Anthony Mann

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Anthony Mann

#1 Post by Scharphedin2 » Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:56 am

Anthony Mann (1906-1967)


As for Winchester '73, that was one of
my biggest successes. And it's also my
favorite western. The gun which passed
from hand to hand allowed me to embrace
a whole epoch, a whole atmosphere. I really
believe that it contains all the ingredients of
the western, and that it summarizes them.


Dr. Broadway(1942)

Moonlight in Havana (1942)

Nobody's Darling (1943)

My Best Gal (1944)

Strangers in the Night (1944)

The Great Flamarion (1945) Alpha (R1) / VCI (R1)

Two O'Clock Courage (1945) Manga Films (R2)

Sing Your Way Home (1945) Manga Films (R2)

Strange Impersonation (1946) Kino (R1)

The Bamboo Bride (1946)

Desperate (1947) Manga Films (R2)

Railroaded! (1947) Film Noir: The Dark Side of Hollywood - Kino (R1)

T-Men (1947) VCI (R1) with Raw Deal Sony (R1) / with Raw Deal Wild Side (R2)

Raw Deal (1948) VCI (R1) with T-Men Sony (R1) / with T-Men Wild Side (R2)

He Walked by Night (1948) completed by Anthony Mann (after Alfred Werker) Alpha (R1) / MGM (R1)

Follow Me Quietly (uncredited, 1949) Editions Montparnasse (R2) / Manga Films (R2)

Reign of Terror / The Black Book (1949) Alpha (R1) Synergy (R0)

Border Incident (1949) Film Noir Classics Vol. 3 - Warner Brothers (R1)

Side Street (1950) Warner (R1)

Winchester '73 (1950) James Stewart Hollywood Legend Collection - Universal (R1)

The Furies (1950)

Devil's Doorway (1950)

The Tall Target (1951)

Bend of the River (1952) Universal (R1)

The Naked Spur (1953) James Stewart: The Signature Collection - Warner Brothers (R1)

Thunder Bay (1953) James Stewart: Screen Legend Collection - Universal (R1)

The Glenn Miller Story (1953) James Stewart: Screen Legend Collection - Universal (R1) / Universal (R2)

The Far Country (1954) Universal (R1)

Strategic Air Command (1955)

The Man from Laramie (1955) Columbia (R1 & R2)

The Last Frontier (1955) Sony (R1)

Serenade (1956)

Men in War (1957) Geneon (R1) / Wild Side (R2)

The Tin Star (1957) Paramount (R1)

God's Little Acre (1958) Geneon (R1) / Image Entertainment (R1) / Wild Side (R2)

Man of the West (1958) Carlotta (R2) / MGM (R2)

Cimarron (1960) completed by Charles Walters (uncredited)

El Cid (1961) El Cine Epico de Samuel Bronston - Divisa (R2) / DVD Magia (R2) / Tokushinsha (R2) / Universal (R2)

The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) El Cine Epico de Samuel Bronston - Divisa (R2) / Tokushinsha (R2) / Universal (R2)

The Heroes of Telemark (1965) Carlton (R2) / On Air Video (R2)

A Dandy in Aspic (1968) completed by Laurence Harvey (uncredited) Sony (R2 UK)

Forum Discussions

There are no threads specifically dedicated to Mann, his films, or DVD releases in the forum. However, his work has often been discussed in a number of different threads.

Here in the 1950s Discussion and Suggestions thread. There are also comments scattered throughout the Panda, Kino and Alpha threads.

Web Resources

Anthony Mann - David Boxwell (Senses of Cinema, 2003)

Anthony Mann - detailed filmography in French

The Far Country - Karli Lukas (Senses of Cinema, 2000)

The Films of Anthony Mann - Michael E. Grost (Classic Film and Television)

The Films of Anthony Mann - Steve Badger (Film Noir, Suspense and Classic Action Movies)

Kino: Three Anthony Mann Film Noir Classics - Gary Johnson (Images Journal)

A Lesson in Cinema: Interview - Jean-Claude Missiaen (Cahiers du cinema, 1967)

Mann of the West: The Naked Spur - Jonathan Rosenbaum (Chicago Reader)

Mann of the West - Sean McCloy (film west)

The Naked Spur - Richard Armstrong (Senses of Cinema, 2003)

Kino: Three Anthony Mann Film Noir Classics Gary Johnson (Images Journal)


Anthony Mann - Jeanine Basinger (Wesleyan University Press, expanded edition, 2007)
Last edited by Scharphedin2 on Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#2 Post by Steven H » Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:45 pm

Manga Films put out Desperate (1947) in R2 PAL, here's the link. I really want to see this.

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Black Book/Reign of Terror (Mann, 1949)

#3 Post by Stefan Andersson » Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:01 am

Why isn´t Mann´s BLACK BOOK/REIGN OF TERROR out on a decent dvd? I suspect Alpha Video may have it but who knows about quality?

Seems like a good title for Kino or VCI.

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#4 Post by Via_Chicago » Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:01 am

One of the problems is that Sony isn't aware that they actually have the rights. Yes, they are aware that they possess a 35mm print of the film (a very, very nice one in fact), but it seems that they don't know it's a public domain title that they could release, a la His Girl Friday. That of course begs the question of whether Sony would even knowingly release this title even if they were sure there were no rights problems. Sony's track record in this area makes me believe that the answer is no. Just look at all the noir titles they hold that they've never released:

Murder By Contract
The Sniper
The Lineup
Crimson Kimono

The Alpha Disc is an abomination. Screencaps are available on the Beaver.

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#5 Post by King Prendergast » Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:55 pm

I liked the idea, I think it was in Film Comment, that Mann would have been the perfect director for McCarthy's The Road...

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Synergy Entertainment: The Black Book

#6 Post by denti alligator » Fri May 30, 2008 6:45 pm

Has anyone seen this new version of The Black Book?

I wonder if it's any better than the Alpha.

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#7 Post by Via_Chicago » Wed Sep 24, 2008 2:50 pm

Like HerrSchreck, I'm an enormous fan of Anthony Mann's cracking French Revolution thriller The Black Book, and I expected equally great things from a similarly historical genre picture, 1951's The Tall Target. And boy, it does not disappoint. Mann's direction of this material (the basic plot of which is derived only circumstantially from actual history) is not as frenetic or relentless as The Black Book, made two years earlier, but it does bear many of the same stylistic and thematic touches. While The Tall Target may not be given to the wild melodrama of The Black Book (The Tall Target doesn't even have a score), it possesses all of the historical and political intrigue of that film.

Both films are, in essence, postmodern in their approach to history. Some might scoff at this, and I certainly don't mean to suggest that the term "postmodern" was one considered by the script writers and director. However, both films rely, to a pretty substantial degree, on an assumed knowledge of the period in question. Many of its best jokes and observations come as the result of our identification with the period being portrayed. There isn't an attempt at "realism" (read, historical "accuracy") as such. Instead, the film attempts to draw us into its own world, a world very clearly of only pseudo-historical importance, but one with vast significance for the characters portrayed. Some commentators have pointed out, correctly, that Powell's performance in this film feels out of place (ditto Cummings's in The Black Book), but this misses a point. Powell, through his modern mannerisms and screen persona, acts as our conduit in this very different time and place - he's the ironic commentator from the present, in other words.

But Mann elevates The Tall Target from a mildly interesting potboiler into a truly great film. He envelops us in this factionalized, Civil War world of danger and intrigue - the bellowing smoke from the train engine and the stark nighttime photography recall noirs like The Big Combo and suggest a shifting, duplicitous surface - one that can both shroud and reveal in equal measure. Similarly, Mann alternates between close-ups and long shots, and through these close-ups he lends a psychological depth to the interior thoughts of our characters, thoughts we can never hear but which we can nevertheless see. Likewise, there is the same claustrophobia and paranoia in this film as in The Black Book. There though, Mann coaxes out this emotion through tight close-ups, cramped streets and interiors, and expressive lighting effects. Here, Mann utilizes the already constrained interior space (a train) and gives it an extremely serpentine, almost never-ending quality through long, delicate tracking shots through the close corridors of the train interior. He also makes extensive use of deep focus to suggest the constant looming presence of others. All of these effects, as in The Black Book he contrasts with the long-shot openness of the outside world - a world that promises freedom and relief, but which also suggests an even greater sense of pervasive danger.

Just like The Black Book, many of the joys of The Tall Target are found in a rich supporting cast. This is a much more serious film, but it nevertheless draws on a rich assortment of colorful character actors to pepper the drama, perhaps even to obscure the importance and agency of the protagonist. The always-dapper Adolphe Menjou delivers a delightful performance as the suave, duplicitous Colonel Jeffers. Restrained work from Ruby Dee as a helpful slave, and Will Geer as the strict (but gentle) train conductor are also much appreciated. Perhaps in this way, Mann's historical thrillers suggest a lack of individual agency, and instead suggest the necessity of cooperation and an element of fatalism. His protagonists often have very little to even do - they are helpless in the face of overwhelming historical forces and the machinations of powerful men.

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Re: Synergy Entertainment: The Black Book

#8 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:50 am

denti alligator wrote:Has anyone seen this new version of The Black Book?

I wonder if it's any better than the Alpha.
Equally excited, I checked the Amazon reviews-- ugh:
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Butchered Print of a Great Film is a Disgrace!, August 18, 2008
By Steven Baker (Dallas, TX, USA) - See all my reviews

This is a comment on the Synergy Entertainment release of Anthony Mann's "The Black Book" (AKA "Reign of Terror"). This splendid film just can't get any respect on DVD! The running time of this version is 75 minutes, making it 14 minutes shorter than the version on Alpha Video! Critical scenes are missing, with Synergy imposing its own fade outs on entire sections. Even the previous reviewer who called this version "passable," noted the gaps in continuity. Visually, the print is much softer than Alpha's, with many jumps and splices, with much more of the picture area cropped off, and it goes in and out of focus. I previously thought that the Alpha release was the worst transfer of a movie I had ever seen, but this travesty put out by Synergy is a total disgrace, and should be avoided at all costs!
Poor edition, September 22, 2008
By Dr. Fernando Cordova (San Juan, Puerto Rico United States) - See all my reviews

This edition of an Anthony Mann film has been crudely transferred, and is actually worse than another release of the same movie still around.It requires muchvideo adjustment to get it to a comfortable image. It is a shame for it has many first class features:(1) A script, reasonably faithful to actual history, but obviously cut to come out as a basic thriller,(2) a splendid cast, with the exception of Cummings, who however does not spoil the drama,(3)Arlene Dahl, one of the great beauties, who did not havetoo much luck with her assignments.
Maybe some day some one will produce a restored
faithful print.

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#9 Post by sidehacker » Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:25 pm

Did anyone see Reign of Terror when it was shown on TCM? Was the print any better than the one on the Alpha DVD?

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#10 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:52 pm

The real problem with the Alpha isnt really the print, it's the transfer which is a generational analog transfer loaded with video noise.

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#11 Post by sidehacker » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:47 pm

Err, that's what I meant. I mean, is what TCM broadcasts considered a transfer? I wouldn't know. I'm asking which is of higher quality - TCM's broadcast or the Alpha DVD?

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#12 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:31 pm

Well a print is a set of film reels-- a transfer is a videotape which can destroy a perfectly fine print by problems all it's own. What I'm saying is TCM could have used the same print on the Alpha videotape, but run their own transfer, and had it look totally fine via their own new transfer/videotape.


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#13 Post by sidehacker » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:42 pm

Yeah, that's why I figured, but it was just awful wording on my initial post. Uh, anyway, Mann's so great.

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#14 Post by HerrSchreck » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:03 am

"Err"... "umm"... okay dude.


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#15 Post by sidehacker » Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:33 pm

I lack confidence. I "uhmm" and "err" as much as you use words with K!

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#16 Post by johnny carson » Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:08 am

Hello everybody, my first post here :)

Not to mention that I am a big big big fan of Anthony Mann, and Raw Deal/T- Men/Reign Of Terror from Criterion would be a dream come true. I would still like to get Raw Deal (my favourite film noir) in acceptable transfer.

I wonder maybe someone has seen these R2 releases from Orbit Media? I think the real dvd cover is different from the shown at amazon, or from the Wild Side Video, also comes with T-Men, but T-Men from this package is reviewed as a poor transfer at dvdbeaver.

Also, are subtitles removable from that french release?

Would be grateful for any comments or information.

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#17 Post by Via_Chicago » Sat Sep 27, 2008 2:19 pm

Mann's The Devil's Doorway came as an enormous surprise to me. Overshadowed in 1950 by other Mann classics like Winchester '73 and The Furies, Devil's Doorway is an extremely uncompromising look at Native American life and the "raw deal" (pardon that pun) that they got at the hands of the American government. With cinematography by the great John Alton and an extremely astute sense of landscape (no surprise for Mann), this is a film that absolutely redefines Mann's cinema for me vis a vis the American Indians.

While the interplay between man and his surrounding landscape is integral to Mann's Westerns, it achieves a new kind of importance and immediacy in this film. Poole's dying father tells him: "An Indian without land is an Indian without a soul." This incredible statement haunts the rest of the proceedings as Poole first uses legal means to fight for his land, and, when that fails, finally resorts to violence. Everything in this picture is ultimately about the importance of land, and Mann understandably fills frame after frame with startling landscapes - landscapes that not only dwarf Poole and the other Indians living on his land, but that also diminish the countless homesteaders aiming to take it away. One of the film's most poetic shots frames Poole in his burnt out home, the roof having collapsed, looking out of this empty chasm out onto the very land that he realizes he is about to lose. It's an aching, poetic moment, one of many in the film, and one that is symptomatic of Mann's consistent craftsmanship in this picture.

Even while land may be important (indeed, of central importance), the role of the American Indian in American society is not far off. Mann's depiction of the American Indians is one of the most sympathetic I've ever seen in any Western, and one of the few that makes so much as even a casual connection between the treatment of the Indians and holocaust. One brief moment stands out in this regard. While Poole is escorting his female lawyer Orrie Masters back to the main road, they come across a band of Indians fleeing their Reservation. One Indian, who, Poole tells Masters, was once a great warrior and hunter, stumbles up to Poole, his blind, glassed-over eyes staring directly into the camera, to tell him, in his own language, that the Americans have "killed his soul." I was immediately struck by this language and by that image. Holocaust, in essence, is not meant to kill the body so much as it is to kill the soul. Ditto, the American government's treatment of American Indians. That Mann and his scriptwriter Guy Trosper said this so directly in a Western from 1950 is astounding.

The film's ultimate power though rests in its ending, which only (and briefly) compromises. Indeed, it's so relentlessly bleak that Masters, after having called in the National Guard, tells a posse out to kill Poole and the Indians living on his land: "The government is coming to do the job for you!" And indeed, they do. All but the women and children, and one young boy, die. Poole, in his final moment, stumbles up to the Captain of the cavalry, salutes in full Civil War regalia, and promptly dies. It's certainly possible that this was meant to redeem the message of the film, but I find that improbable. Instead, it's hard not to read this final, stunning moment as a completely sarcastic gesture - a slap to the face of the American government and to the audience. Mann asks: How can you let a man risk his life for you and not allow him his own land? In other words, how can you not treat a man like a man?

As I mentioned above, one of the great strengths of The Devil's Doorway is Mann's assured direction. Certainly, Trosper's script is quite wonderful in the way in which it refuses to sop to genre conventions (a romance, a confrontation, a happy ending), but it's Mann and cinematographer John Alton that really bring out the nuances. While I mentioned the scene of Poole in his burnt-out home above, Alton and Mann make great use of light and shadow. In one scene, Mann uses a barroom fight to suggest the grotesqueness and ambiguities of racism, while simultaneously warning of the dangers of so-called "civilization." He presents us with looming, leering close-ups of the spectators, and abstracts the violence itself in incomprehensible long shots. Here, the lighting is wholly expressionist, and utterly unrealistic, lending psychological depth to what might have otherwise been a conventional scene of confrontation.

The Devil's Doorway, like The Tall Target, The Tin Star, or The Black Book, suggests a Mann that has yet been ignored by conventional film histories. Indeed, it suggests that Mann was not a myth-maker like Ford, but a filmmaker who probed the psychological depths and dimensions of his characters. The American Indians in The Naked Spur may appear as some kind of abstract "other," but they are depicted this way because Mann has fully and completely enveloped himself in the world of his characters, for whom the Indians are exactly that. It is not racism, but psychological realism, that is the driving force behinds Mann's depiction of the American Indians.

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#18 Post by vivahawks » Sun Sep 28, 2008 1:28 am

Thanks Via_Chicago for your writeup on Devil's Doorway; I wholeheartedly second your admiration for it as an unjustly overlooked film that's one of Mann's best (I put it only below Man of the West and a couple of the Stewart pics among his westerns). I can only add that besides the movie's intelligent, sensitive portrayal of the Indians,
the role of the female lawyer and her tentative, impossible relationship with Poole is also quite remarkable, if not fully fleshed out, boldly suggesting a connection between the struggles for respect and rights that women and Native Americans separately faced. Or take the scene where Poole basically dares her to kiss him, forcing her to acknowledge that even her well-meaning, quasi-"enlightened liberal" stance is not as truly deeply fearless and raceless as she'd like to think.

Like a lot of Fuller's 50s and 60s pulp thrillers, the results here are much more radical and unsettling in their implications than the self-righteously facile tone of most other social message movies, then and now.

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Re: Anthony Mann

#19 Post by HistoryProf » Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:26 pm

Broken Arrow (1950) is out on DVD now and I finally got around to watching it last night and it made me pine for a dvd of Devil's Doorway all over again. Both are considered the first films to give a sympathetic portrait of Indians, but DD is by far the superior (also came first) and better of the two. I just wanted to thank Chicago for his musings on it....a terribly overlooked film.

Who owns it? any chance it could join the CC?

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Re: Anthony Mann

#20 Post by jurples » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:21 pm

i'm thinking of ordering the four anthony mann dvds released by spain's manga films (sing your way home, two o'clock courage, desperate, and follow me quietly). can anyone here confirm that the spanish subtitles are removable and the discs can be watched in english without subs? i emailed the seller but he could not confirm.

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Re: Anthony Mann

#21 Post by George Kaplan » Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:29 am

jurples wrote:i'm thinking of ordering the four anthony mann dvds released by spain's manga films (sing your way home, two o'clock courage, desperate, and follow me quietly). can anyone here confirm that the spanish subtitles are removable and the discs can be watched in english without subs? i emailed the seller but he could not confirm.
I don't know about the Spanish Manga editions but the French Editions Montparnasse versions of DESPERATE and FOLLOW ME QUIETLY do have removable French subtitles.

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Re: Anthony Mann

#22 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:10 am

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Re: Anthony Mann

#23 Post by Murdoch » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:17 am

Hallelujah, my prayers have been answered

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Re: Anthony Mann

#24 Post by matrixschmatrix » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:18 am

Not to look a gift horse in the mouth (hah!) but I wish it were the Naked Spur, that transfer is in much greater need of a cleaning- and to judge from the print I saw in the IFC Center last year, the materials are out there.

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Re: Anthony Mann

#25 Post by onedimension » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:05 am

Naked Spur is owned by Warner Bros., so who knows what they'll do? If I remember right, the DVD of Winchester '73 was pretty good, so that bodes well- hopefully Universal will put out restored versions of some of their other Mann westerns, too..

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