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directed by Laslo Benedek
USA 1949

 

Yul Brynner electrifies the screen in his first starring role as ruthless and silky suave gentleman gangster Paul Vicola. Vicola runs a Yacht Club as a front for the east coast's largest heroin smuggling ring. Treasury Agents discover Vicola's mobsters brazenly sneaking the contraband in through America's front door, New York harbor, and plot a dragnet to bring down his criminal empire.

Featuring K.T. Stevens as the pretty girl caught in Vicola's clutches and sweaty William Challee as an impish nightclub impresario who squeals on the wrong man, Port of New York is a tough and visceral crime film strikingly captured in cinematographer George E. Diskant's stark "noir" camerawork.

***

Yul Brynner (with a full head of hair) made his feature film debut as the villain in PORT OF NEW YORK. Brynner stars as a vicious drug kingpin who specializes in outsmarting the police. But after the body count connected to his operation starts to mount, the police double their efforts to end his smuggling scheme, risking one of their own in a treacherous undercover operation. PORT OF NEW YORK is an overlooked police procedural made a couple of years after the more well-known T-MEN, and both stand as forerunners to television programs like DRAGNET. The film features the high contrast black and white photography common to crime and police films of the period (the genre aesthetic later dubbed "film noir") as well as some remarkable location shooting featuring an extraordinary look at 1940s New York.

***

This gritty urban drama focuses on two agents out to bust a narcotics gang. The criminals succeed in smuggling drugs into the country thanks to corrupt agents whom they later murder. At first, the detective can find nothing on these murderous creeps. Eventually, however, the agents succeed in finding the criminals, and in infiltrating their ranks. Will the feds bring the mobsters to justice? Or will the smugglers discover the agents' true identities first?

Posters

Theatrical Release: 28 November 1949 (USA)

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DVD Review: Alpha - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Distribution

Alpha

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:20:45
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.18 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 Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Alpha

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Bonus trailers for titles from Alpha New Cinema
• Alpha Video DVD Catalog

DVD Release Date: December 21st, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 5

 

Comments

Port of New York is a decent film noir, independently produced by Aubrey Schenck and distributed by Eagle-Lion Films. Unfortunately, like many other Eagle-Lion films, it ended up in public domain. Hopefully, MGM still owns a quality print in the archive to produce superior DVD release, but until then these public domain releases is an only option to own this picture. Port of New York is a film debut of Yul Brynner and co-stars brother of Lawrence Tierney, Scott Brady and familiar noir heavies John Kellogg and Neville Brand, both featured prominently on DVD cover artwork from Alpha.

The transfer used by Alpha is sourced from a very poor video master. The image is muddy and murky with lots of damage. Clearly, a very poor effort. The sound is likewise below average. Let's hope MGM can provide a superior release, but until them, it is recommended to stay away especially since the film can be viewed online from various free sources.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Alpha

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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