New Release: Kansas City Confidential Blu-ray/DVD

Kansas City Confidential has been issued on DVD at least a half-dozen times, but on Feb. 15, 2011, the 1952 crime drama was released on high-definition Blu-ray for the first time. Film Chest’s HD Cinema Classics label (distributed by Virgil Films & Entertainment) issued the movie as a two-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack for the list price of $15.99.

Though Kansas City Confidential doesn’t frequently pop up on top 10 film noir lists, it’s one of the stylistic wave’s defining films — a raw, unflinching movie populated by hard-boiled characters and femme fatales who are fated to do bad, bad things that end badly, badly, badly (particularly for the real bad guys).

In the movie, ex-con Joe Rolfe (John Payne, The Razor’s Edge), whose life is ruined after being framed for being involved in a million-dollar armored car robbery, sets out to track down the real criminals and render his own justice. On his way to Tijuana, Rolfe catches up with the tough guys who pulled off the heist (genre favorites Neville Brand, Jack Elam and Lee Van Cleef), the crooked ex-cop who organized the job (Preston Foster) and the mastermind’s attractive and intriguing daughter (Coleen Gray). The road to revenge is a hard one, but it could be worth it.

Directed by Phil Karlson, Kansas City Confidential has been digitally restored in high-definition from original 35mm film assets and is presented in its original mono audio track as well as with a new 5.1 surround sound mix.

Special featureson the Blu-ray include a collectible postcard reproduction of the original movie poster and a before-and-after film restoration demo.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.