DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
HD DVD / Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Sponsored Links
Search: For:
Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » The Man Who Died Twice (Blu-ray)
The Man Who Died Twice (Blu-ray)
Kino // Unrated // November 14, 2017 // Region A
List Price: $29.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Stuart Galbraith IV | posted November 10, 2017 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
By the late 1950s Republic Pictures, the studio famous for its B-westerns starring Gene Autry and Roy Rogers and its action-packed chapter plays, was on its last legs. Despite cash flowing in thanks to the sale of its film library to television and stages rented by talent agency MCA's television arm, Revue Productions, Republic never quite adapted either to the shrinking, changing theatrical market nor the emerging television one.

Republic released its last slate of feature films in 1958 and early 1959. One of the last of these was The Man Who Died Twice, which opened in June 1958. Modest though it is, the picture is reasonably entertaining and interesting for several reasons, and seeing it sparkling on Blu-ray - in Naturama, no less - is a treat. It was the last movie of Vera Ralston, wife of Republic studio head Herbert Yates, and of the last film noir of the classical period.

Shady nightclub owner T.J. Brennon dies in a spectacular car crash. (The car plows through a barrier off a mountain road, perhaps Republic's single most overworked piece of stock footage ever.) Soon after, T.J.'s widow, Lynn Brennon (Vera Ralston) is returning home when, in front of her apartment building, she hears a shot, witnesses a fight in the shadows of her balcony, and one of the men falls inches from her feet as the other flees. She faints dead away.

Narcotics department Capt. Andy Hampton (Louis Jean Heydt) and Chief Sloane (John Maxwell) suspect the home invader was looking for heroin stashed in Brennon's apartment. Elsewhere, Chicago hit men Hart (Gerald Milton) and Santoni (Richard Karlan), also looking for the drugs, check into a nearby hotel, awaiting instructions.

T.J.'s brother, Kansas City cop Bill Brennon (Rod Cameron) also turns up, and reluctantly agrees to help Hampton and Sloane, they hoping she'll spill the beans about the narcotics, assuming she's in the deal.

Just 70 minutes, The Man Who Died Twice is short and sweet, an efficient little programmer that doesn't wear out its welcome, and imbued with enough neat little touches to make watching it worthwhile. Rod Cameron, a rougher-edged Randolph Scott type, is reliably appealing onscreen, aided by character veterans like Louis Jean Heydt and especially Mike Mazurki, typecast but effective as the nightclub's shady but dumb bartender, and who's in love with Lynn in a lapdog manner.

The film's screenwriter, future director Richard C. Sarafian (Vanishing Point) adds a lot of color to even the minor characters. Particularly interesting is Gerald Milton hitman, who frets about his wife's movements back in Chicago, and sadistically puts a lost cat out on the high ledge of his hotel room. There's also busybody biddy Miss Hemphill (Jesslyn Fax), a garrulous, alcoholic paid informant, who shares a couple of tense scenes with Milton. Not listed on the IMDb but clearly visible is Len Lesser, Seinfeld's Uncle Leo, in a bit as one of Hart and Santoni's hits. Bridging the old Republic with the contemporary wave of low-budget films is Luana Anders, who has a couple of good scenes as a young dope addict.

Video & Audio

The Man Who Died Twice was filmed in Naturama, Republic's late-to-the-party answer to CinemaScope. There was absolutely nothing special about the process, but it's still nice to see a crisp-looking black-and-white ‘scope production, and studio workhorse Joseph Kane, director of over 100 of Republic's features, sticks characters at opposite ends of the frame. The DTS-HD 2.0 mono Master Audio (supported by optional English subtitles) is good, too. Region "A" encoded.

Extra Features

The lone supplement is an audio commentary track by film historian Toby Roan.

Parting Thoughts

Not a classic noir, but perfectly serviceable and a decent time-filler, The Man Who Died Twice is Recommended.






Stuart Galbraith IV is the Kyoto-based film historian largely absent from reviewing these days while he restores a 200-year-old Japanese farmhouse.

Find the lowest price for 'The Man Who Died Twice (Blu-ray)'
Popular Reviews
1. Jabberwocky: Criterion Collection
2. Misery: Collector's Edition
3. Le Samourai
4. Cease Fire - 3D
5. Planes, Trains & Automobiles (Re-release)
6. The Philadelphia Story: Criterion Collection
7. Kill and Kill Again
8. Atomic Blonde
9. Young Doctors in Love
10. Beyond The Darkness


Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use