It's always a cause for celebration when Warner Home Video comes out with a new box set of films noirs.
These are first-rate collections of wonderfully entertaining films in
superb transfers, with generally very good (and sometimes genuinely
The fourth set in the series was released last month — it has ten
films, as opposed to the five in each previous set, and I'm working my
way through them with tremendous excitement. I've already
discovered that Act Of Violence, directed by Fred Zinneman, is one of the best of all noirs, and one which exposes very clearly the peculiar strain of post-WWII anxiety that fueled the tradition.
In the story, two basically decent war vets have their lives ravaged by
the memory of wartime experiences that they can't either deal with or
run away from. Only the women in the film are strong enough to
try and confront the buried demons directly, but even the women can't
head off the trainwreck that fate has ordained.