Courtesy: Cohen Media Group
Late this past September, Cohen Media Group released a new pair of classic crime flicks for fans of the crime genre and for all of the classic movie buffs in the form of A Scandal in Paris and Lured. Chen Media Group’s focus in re-issuing the movies together is on their director, Douglas Sirk. But there is so much more to note of these classic crime flicks than Sirk’s work. Yes, his work at the helm of each work is important. There is no denying that. But his work is not the only important element of each movie. The very story at the heart of each movie is the central element that should be noted. The work of the movies’ cast is just as important to note as the stories at the center of each movie. The bonus commentary included in each movie’s presentation is important to note, too. One could even argue that the set’s packaging plays its own part in its presentation, too. All things considered, Cohen Media Group’s presentation of A Scandal in Paris/Lured on Blu-ray easily makes the combo pack a candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.
Cohen Media Group’s re-issue of A Scandal in Paris and Lured is a combo pack release, but even with that in mind, this dual-movie set easily makes itself a candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues. This is due in part to the story at the center of each movie. In the case of A Scandal in Paris the story is taken to be a cinematic adaptation of crook turned cop Francois Eugene Vidocq’s life with star George Sanders in the starring role. From beginning to end, the story is a classic in its own right. That is because it sees Vidocq turn from his criminal ways to an honest man thanks to the influence of his romantic interest, played here by Carol Landis. At its heart, the movie is less a crime flick than a romance story and an underdog story. One can’t help but wonder if this movie played a role in influencing the creation of Cary Grant’s 1955 action/crime flick To Catch A Thief or even the very similar story presented in the 2002 movie Catch Me If You Can. To that end, the movie is one that will reach audiences of so many interests, not just lovers of crime stories and classic film buffs. It is just one way in which the stories behind the set’s featured movies show their importance in the set’s overall importance. The story behind Lured is just as important to note in examining this collection as that of A Scandal in Paris.
The story at the center of A Scandal in Paris is in its own right a clearly important example of what makes the stories behind the movies so important to the set’s presentation. It is not the only story worth noting here, either. The story behind Lured is just as important to note in the set’s presentation as that of A Scandal in Paris. The story behind Lured follows Lucille Ball—yes, that Lucille Ball—as dancer turned crime fighter (of sorts) Sandra Carpenter. Carpenter is enlisted by Scotland Yard in this story to help find a serial killer who has murdered seven innocent young women. It’s up to Sandra to help find the person responsible for the murders. Along the way, Sandra falls for a gentleman named Robert Fleming (George Sanders—A Scandal in Paris, Batman, The Jungle Book). As the story progresses, the romance between the pair grows, with Fleming obviously losing her and then getting her back in the end a la every romantic movie ever crafted. It’s a relatively simplistic story, and as viewers will learn through the commentary not entirely original. Yet audiences will also agree that even despite its lack of originality, is still so entertaining surprisingly enough. The commentary will be discussed later. When one considers the story behind each of this collection’s featured movies, there is no denying their importance in the collection’s overall presentation. Of course the movies’ stories are just part of the set’s presentation worth noting. The work of the case within each movie is just as important to note as the stories.
The stories that were crafted for A Scandal In Paris and Lured are clearly important elements to note in examining the overall presentation of this new classic cinema re-issue set from Cohen Media Group. While the stories are extremely important to the set’s presentation, they are not its only collectively important element. The work of the movies’ cast is just as important to note in the set’s presentation as the movies’ stories. Since George Sanders is the lead in both movies, it suffices to say that he plays the same sort of character in both movies; a gentleman character. While the two characters have distinctly different backgrounds, the character type is still the same. And Sanders adapts to both characters with ease, allowing each to stand out from the other despite, again, the pair being the same type of character. Sanders’ A Scandal in Paris cast mate Akim Tamiroff is just as enjoyable to watch in his role as Emile Vernet. Tamiroff’s take on Vernet is so enjoyable to watch because of his ability to balance the man’s gentlemanly side and his more comical side. There’s a certain subdued nature to both that makes him so enjoyable to watch throughout the story. It is something that must be seen to be fully appreciated. One could dissect the work of each cast member within this movie in explaining the importance of their work in making A Scandal in Paris so enjoyable. That would take far too long, though. Suffice it to say that the work of the cast in whole is important to note in showing why its work is so important to the movie’s (and collection’s) overall presentation. The work of Lured’s cast is just as important to note as that of A Scandal in Paris.
Sanders’ work in both movies—and that of Tamiroff in the set’s lead film—are wonderful examples of what makes the acting so important to note in examining this recently released collection’s overall presentation. The work of Lucille Ball and company in Lured is just as important to note as that of A Scandal in Paris. Most people know Lucille Ball for her comic genius in I Love Lucy and its spinoffs (The Lucy Show, Here’s Lucy). But she shows a completely different side of her talents in this movie. Audiences will love seeing Ball as a strong, confident character here, and a lead no less. She does show some vulnerability at times, but for the most part, is a strong, self-assured figure who handles herself quite well. She is just as brilliant by herself as she is alongside her cast mates. That is especially the case when she is on screen opposite Sanders and fellow cast mates George Zucco (The Pirate, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Scared to Death) and Charles Coburn (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Heaven Can Wait, Monkey Business). Her scenes with Zucco are in fact some of the movie’s best moments because of the chemistry between the pair. Early on when the pair’s characters first meet and introduce, they exchange weapons in a moment that is so subtle yet so funny because of that subtlety. There is also a scene in the park in which Sandra (Ball) tells Officer Barrett (Zucco) to hold her dog for her as she contacts Inspector Temple (Coburn) via phone. Barrett’s reaction as he has to hold the dog, all while trying to fill out the crossword puzzle in his copy of the local newspaper, is just as entertaining to watch. While his appearance is brief at best, horror master Boris Karloff is entertaining in his own right as the crazed fashion designer Charles van Druten. Noting again the movie’s bonus commentary, Karloff’s ability to so easily switch between sanity and insanity—even in such a short time on screen—makes him such a wonderful addition to movie. He truly shows his years of experience and seriousness with which he took the role through that display. Again, even as short as it may be, it adds to much enjoyment to the movie. Even Sir Cedrick Hardwicke (Rope, The Ten Commandments, Richard III) is just as enjoyable to watch as Julian Wilde, Robert Fleming’s friend. Not to give away too much, but Hardwicke plays his own important part in the movie. Between his work, that of Ball, Sanders, Karloff and the rest of the cast, it should be easy to see by now why the work of Lured’s cast is just as important to note as that of A Scandal in Paris. The work of each movie’s cast combines with the work of the movie’s writers to make for even more clear why this recently released collection of classic crime flicks from Cohen Media Group is so enjoyable to watch. Even with all of this in mind, the movies’ stories and the work of their respective casts is, collectively speaking, still not all to note in examining the collection’s presentation. The bonus commentary that is included in each movie is just as important to note as the previously noted elements.
The stories that were crafted for A Scandal in Paris and Lured are key elements to the overall presentation of their pair’s overall presentation in their new joint re-issue from Cohen Media Group. They are not the only the only elements to note in examining the set’s presentation. The work of each movie’s cast is just as important to note as the movies’ stories. Between the work of the movies’ main cast members and even the supporting cast, the work of each movie’s cast is just as important to note as the story behind each flick. Having noted that, those two elements are not the only elements that should be examined here. The bonus commentary that is included with each movie rounds out the set’s most important elements. NPR Film Critic Wade Major offers an in-depth and entertaining study of A Scandal in Paris, offering a rich historical background of the movie. He also offers a study of the movie’s relevance to similar movies and the film community in the 21st century along the way along with much more throughout. The insight and entertainment offered via Wade’s commentary is more proof of the importance of commentary in any movie’s home release. It shows that good (or in this case great) commentary can take a run of the mill movie and make it something great. That is because of the added level of appreciation that it creates for said movie.
Turner Classic Movies writer and film historian Jeremy Arnold’s commentary included in Lured is important to note in its own right, too. Right from the outset of his commentary, audiences are presented with a rich background on the movie and its connection to the popularity of noir films at the time thanks to the work of director Douglas Sirk. Arnold also points out through his commentary that the movie is not necessarily an original work. He points out that the movie’s story contains elements of two (yes, two) other movies, essentially making the movie a double re-imagining of sorts. Audiences will agree with Arnold that despite this realization, the movie is still somehow so entertaining from beginning to end. Arnold also focuses attention on Karloff and even fellow supporting actor Alan Napier, offering some of Napier’s own words on his career before his death in 1988. That is just a portion of the commentary offered up by Arnold throughout Lure. In other words it is just a small sample of how much his commentary has to offer audiences and how much it has to add to the movie in whole. Keeping this in mind and how much Major’s commentary adds to A Scandal in Paris it becomes increasingly clear just how much the movies’ overall commentary adds to this collection’s overall presentation. When the commentaries are set against the work of the movies’ casts and the story at the heart of each movie, the movies in whole prove to be works that will entertain not only fans of the crime genre but audiences across the board. They combine to make this collection one that despite being a dual movie re-issue, one of the year’s top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.
Cohen Media Group’s recently released dual movie presentation of A Scandal in Paris and Lured is one of 2016’s top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues. This is even with the collection being a multi-movie collection. The movies that are presented within the double-movie set are so enjoyable first and foremost due to the story behind each movie. Even while one of the stories is not entirely original it is still enjoyable unlike so many of today’s reboots and re-imaginings. The work of the movies’ cast members is just as important to note as the work of the movies’ writers. Their work makes each movie just as worth watching as that of the movies’ writers. The bonus commentary that is included with each movie’s presentation rounds out the movies’ most important elements. That is because each commentary adds so much depth to each movie. Each element is important in its own right, as should be evident by now. All things considered, Cohen Media Group’s Blu-ray re-issue of A Scandal in Paris and Lured is a must have for any lover of classic films and an easy candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues. More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:
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