The Criminal Class of March
Crime, punishment and the gritty gray areas in between fuel an exciting March Twilight Time gangland of four tough, terrific movies. The earliest of the quartet marks three firsts: Marilyn Monroe in a marquee-topping dramatic role, the Hollywood helming debut of a future suspense/horror specialist, and the initial movie appearance of another formidable acting talent, Anne Bancroft. Another marks the first screen adaptation of a bestselling novel by an icon of police and crime detection fiction, the prolific Joseph Wambaugh. A third reunites key talents linking the crime-busting classics Bullitt and The French Connection – and offers another harrowing, high-speed car chase sequence that rivals the ones so memorably executed in those two big-city capers. Finally, legendary director Sam Fuller delivers – in his usual hard-hitting style – a ripped-from-the-headlines tale of a mob informant’s decades-spanning quest for justice against his father’s killers. For in-your-face action and edge-of-your-seat suspense to jump-start your Spring, look no further.
Pressed into hi-def Blu-ray service March 20 are: Don’t Bother to Knock (1952), starring Richard Widmark, Marilyn Monroe and Anne Bancroft, directed by Roy (Ward) Baker, score by Lionel Newman; The New Centurions (1972), starring George C. Scott, Stacy Keach and Scott Wilson, directed by Richard Fleischer, score by Quincy Jones; The Seven-Ups (1973), starring Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco and Larry Haines, directed by Philip D’Antoni, score by Don Ellis; and Underworld U.S.A. (1961), starring Cliff Robertson, Dolores Dorn and Beatrice Kay, directed by Samuel Fuller, score by Harry Sukman. Details of each release will follow in February.