Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blonde Ice (1948)

Blonde Ice is a film noir B-movie that was apparently thought to be lost for many years. It’s been restored and released by on DVD by VCI Entertainment, at a very attractive price and with a host of extras. This is what classic movie DVDs should be like.

The movie itself is very much a B feature, but it’s a very entertaining one. Claire Cummings is a society columnist on the make. She wants money and she wants position, and she uses men to get both. She’s one of the great femmes fatales. As the tagline says - ice in her veins, icicles on her heart. Leslie Brooks plays Claire as a larger-than-life character and on the whole does a great job.

The rest of the cast are solid, with Robert Paige giving some unexpected depth to the role of the one man that Claire actually feel something for, or at least appears to feel something for.

Director Jack Bernhard and cinematographer George Robinson attempt some surprisingly ambitious shots, including a couple of very well executed long tracking shots, that give the movie the feel of something that was made on a Poverty Row budget but by people who were genuinely trying to make a good movie.

Blonde Ice is entertaining, and it has that edginess to it that you get in the better B noirs. And it’s worth it just for Leslie Brooks as the scheming, ruthless but utterly fascinating Claire.

The extras include a commentary track (and a pretty good one too) by film restoration consultant Jay Fenton, an interview with Fenton (who has some extremely interesting things to say about film restoration), a truly bizarre little 1940s musical numbers called “Satan Wears a Satin Gown” and an episode of what was apparently an early 1950s film noirish TV series.

This is a great package, for which I paid a mere six bucks. I recommend it very highly.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a real steal for under ten bucks. I hope to pick this up soon...thanks for the write-up.