DVD REVIEWS: Sam Fuller Films

House of Bamboo 20th Century Fox
Movie •••• Picture/Sound •••• Extras ••
Forty Guns 20th Century Fox
Movie •••• Picture/Sound ••• Extras None
In the crime thriller House of Bamboo (1955), maverick director Sam Fuller melds stunning Japanese locations, bizarre interrelationships, and sizzling violence. The crystal-clear, restored 2.55:1 CinemaScope images burst with vibrant hues - a far cry from the old faded red prints. The 4.0 sound (remixed from the original stereo tracks) adds oomph to the shoot-outs. Noir authorities Alain Silver and James Ursini provide commentary, and there's rare newsreel footage of the director and stars.

Fuller's revisionist Western Forty Guns (1957) stars Barbara Stanwyck as a "high ridin' woman with a whip" (according to the film's ballad), whose greed is overwhelmed only by her obsession with government gunman Barry Sullivan. The black-and-white 2.35:1 widescreen picture is near pristine, with only occasional graininess and surface wear. The mono track is also clean and booms with resonance. House of Bamboo: [NR] English, Dolby Digital 4.0; French and Spanish, 2-channel mono; letterboxed (2.55:1) and anamorphic widescreen; dual layer. Forty Guns: [NR] English, Dolby Digital stereo and 2-channel mono; Spanish, 2-channel mono; pan-and-scan, letterboxed (2.35:1), and anamorphic widescreen; dual layer.

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