Stars: Ashley Reed, Aaron Buer, Brent Taylor, Danna Brady, Kelsey Wedeen
Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 89 minutes
Like many public-domain DVD sets, this six-disc set compiles a handful of well-liked features from one genre--in this case, a quintet of venerable '40s noir. Where Questar's box exceeds expectations is on its sixth disc, which is chock full of extras that make the set a must-have for viewers looking for a crash course in Hollywood thrillers. The lineup of flicks is solid--Rudolph Mate's D.O.A., in which Edmond O'Brien must find out who has poisoned him; Edgar G. Ulmer's minimalist Detour, which pits desperate Tom Neal against feral Ann Savage; Orson Welles's The Stranger (which is technically more suspense than noir), in which his Nazi-turned professor locks horns with Edward G. Robinson--who's also featured in Fritz Lang's moody Scarlet Street. The set is rounded out by the lesser-known Killer Bait, and if the picture quality isn't as crystal-clear as on major studio releases, the supplemental features more than make up for it. Disc 6 features two swell featurettes, one on the genre itself and the other on its predatory ladies, as well as a color gallery of poster art and a terrific compilation of trailers for such films as Bullets or Ballots and The Postman Always Rings Twice. For noir first-timers, this set is a killer place to start. --Paul Gaita
Money. You know what that is, the stuff you never have enough of. Little green things with George Washington's picture that men slave for, commit crimes for, die for. It's the stuff that has caused more trouble in the world than anything else we ever invented, simply because there's too little of it.