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Friday, September 12, 2014

Wallis Mints Another Melodrama --- and a New Star


Dark City (1950) Noir Introduces Charlton Heston

Another fine Hal Wallis noir, and the H'wood debut of Charlton Heston. Both recommend Dark City highly, as does fact of its availability on Blu-Ray from Olive. Wallis had a postwar way with guilt and psychological themes. He said later that greed drove characters in Paramount released thrillers bearing Wallis trademark. He rode herd on every inch director William Dieterle shot, auteurism very much checked at this producer's door. Dark City turned up again in 1968 as Five Card Stud, Wallis mindful still of the good yarn it was (there are different story/screenplay credits, but it's the identical set-up). Heston was a sure screen thing, Wallis knowing he had the goods soon as the young actor walked through his door. Dark City Chuck is dynamic, his line reads just offbeat enough to stick in memory. A support cast is as able: Jack Webb a surly hood, Ed Begley drunken and doomed, Don DeFore similarly so, with Lizabeth Scott on fading side of stardom, while Viveca Lindfors channels Ingrid Bergman to startling degree. DeFore and Scott were part of Wallis stable, the latter a known, and oft-successful, starmaker. Dark City was network run on 2/11/67 by NBC, one of several Hal Wallis properties that were late premiering on TV, but made a big impression (at least on me) when they finally did.

3 Comments:

Blogger radiotelefonia said...

Before the Blu-Ray, the film was only available in an OK cable TV with embedded subtitles in Spanish. Then an excellent HD capture from a German dubbed version appeared and some people dubbed the original soundtrack to the video. The results were first rate although the opening and ending titles were all in German.

8:22 PM  
Blogger James Corry said...

Another great Hal Wallis/Paramount noir that I wish some (Olive films perhaps?) would release to Blu-ray is "I Walk Alone"....made a couple of years before "Dark City".....

Brad

10:18 PM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Big yes to that, Brad. My favorite of ALL Wallis noirs is "I Walk Alone," ever since seeing it premiere on NBC in 1968. Amazon Instant does play the film. I can't imagine why Olive doesn't get a Blu-Ray out.

4:52 AM  

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