The Crooked Way in HD

I really like The Crooked Way, a frequently overlooked film noir, and wrote about it here back at the beginning of the year. The new Blu-ray (also available on DVD) has just been reviewed by DVD Beaver so I thought I’d take the opportunity to remind people of this classy little movie which may, hopefully, enjoy a higher profile with this new release.

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18 thoughts on “The Crooked Way in HD

  1. Ha! You have certainly beaten me to the draw here Colin.

    I was just about to mention much of the following to the previous COMANCHE thread but
    much of what I intended to say I might as well state here.

    Yep! I too have just seen the DVD Beaver review and it’s obvious that the new Kino Blu Ray
    is a marked improvement over the DVD.
    It’s also interesting that the Kino release is NOT a restored version the Blu Ray does have
    imperfections and neg damage.
    This does not bother me at all,as I’m just glad to have this Noir classic in high-def.

    Basically,what i’m saying is if the re-issue imprint does not have the budget for lengthy
    restoration work I’m more than happy to put up with a few imperfections..to me it sort of gives
    the viewing a more “Cinematic” feel…if that makes any sense at all…I’d be very interested to
    know what others think.

    • Yes, it’s very much an “as is” presentation, John. I think that’s understandable enough under the circumstances and not something that particularly troubles me either. The new issue does look like the contrast has been ramped up quite a bit, although I’d need to see the film in motion, as opposed to a few isolated screen captures, to decide whether or not that’s been applied excessively. Overall though, I think this represents a pretty significant upgrade.

  2. As an addition to what I said above I might state that I recently purchased the recent
    Elephant France Blu Ray of FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN one of my all time
    favorite horror movies. The opening six minutes for me are probably the greatest opening scenes
    in the history of horror movies.
    The Elephant Blu Ray is a wonderful transfer one of the most striking high def black & white
    transfers that I have ever seen. I might add that Elephant have very user friendly menus
    and no “forced” subtitles.
    Again the Elephant Blu Ray is NOT a fully restored version there is quiet a bit of “sparkle” at
    times and the occasional,albeit brief, signs of neg damage. This did not detract one bit from my
    enjoyment of seeing this wonderful film in sparkling high def.
    The Elephant Blu Ray of SON OF FRANKENSTEIN is virtually imperfection free and again is
    stunning transfer.
    Universal USA I understand are working on UNIVERSAL MONSTERS 2 a huge box set of all their
    “second string” monster hits. At my time in life I’m not prepared to wait,and anyway I like to
    “cherry pick” the titles I really want. Elephant have promised us DRACULA’S DAUGHTER,
    SON OF DRACULA and HOUSE OF DRACULA early 2016 and if they are Blu Ray releases I
    will certainly go for them. Basically,Elephant will issue Blu Ray’s of these films if Universal can
    supply a new high def master.
    Elephant in their now on-going Universal series have a whole raft of goodies for 2016 including
    THIS ISLAND EARTH (more about that later) and at,last THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US
    on Blu Ray.
    I will be very interested to see,when the Universal Monsters 2 Box does finally arrive if
    FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN will be a fully restored version…at any rate at the
    moment I’m over the moon (or even howling at the moon :)) with the Elephant release.
    SON OF FRANKENSTEIN is IMHO an expressionist masterpiece..those amazing sets and
    jaw dropping production design look remarkable in high definition.
    I see the later Universal horrors really as fairy tales for grown ups..so much style and wonderful
    craftmanship.

    • Yes, I saw a review of Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man on a French site, including some screen captures of the film, and it looks like a good package. I like the Universal horror films too but I’m prepared to wait and see what surfaces in the US or the UK.

  3. I must admit that I find DVD Beaver an essential source in making the decision to splash the cash
    on forthcoming Blu Ray upgrades. They are very picky and that’s very good news for the potential
    buyer.
    There has been a whole intense debate over the recent German Ostalgica Blu Ray release
    of THIS ISLAND EARTH and yours truly has been right in the thick of it!
    Some folks seem to think it’s wonderful…I don’t.
    To me the disc falls far short of Blu Ray’s of vintage Universal films presented by
    German imprints like Explosive,Koch Media and Anolis.
    Furthermore to me,the Ostaligica Blu Ray looks like an up-scaled DVD.
    I wish that I had seen the DVD Beaver review before purchasing it…they are reviewing more and more Euro Blu Ray’s these days. At any rate,despite what others say I totally agree with the
    DVD Beaver review who more or less give it a total thumbs down.
    Also the menu on the Ostalgica Blu Ray is very user unfriendly and German subs suddenly
    pop up despite having disabled on the menu. The only saving grace is that it was pretty cheap
    to buy.
    I am holding out for the 2016 Elephant release of this classic Sci Fi which should,I hope
    be from a new high def master supplied by Universal.

    Colin,
    I don’t know if you saw the recent DVD Beaver review of the new Blu Ray of BROKEN LANCE.
    Interestingly,DVD Beaver seemed to prefer the UK DVD release in terms of picture quality.

    • John, I didn’t like the look of that edition of This Island Earth one bit either, and I’ve heard a few people, quite justifiably in my opinion, complain about it.

      As for Broken Lance, I’ve seen the review and I think it looks like it’s had a liberal dose of the teal treatment applied, as is the case with a lot of 20th Century Fox sourced material. I can’t say it’s exactly to my taste.

  4. Kino Lorber are doing right by John Payne fans at the moment Phil Karlson’s wonderful
    99 RIVER STREET is forthcoming on Blu Ray.
    They also have Andre De Toth’s not quiet so wonderful HIDDEN FEAR in the pipeline as well.
    The MGM MOD release of Byron Haskin’s very fine THE BOSS looked like it needed major
    restoration work so the jury’s out on that one at this time.
    Karlson,s equally fine KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL has had a very impressive DVD release
    (not the abysmal bootleg versions floating around) but I guess I’d still go for the upgrade should
    it surface at some point.

    With Colin’s previous piece on COMANCHE that leaves very few vintage United Artists Westerns
    not available on DVD or Blu Ray.
    Our friend Laura mentioned that Lesley Selander’s fierce THE YELLOW TOMAHAWK is due
    to be shown on TCM (USA)
    This will,I guess,be the black and white version that has been floating around for years.
    I understand a color neg does exist and it will be great if Kino Lorber can arrange a color
    transfer of this excellent “combat” Western.
    The other United Artists Fifties Western that seems to have literally vanished is JOHNNY CONCHO
    starring Frank Sinatra. This little known film must have some “rights issues” attached to it
    especially as it’s a Sinatra picture.

  5. Further to my previous comments about most vintage United Artists Westerns being generally
    available;there are several key Noirs that I would love to see Kino-Lorber give the high-def
    treatment.
    As i mentioned previously,THE BOSS needs a “restored” version.
    Dalton Trumbo’s allegorical,Kafkaesque,-fable set in “Anytown USA” should be given a
    decent restoration-possibly by The Film Noir Foundation.
    The MGM MOD release was very poor.
    There are two other key Noirs that come to mind-firstly Mark Stevens’ TIMETABLE which
    many Noir buffs rate higher than his impressive CRY VENGEANCE.
    The “off air” copies I have seen look to be in pretty good shape.
    Everybody’s sweetheart Felicia Farr is again a “bad gal” in this one but not as bad as the
    evil nurse she played in the abrasive BIG HOUSE USA.
    These two early roles are a far cry from the characters Felicia played in later films.
    Secondly Victor Saville’s THE LONG WAIT is an excellent Noir,most strikingly shot by Franz
    Planer-providing one can overlook the often rampant misogny-after all it is a Spillane tale.
    The film’s treatment of the Peggie Castle character is downright nasty,by anyone’s standards.
    Despite this the film is involving and impressive.
    All those films were released by United Artists and I hope at least two of them are on Kino’s
    list of possible future releases.
    I am very excited about Kino’s forthcoming release of SHIELD FOR MURDER a Noir that I
    have never seen and always wanted too.I like films about corrupt cops and with Edmond O
    Brien starring and co-directing this bodes very well.

    Interestingly,DVD BEAVER has just reviewed RTHC favourite DAY OF THE OUTLAW and the
    new Blu Ray gets a very positive review. I still have reservations about the dreadful artwork
    but the film does seem to have been given the treatment that it deserves.

    • Yes, Day of the Outlaw looks nice judging from those screen captures – my copy has yet to ship but I’m looking forward to it keenly.
      And count me in as another who’s excited by the news of the forthcoming Shield for Murder.

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