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(aka "Jumping Joe" )

 

directed by William Beaudine
USA 1946

 

"They taught this G.I. to use a gun... and hes using it" exclaimed the publicity for this film noir programmer. Turns out G.I. Joe Hilton uses his fists more than a gun, but the point remains: The battle-hardened veteran is no one to take lightly. Returned from combat in the Pacific, Joe is haunted by the carnage he witnessed and resentful of those who stayed behind and got rich while he served his country. Now its Joe's turn. "I'm going to get mine and nobody's going to stop me", he declares. He falls in with corrupt political kingmakers and their gambling rackets centered on a dice scam called 26 Game. But in the thematic world of film noir, the dice may not always tumble in Joes favor. Warren Douglas, who plays Joe, would combine acting with a writing career that included the scripts for many early-TV Westerns produced by Warner Bros. Director William Beaudine gives the film his trademark "One Shot" efficiency.

Posters

Theatrical Release: 3 August 1946 (USA)

 

Reviews                                                       DVD Reviews

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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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:05:16
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.95 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:
• None

DVD Release Date: July 22nd, 2014
Keep Case

Chapters 17

 

 

 

Comments

Monogram Pictures made its mark in Hollywood history with many crime drama quickies, often with noir overtones, that stood out from the usual poverty row bunch. Jean-Luc Godard singled out Monogram by dedicating to them his first feature, bout de souffle. "I did it to prove that you can do pictures that are both interesting and cheap." - he said in 1964 and the films coming from Monogram in the late 1940's-early 1950's can be just that. Just look at Dillinger (1945), produced by King Brothers that got Monogram their only Oscar nomination for Philip Yordan's script. Or exciting Decoy (1946) with unforgettable Jean Gillie as a femme fatale. The success of Belita vehicle Suspense (1946) () gave an idea to Monogram to create their own B+ unit for superior fare, Allied Artists Productions. The two units co-existed until 1953 when Allied Artists ceased making movies under Monogram brand name. Luckily for us, the later Monogram titles and most of Allied Artists catalogue are now in the hands of Time Warner library and many films are being restored and released for the first time on home video as part of Warner Archive Collection.

 

Below the Deadline is a fast-paced borderline noir that clocks breezy 65 minutes. Despite the posters, George Meeker and Warren Douglas playing brothers actually never meet in the movie as Meeker's character gets killed early in the film. His death starts the film rolling with Warren Douglas arriving to take over his older brother's business with ties to the criminal world. The film features great supporting cast, but the real standout are 2 female leads - Ramsay Ames as a 19-year old good girl and Jan Wiley as a bad girl.

The restored print is not pristine, there are some marks and lines, but overall the film looks solid with good contrast. The mono audio is fine and there are no extras on the disc. Considering there are no existing original elements for most of Monogram films and comparing them to the output from other poverty row studios languishing in public domain or owned by unreliable small companies, Warner Home Video should be commended on these welcome releases that are highly recommended to all fans of such 'B' pictures.

  - Gregory Meshman

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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