Bad Girls of Film Noir: Volume 1

Bad Girls of Film Noir: Volume 1
With Sony's line of Martini Movies creating appeal for titles that otherwise would spark little interest, creative packaging for older throwaway titles seemed inevitable. Their latest venture groups together four films from the late '40s and early '50s on two discs misleadingly titled Bad Girls of Film Noir, as only a couple of the included flicks could be considered noir, and only a few feature femme fatales. All the titles on both volumes do boast a clean, remastered picture free from scratches and missing frames, despite proving thin on the supplements, unlike the recently issued Fox noir box sets. Volume one includes two Lizabeth Scott pictures filmed prior to her rumoured blacklisting from Hollywood for Sapphic involvements, which unfortunately don't represent her career highlights, such as Dead Reckoning. Here, we have Two of a Kind, which starts out promising enough, with Scott searching for a look-alike impostor for an inheritance scam, but it devolves into a forgettable milquetoast affair, which is of particular disappointment with Night Editor (a title featured on volume two) director Henry Levin helming. It is, however, much better than Bad for Each Other, where Scott plays a bored socialite keen on introducing an army veteran doctor (played by Charlton Heston) to her exclusive circle. It is a limp, occasionally laughable medical drama that preaches class system morality. Nothing about it is particularly noir. The Glass Wall, on the other hand, is a more interesting race-against-time entry that comments on immigration standards in '50s New York, framing the seediness of the city with an astute sensibility. The bad girl in question here isn't so much "bad" as she is idealistic and unlucky, as played by feisty Oklahoma star Gloria Grahame. Lastly, this collection of films includes The Killer that Stalked New York, where smallpox is compared to diamond thievery thematically, making for an amusing "Typhoid Mary" subplot and climax. Aside from theatrical trailers, we have only an introduction from Terry Moore on Two of a Kind and an episode of All Star Theatre as supplemental material. (Sony)