Film fans can celebrate the release of five classic film noir crime dramas, all on Blu-ray in black-and-white and high definition: Kansas City Confidential, two greats starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall (The Big Sleep and Key Largo) and a pair of Hitchcocks (I Confess and The Wrong Man).
‘Kansas City Confidental’
Kansas City Confidential (1952) stars John Payne (best known as the young lawyer who defends Santa Claus in the original Miracle on 34th Street). The film is about a man framed for a robbery and his quest to find the real crooks. It’s also reportedly the inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.
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The film’s original negative is missing and The Film Detective restored Kansas City Confidential from various 35mm archival film elements. $15, The Film Detective.
‘The Big Sleep’
The Big Sleep (1946) stars real-life couple Bogart and Bacall. Bogart plays crime detective Philip Marlowe and features two versions of the film: a prerelease version with different editing and the more familiar final release version. $22, Warner Archive.
Key Largo is set in South Florida —the main titles and other parts of the Hollywood film were actually shot along the Overseas Highway. This was the final film pairing of Bogart and Bacall, and also stars Edward G. Robinson as ... a gangster, what else? Directed by John Huston, the film co-stars Lionel Barrymore and Claire Trevor, who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. $22, Warner Archive.
I Confess (1953), shot by director Alfred Hitchcock in Quebec, stars Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter and Karl Malden. The suspense thriller is about a Catholic priest (Clift) suspected of murder and a church confession that might clear him. $22, Warner Archive.
The Wrong Man
The Wrong Man (1956), starring Henry Fonda. This was Hitchcock’s first film based on a true story, another case of a “wrong man” suspected of being a criminal. $22, Warner Archive.