Mike’s Picks: ‘Forty Guns’ and ‘The Blue Dahlia’

Forty Guns

Criterion, Western, $29.95 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan, Dean Jagger, Gene Barry.
1957. Director Samuel Fuller’s action-packed Western features Barbara Stanwyck doing her own stunts as a ruthless landowner seeking to keep her drunken brother out of trouble when lawmen ride into town in search of a gunman under her employ.
Extras: Also included is the 2013 documentary A Fuller Life that daughter Samantha Fuller put together, several essays, a hour-hour discussion with Imogen Sara Smith about Fuller and Western genre conventions in general, and alternate audio featuring a 1969 appearance at London’s National Film Theatre by Fuller himself.
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The Blue Dahlia

Shout! Factory, Drama, $22.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix, Howard da Silva.
1946.
Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake co-starring in Raymond Chandler’s only original screenplay sounds well nigh irresistible on paper, and The Blue Dahlia mostly satisfies the concept’s potential as well as intriguing additional considerations that go tangentially beyond sleuthing the murderer of boozy Mrs. Ladd (Doris Dowling).
Extras: Includes a commentary from film historian Alan Rode and filmmaker Steve Mitchell.
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