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Dark Crimes Film Noir Thrillers Volume 2

You and Me (1938)                          Ministry of Fear (1944)


Undertow (1949)                 Hollywood Story(1951)

Turner Classic Movies and Universal Studios are proud to present DARK CRIMES: FILM NOIR THRILLERS, VOLUME TWO, featuring works by two iconic and distinctive directors of the noir style—Fritz Lang and William Castle.

Born at the dark crossroads of the hard-boiled crime writing that thrived in midcentury American pulp magazines and the shadow-saturated, off-kilter camerawork of European émigré directors who fled to Hollywood with the rise of Nazism, film noir perfectly captured the gloomier moods of wartime America—while somehow making danger and desperation irresistibly attractive.

DARK CRIMES, VOLUME TWO includes Lang's You and Me (1938) and Ministry of Fear (1944), and Castle's Undertow (1949) and Hollywood Story (1951). All but Ministry are available for the first time on DVD in this collection, which also contains multiple digital bonus features including an introduction by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz, behind-the-scenes photos, production stills, poster and lobby card galleries, and an original essay by Film Noir Foundation founder and president Eddie Muller—making this the perfect box set for any noir aficionado looking to round out their collection.

FRITZ LANG:
Born in Vienna, Fritz Lang was responsible for some of the most technically and visually groundbreaking films of the silent and early sound era, including Metropolis (1927) and M (1931). Landing at MGM after fleeing Germany, he would make dozens of gut-wrenching features for various studios, including such iconic films noir as The Blue Gardenia (1953) and The Big Heat (1953). You and Me (1938) stars George Raft and Sylvia Sydney as Helen Roberts and Joe Dennis, two former convicts who find honest work in a department store and love with one another—until a dark secret from Helen’s past drives them apart and drives Joe back to his criminal ways. Ministry of Fear (1944) stars Academy Award® winner Ray Milland as Stephen Neale, a man just released from an asylum who struggles to convince anyone that he has uncovered a Nazi spy ring. Based on a novel by Grahame Greene, with a score by Miklós Rózsa, this atmospheric film is part noir, part spy thriller.

WILLIAM CASTLE:
Best remembered as the director and creative promoter of such campy horror films as The House on Haunted Hill (1959) and The Tingler (1959), Castle was a multi-talented director, producer, screenwriter and actor who helmed many competent B films for Columbia Pictures, including four titles in The Whistler franchise. Undertow (1949) stars B western and TV regulars Scott Brady and John Russell as old friends who reunite, and discover they have more in common than either would have suspected. Dorothy Hart and Peggy Dow play the love interests in this complicated tale of mob and moll double crosses. Hollywood Story (1951) takes aim at the darker side of the movie business. It stars Richard Conte as Larry O’Brien, a stage producer with dreams of being in the movie business who decides to shoot a documentary about the mysterious death of a silent film director, only to find himself in danger of suffering the same fate. With cameos by silent film stars such as Helen Gibson and Francis X. Bushman, it is reminiscent of Sunset Blvd., released a year prior.

Posters

Comments

2 years after Universal and TCM released Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers that included such noir essentials as The Glass Key, The Phantom Lady and The Blue Dahlia for the first time in region 1, they are bringing Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers Volume 2. This time, the choice of films is not as stellar. The 2-disc set contains 4 films - 2 films by Fritz Lang - You and Me and Ministry of Fear, and 2 films by William Castle - Undertow and Hollywood Story. You and Me (1938) is available on DVD in Germany from Koch Media as part of their Film Noir Collection line. Ministry of Fear is available in region 1 in superior blu-ray release from Criterion and inclusion in this set is highly questionable - there are some other excellent noirs in Universal vaults that are still missing in region 1 and would have been a welcome addition to this set, like Robert Siodmak's Christmas Holiday, One Way Street (1950), Ride the Pink Horse (1947), The Suspect (1945) or Kiss the Blood Off My Hands (1948) (that is tied up in legal limbo). William Castle's both features make their welcome DVD debut and are very strong noirs. While the quality of Hollywood Story is surprisingly good, Undertow is taken from an old master that is soft and has some chroma. You and Me compares well to Koch Media transfer, having the same marks (including cue marks), but losing a sliver on the sides it does not suffer from PAL speed-up. The second film in each set - Ministry of Fear and Hollywood Story - were transferred anamorphically, so there are black bars on the sides - see the first captures for each film. Audio quality is decent, with no distortions and per usual standard, there are no subtitles provided. The set starts with a generic introduction by Ben Mankiewicz. Each film includes a number of galleries, a short overview of each film by Eddie Muller (not recommended to watch before the film in question) and a very welcome 5.5-minute discussion of Hollywood Story with its star, Julie Adams. We can recommend the set with some reservation to quality of Undertow and existence of Ministry of Fear in HD.

 - Gregory Meshman

 

 

 

DVD Menus
 


(aka "Du und ich" )

 

directed by Fritz Lang
USA 1938

 

You and Me (1938) stars George Raft and Sylvia Sydney as Helen Roberts and Joe Dennis, two former convicts who find honest work in a department store and love with one another—until a dark secret from Helen’s past drives them apart and drives Joe back to his criminal ways

Theatrical Release: June 1st 1938

Reviews                                     More Reviews                                    DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman and Gary Tooze for the Screen Caps!

(Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Universal / Turner Classic Movies

Region 1 - NTSC

Koch Media
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:33:30 1:29:48 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.24 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 9.11 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2)

Bitrate:

 

Koch Media

 

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0)

Subtitles None German, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal / Turner Classic Movies

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Introduction by Ben Mankiewicz (2:40)
• Eddie Muller on You and Me (10:39)
• Publicity Stills
• Scene Stills
• Behind-the-Scenes Photos
• Movie Posters
• Lobby Cards
• TCMDb Article

DVD Release Date: July 7th, 2014
2 discs in a digipack

Chapters 11

Release Information:
Studio: Koch Media

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (2:25)
• Gallery
• Book-style case has 10-pages with photo and essay (in German)
 

DVD Release Date: December 3rd 2010
Book-style Case

Chapters 16

 


 

Screen Captures

(Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)
Cue blip

 

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

Distribution

Universal / Turner Classic Movies

Region 1 - NTSC

Koch Media
Region 2 - PAL

directed by Fritz Lang
USA 1944

 

Ministry of Fear (1944) stars Academy Award® winner Ray Milland as Stephen Neale, a man just released from an asylum who struggles to convince anyone that he has uncovered a Nazi spy ring. Based on a novel by Grahame Greene, with a score by Miklós Rózsa, this atmospheric film is part noir, part spy thriller.

Theatrical Release: 16 October 1944

Reviews                                                  More Reviews                                   DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Volume) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

Box Cover

 

 

Distribution

Universal / Turner Classic Movies

Region 1 - NTSC

Criterion Collection - Spine #649  - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Criterion Blu-ray of Ministry of Fear isreviewed/compared to other DVDS HERE

Distribution

Universal / Turner Classic Movies

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:26:21
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.25 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal / Turner Classic Movies

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Eddie Muller on Ministry of Fear (4:10)
• Publicity Stills
• Scene Stills
• Behind-the-Scenes Photos
• Movie Posters
• Lobby Cards

DVD Release Date:
2 discs in a digipack

Chapters 10

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

 (Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


 (Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


 (Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


 (Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


 (Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


 (Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 

 


  (Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Vol 2) - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM)

 


(aka "Frame-Up" or "The Big Frame")

 

directed by William Castle
USA 1949

 

Undertow (1949) stars B western and TV regulars Scott Brady and John Russell as old friends who reunite, and discover they have more in common than either would have suspected. Dorothy Hart and Peggy Dow play the love interests in this complicated tale of mob and moll double crosses.

 

 

Box Cover

 

 

Distribution

Universal / Turner Classic Movies

Region 1 - NTSC

Theatrical Release: 1 December 1949 (USA)

Reviews                                                         More Reviews                                               DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Volume) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

Distribution

Universal / Turner Classic Movies

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:10:24
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.49 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal / Turner Classic Movies

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Eddie Muller on Undertow (5:44)
• Publicity Stills
• Scene Stills
• Movie Posters

DVD Release Date:
2 discs in a digipack

Chapters 9

 

Screen Captures


Chroma

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

directed by William Castle
USA 1951

 

Hollywood Story (1951) takes aim at the darker side of the movie business. It stars Richard Conte as Larry O’Brien, a stage producer with dreams of being in the movie business who decides to shoot a documentary about the mysterious death of a silent film director, only to find himself in danger of suffering the same fate. With cameos by silent film stars such as Helen Gibson and Francis X. Bushman, it is reminiscent of Sunset Blvd., released a year prior.

Theatrical Release: 1 June 1951 (USA)

Reviews                                                            More Reviews                                                     DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Universal / Turner Classic Movies (Dark Crimes: Film Noir Thrillers, Volume) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

Distribution

Universal / Turner Classic Movies

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:16:33
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.50 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Universal / Turner Classic Movies

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Julie Adams on Hollywood Story (5:35)
• Eddie Muller on Hollywood Story (4:50)
• Publicity Stills
• Scene Stills
• Behind-the-Scenes Photos
• Movie Posters
• Lobby Cards

DVD Release Date:
2 discs in a digipack

Chapters 9

 

Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


  Cue mark

 


Box Cover

 

 

Distribution

Universal / Turner Classic Movies

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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