For the first twenty-five minutes, we are in 1950 Havana, where a typical noir tale of crimeand betrayal unfolds. Then we shift into colour, and discover that the hero of the first film, EricA. Leffler, is actually a writer of pulp fiction, and what we saw was the first part of his currentnovel, one that he doesn’t know how to finish. Before long, he gets caught up in a “real-life” noiradventure. This is a very, very low-budget exercise, but its ambitions are admirable, and i…s heartis certainly in the right (dark) place.
The soundtrack is mono. The music is acceptable, but some of the dialogue is buzzy andharsh. The same is true of the sound quality of the commentary.
There are times when the movie appears much older than it is, as the print contains somespeckles and occasional damage. The black-and-white segment looks good, and the colours in therest of the film vary from some strong interiors to some bleached exteriors (but this looks like afeature of the original print, and the film’s origins must be taken into consideration).
The menu is scored, and rather too loudly, given the deliberately scratchy sound used. Thecommentary, by director Richard W. Haines, reveals what a labour of love this movie was. It isan interesting look at independent filmmaking, and is something of a personal journey for the director as well (a director deeply versed in film history). We also have a still gallery, a trailer,and bios for Haines and stars Lafler, Jacqueline Bowman and Anthony Perticos.
This is a movie whose reach perhaps exceeds its grasp, but that the fact that it reaches isitself worthy of applause.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Still Gallery