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No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948). Discuss. New To DVD!


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*_No Orchids for Miss Blandish_ (1948)*



*This sounds like such a fascinating film. I have never heard of it till today when I was Looking over all the new films that came out on DVD & Blu-ray . I was excited for: _Spartacus_ (50th Anniversary Edition) [blu-ray] ...but this is one classic film I will definitely buy!*




Notorious in its day, this 1948 British adaptation of James Hadley Chase?s novel is a noir-tinged crime drama with lurid edges and an American setting that never quite comes off, thanks to studio-bound shooting and sometimes awkward attempts at American accents and gangster talk. Jack La Rue, who looks like a poor man?s Humphrey Bogart, is given a terrific entrance that establishes him as the **** of the walk and is just fine (if never genuinely commanding) as the tough guy with a sop of a heart under his ruthless front. He?s the nightclub impresario and gangster who kidnaps a jaded heiress (Linden Travers) and falls in love with her, much to the frustration of his partners. Their illicit affair is ostensibly at the heart of the condemnation of the film but their chemistry isn?t all that convincing (or is that neither of them is able to convincingly exude passion for anything?) and the direction by St. John Legh Clowes (who also adapted the novel) never manages to bring a snap to the underworld milieu, a passion to the supposedly mad love, or a savage edge to the mercenary twists.




There?s more fun to be found around the details at the edges of the story: a reporter (Hugh McDermott) who repeatedly pulls a gun while he pursues his story and peeps on a showgirl getting undressed, gang members shacking up with their latest conquest, and (my favorite) a cigarette girl whose outfit includes a zipper that goes right down the front (and gets tested by more than one customer). The novel was remade a number of time, quite memorably by Robert Aldrich as The Grissom Gang. This original screen effort is a strange and somewhat unsatisfying piece of crime cinema but it has its oddball attractions. The image quality is fine, if not particularly noteworthy, and the disc features a video interview with American distributor Richard Gordon and actor Richard Nielson and an additional audio interview with Richard Gordon, each over 30 minutes.










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25 May, 2010

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