cons etc. 

NOTE: Mr. District Attorney in this collection is the 1941 version, NOT the 1947 one (although both have Dennis O'Keefe) reviewed in VCI's Forgotten Noir 8 HERE. All other films in the set are made in 1948, 49 or 50. Treasure of Monte Cristo starts with this caveat:

but despite the audio glitches is probably the best looking, image-wise, of the 9 offered.

Generally, quality is nothing beyond other VCI Noir offerings. Reasonably weak - often with light scratch and speckle damage - but acceptable for CRT viewing. Some grain is visible but usually more noise is evident. Detail is second rate but contrast can look surprising at times. Luckily the lower-tier quality can help punctuate the nostalgic aura of films in this style.

 

Extras are only trailers - 2 for each disc.

I wouldn't say that any of these are stellar but it was nice to see a favorite noir actor of mine; Hugh Beaumont (Roaring City). Western Pacific Agent and Radar Secret Service are pretty corny while Highway 13 and Counterspy Meets Scotland Yard were the most enjoyable. If you're a Noir-junkie, the price is fairly irresistible at about $3/film. I was pleased to curl up and dig into these flicks but my expectations were fairly low after seeing the previous collections in this series. I suggest adopting that attitude as well - and you may be rewarded.

NOTE: I don't know what the delay on this was but this package took forever to reach me via Amazon Canada. I don't see these 'triple feature' discs available individually as the previous set had.  

 -Gregory Meshman + Gary Tooze

 



DVD Menus
 

 


Screen Captures

 

"Radar Secret Service"

 

 


 "Counterspy Meets Scotland Yard"

 

 

 

 

 

 


 "Motor Patrol"

 

 

 

 


"Mr. District Attorney"
 
 

 


 "Western Pacific Agent"
 
 

 


"Highway 13"
 
 

 

 

 


"Roaring City"
 
 

 

 

 


"Treasure of Monte Cristo"
 
 

 


"Sky Liner"
 
 

 

 

 

 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

VCI

Region 0 - NTSC




 

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