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Homicide (1949)             The House Across the Street (1949)

Tough detectives, pretty women, ace reporters. All staples of the film-noir genre and exemplified by these two films. In Homicide, what seems like a routine suicide sparks the interest of LAPD Detective Michael Landers (Robert Douglas) when he sees something suspicious at the scene. Delving further into the case leads him to the heart of SoCal’s farm country. Posing as an insurance investigator, Landers meets several unsavory types and an attractive hotel cigarette girl, Jo Ann (Helen Westcott) as he slowly unravels the case. The reporter-turned-sleuth takes the lead in The House Across the Street. When managing editor Dave Joslin (Wayne Morris) writes several articles blasting the police with incompetence after a witness in a fraud trial is killed, the paper’s owner, who is worried about a libel suit, reassigns the editor to an advice-to-the-lovelorn columnist. This causes Joslin to become inadvertently involved in the fraud case against racketeer Keever (Bruce Bennett). With fellow reporter Kit Williams (Janis Paige) as his accomplice, Joslin starts putting together the puzzle pieces to get the criminal indicted.

 

directed by Felix Jacoves
USA 1949

 

A serviceable police procedural from 1949, Homicide veers from the mildly absorbing to the silly. Its opening shows promise: A drifter just out of the Navy, looking for work as a farm hand, stumbles across a murder in an orange grove. The killers pay him off to testify that he witnessed an accident, then dispose of him too, making it look like he hanged himself in a cheap Los Angeles boarding house (its landlady is Esther Howard, best remembered as Jessie Florian in Murder, My Sweet).

One police detective (Robert Douglas) thinks there's something fishy and, going by a book of matches and a saccharin tablet, takes a leave of absence to pursue his investigation to a desert spa, where the bartender (Robert Alda) suffers from diabetes. A clue! The plot involves an underground wire used by a nationwide gambling syndicate. But Douglas, operating on his own, finds that his cover is burned and his life is in danger....

Excerpt of review from Bill McVicar at imdb.com located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 2 April 1949 (USA)

Reviews        More Reviews       DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Bros. Film Noir Double Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:16:57
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.8 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: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (2:01)

DVD Release Date: March 27, 2011
Keep Case

Chapters 8

 

Comments

Warner Archives and their made-on-demand releases has been a welcome development in the home video market, especially when it comes to rare films that otherwise would never or after decades have seen a home video release. Even more better is when these releases are packages in multi-film sets. The collection reviewed in here is titled "Warner Bros. Film Noir Double Feature", even though it's hard to categorize either title as true film noir. Homicide has a truly noir character dead within the first 15 minutes. A final showdown in a desert brings a doze of excitement in this pretty routine police procedural. The House Across the Street is more of a comical mystery with some noir touches.

Both films are presented on a dual-layered disc. The transfers have good contrast, but the films were not fully restored. There are some marks, including cue marks, and specs on the prints. The mono audio is fine and there is a trailer included for Homicide. We still can easily recommend this release as it features two enjoyable crime dramas for the price of one.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


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directed by Richard L. Bare
USA 1949

 

A police detective bungles a stakeout, resulting in the murder of a key witness against a crime boss (Bruce Bennett). Against the advice of his skittish publisher, a managing editor (blond bruiser Wayne Morris) launches a hard-hitting campaign against police incompetence. When Bennett, escorted by mouthpiece and torpedo, rattles his sabres, the publisher puts Morris on the Bewildered Hearts column as punishment. And lo and behold, that's where the case gets solved.

A problem brought by a lovelorn gal, about an incident involving her drunken boyfriend in a mob-owned nightclub, raises red flags. Morris and his sob-sister girlfriend (Janis Paige) start pursuing the story, despite kicks in the shins, threats from guns and almost being run down by a careening black sedan. It turns out that a snapshot taken by the club's roving photographer conceals incriminating evidence....

Excerpt of review from Bill McVicar at imdb.com located HERE

Theatrical Release: 10 September 1949 (USA)

Reviews        More Reviews

DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Bros. Film Noir Double Feature) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:09:21
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.95 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

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

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date:
Keep Case

Chapters 7

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC


 

 




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