"The Big Heat (1953/Blu-ray/Twilight Time)" Review

Review: Film Noir has never really been a strong point for me due to not really ever diving into that genre, that is not to say I was never interested because I have always had an eye for the genre but never fully got motivated to checkout more than a film here or there. For the most part alot of these films are visually inspired from german expressionist cinema and tend to be detective stories and thrillers. What we have here is one from legendary german born Fritz Lang who is most notable for his silent classic Metropolis. The only thing I could hope for is that The Big Heat lives up to it high praise!

After a crooked cop is found dead from what is believed to be a suicide detective Dave Bannion (Glen Ford) is informed by a mistress of the cop that the cop could not of commited suicide. After finding this out Dave starts searching for clues which end up in the tragic death of his wife due to a car bomb meant for him. After the loss of his wife he goes on a mission to find out who did it and to take them down. If you hadn't seen this film before and read the synopsis I think you would think of one film in particular that it would remind you of and yes I am talking about Death Wish which is one of my all time favorites. Really that is what motivated me to want to see The Big Heat.
 Fritz Lang did an amazing job with this film, he made it nice an pleasant during the lighter parts of the film when Dave is with his family, but on the flip side made it dark and gritty when it came to everything else. The characters were not stale or boring instead they were very much interesting and captivating. Glen Ford as Detective Dave Bannion was a great pick because he brings a certain toughness to the role in ways like that of Darren McGavin in the Mike Hammer series, but without the smart ass one liners. On the other side of the law there's Vince Stone played by Lee Marvin (The Dirty Dozen) is a slick acting criminal with a sharp looking outside that just encases his vicious and animalistic inside. Both make for good action and even greater suspense.
Aside from the fantastic film the other thing that shines is the picture and audio quality on this release. Columbia Pictures/Sony have provided Twilight Time with an excellent print that makes it worth the upgrade to fans who have the older DVD release or to those who have held off on buying this film before. The picture is very clear and void of any damage along with the audio being very sharp and clear. Easiest way to put it is that as far as now goes this is the best presentation of this film that you can get aside from a pristine 35mm print which I doubt unless your super rich would have setup for that in your livingroom. Overall this was an excellent film in the Film Noir genre as well as cinema as a whole!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Fritz Lang
Genre: Film Noir/Suspense/Thriller 
Blu-ray Release Year: 2012
Theatrical Release Year:1953

Time Length: 90 mins.
Company: Twilight Time
Website: www.screenarchives.com

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