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.