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Boris Karloff Triple Feature
Written by Warner Archive PR-release   

boris_karloff_tripple_feature200.jpgClassic movie fans will be excited to order new New Releases of Murder, Mystery & Masters of Cinema DVDs that are Manufactured on Demand (MOD) from the The Warner A New Releases:  Murder, Mystery & Masters of Cinema archive Collection To order visit (www.WarnerArchive.com or http://www.wbshop.com/)

A Master of Menace

BORIS KARLOFF TRIPLE FEATURE (1937-39) Boris Karloff was more than filmdom's leading master of menace, he was a true "king of the b's" whose iconic and imposing presence in a secondary picture blessed it with boffo appeal. Fans can look forward to seeing three different screen
personas emanate from the master thespian: a loveable rogue, an innocent victim, and a defiant victim - all departures from Karloff's more iconic 'master of menace' persona.

  • West of Shanghai (1937) sees Karloff do the robes of Chinese bandit turned Warlord, General Fang, alongside a truly terrific ensemble (including Ricardo Cortez, Beverly Roberts, Gordon Oliver and Sheila Bromley) in this Asian flavored adaptation of the Western drama "The Bad Man." Those familiar with Karloff's Fu-Manchu incarnation best leave their pre-conceptions at the door, because this "eastern menace" is as much a cut-up as a cut-throat.
  • The Invisible Menace (1938) Karloff is the lynchpin for the munitions murder mystery/wedding night farce, playing Jevries, a quiet, embittered victim of a criminally enterprising ordinance expert. When that expert turns up dead, all suspicion falls on Jevries.
  • In Devil's Island (1939), Karloff delivers a total knockout for the capper of the collection as a doctor set against the disease of France's notorious penal colony system. Righteous, defiant and unwilling to surrender, Karloff's Dr. Charles Gaudet deserves his place within the cinematic pantheon of truly cool convicts. 

    A Quartet of Crime/Noir

SCENE OF THE CRIME (1949) One can easily imagine a young James Elroy attending a screening of this noir flavored cop caper in his youth, as the film presents a world in which cop and criminal are two sides of the same coin, co-workers on the same twilight shift at the edges of human behavior. Van Johnson stars as Mike Conovan, head of an LAPD detective unit. When a former member of the squad is gunned down outside a bookie joint, the slain officer is suspected of being on the take. Conovan and his squad set out to find the truth using every means at the disposal, from the scientific to the seductive. Arlene Dahl plays the gorgeous, good-girl spouse while Gloria  DeHaven plays the bad-gal chanteuse. Classic TV fans will get a special kick out of Norman Lloyd's performance as pre-beat stoolie "Sleeper."

CODE TWO (1953) Ralph Meeker stars in this hard-edged crime drama that follows tyro cops from the academy to the asphalt as fast-wheeling cycle jockeys for the LAPD. Meeker plays trainee cop Chuck O'Flair who teams up with a pair of fellow police academes (Robert Horton and Jeff Richards) to form a tight trio of danger-facing dynamos. Keenan Wynn plays the tough as nails academy instructor who helps forge the boys into men, and then mother hens them after they sign up for the electra glide in blue as motorcycle cops cruising the mean streets of Los Angeles. Elaine Stewart and Sally Forest pack along the pulchritude, and Chuck Connors makes a crucial cameo. Vintage gearheads will also get a kick out of seeing the Harley Police Panheads get put through their
motions.

MURDER IS MY BEAT (1955) Edward G. Ulmer directs this noir infused tale of deception and death, layering a non-linear narrative that's a dark reflection of the twists and turns found in its plot. Detective Bert Rawley (Superman's Robert Shayne) tracks down fugitive fellow cop Ray Patrick (Paul
Langton) up in the mountains, but before Bert can bring him in, Ray relates the tale of what went wrong when he was bringing accused killer Eden Lane (Barbara Payton, in her final film performance). Suicide, blackmail, rogue cops and burning passions are just some of the stops along the way as the mystery unfolds along the homicide beat.

DEATH IN SMALL DOSES (1957) Chuck Connors makes far more than a cameo in this undercover trucker flick, and continues to deliver the kicks - and how! - as a hopped-up long hauler who is high on speed for seemingly the entire film. A pre-Impossible Mission team Peter Graves is the straight arrow FDA agent sent inside the trucking industry to uncover just who is giving 'Benny' (aka Benzedrine) a ride along with the freight and how the amphetamines are getting into their hands. Mala Powers plays the fatal femme
found at the center of the speed that kills.

A Triplet of War Time Rousers

SALUTE TO THE MARINES (1943) Produced when the wounds of Pearl Harbor and the Philippines were still fresh, Salute to the Marines is a patriotic paean to the men who man the frontlines. Wallace Beery stars as a Marine lifer who is facing retirement from the Corps without ever seeing combat. His difficulties adjusting to civilian life are set aside when the Japanese invade the Philippines and he heroically answers the call of service. Keye Luke, Reginald Owen, Marilyn Maxwell and Fay Bainter co-star along with performances from Hugh Beaumont, Robert Blake, and Wallace's sib, Noah.

MUSIC FOR MILLIONS (1944) Margaret O'Brien continues her run of old soul/little girl performances in this homefront rouser focused on the invaluable contributions made by wartime musical moral boosters. O'Brien plays Mike, who thanks to a familial mix-up, ends up seconded to the touring orchestra that employs her pregnant elder sister (June Allyson), whose husband is MIA. Jose Iturbi and Jimmy Durante keep the mush and melody in proper pitch.

THIS LAND IS MINE (1943) Legendary director Jean Renoir teams with equally legendary actor Charles Laughton to deliver the horrors of Nazi occupation to the American homefront to create a rousing, moving tribute to freedom and democracy without ever losing its humanist touch. Charles Laughton plays Albert Lory, a timid schoolteacher who makes a most unexpected and unlikely
stand against tyranny with the only weapons he knows how to handle, words. Laughton protege Maureen O'Hara co-stars as Lory's secret crush, and George Sanders rises to Laughton's high bar with a sympathetic portrait of a craven collaborator. Character greats Walter Slezak and Una O'Connor play the film's heavies - a local Nazi commander and Albert's domineering, harridan mother.

 



                       

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