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directed by Frank McDonald
USA 1959


Pay now. Or pay with your life. Armed and arrogant, a baby-faced teen named Honeyboy Willard terrorizes hardened rumrunners until they agree to shell out protection money. Soon Honeyboy and his underage thugs, the Purple Gang, control Detroit, turning the screws until local businessmen, driven to desperation, call in the Chicago Mafia to outmuscle their homegrown mob. Disarmingly boyish, Robert Blake (In Cold Blood) makes a chilling Honeyboy, a psychopath equally thrilled by luring a cop to his death or cramming his best pal alive in a coffin, pouring in cement, and dropping him in the river. “That’s the way we work,” Honeyboy says. Bet on it.


Theatrical Release: 18 December 1959 (Japan)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:24:33

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.41 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.


Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: July 12th, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 9



1959-1960 saw a number of biopics of Prohibition-era gangsters, often very loosely based on facts. Al Capone and Legs Diamond already saw a DVD release from Warner Archive Collection, so now comes Detroit-based The Purple Gang. Released in 1959 by Allied Artists, the film features Barry Sullivan as a police lieutenant and Robert Blake as a leader of a gang, who can be charming on one hand and a sociopathic killer on the other.

While not advertised as remastered, the progressive anamorphic transfer from Warner Home Video is very strong on this Made-on-demand release. There is very little damage on the print and the contrast is strong. The English audio is adequate, but per usual standard, there is no subtitles or closed captioning. No extras are included. A recommended release from Warner Archives.

  - Gregory Meshman


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:



Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC


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