THE LAST HURRAH : The Essential Physical Media Releases of Indicator Films : TOWN ON TRIAL

INDICATOR

“Indicator is a new British Blu-ray and DVD label owned and operated by Powerhouse Films Ltd, London, England.

Founded by industry veterans with a passion for physical media, Indicator aims to release four titles per month. Indicator editions will be expertly encoded using the finest available master materials, offer lovingly assembled extra features, carry new and improved English subtitles, and include accompanying booklets containing newly commissioned and contemporary writing.”

 

If you have followed this blog for any period of time you know I am a massive fan of physical media, returning to it with some renewed vigor in 2018/2019 due largely to the discovery of wonderful physical media related channels on Youtube. Channels created by fans, and filled with the love and vigor and passion that only fans/collectors can bring.

One of the favorite labels discovered in that time was INDICATOR (The Blu-ray Distribution arm of parent company POWERHOUSE FILMS LTD), they make some of the finest boxsets in the industry (arguably the finest) and their wealth of special features generally put other labels, including CRITERION, to shame.

Today’s recommended release from them is not one of their acclaimed boxsets (which typically are well worth the price, particularly if you catch them on sale) but one of their solo releases, in this case an all-region Columbia Pictures catalog title from 1957 entitled TOWN ON TRIAL and directed by John Guilermin.

Effectively and engrossingly directed, from the first frame john Guillermin’s TOWN ON TRIAL announces itself as compelling and worthy pickup.

With striking, even startling closeups, that engenders an immediacy and intimacy, even a voyeurism, that hints at and presages the exploitative cinema of genres yet to come (namely the Giallo cinema of the 70s and the slasher cinema of the 80s), while also holding to the traditional noir trappings of the slightly tortured and beset noir cinema of the 40s; this late 50s film, TOWN ON TRIAL, is at one a throwback to the hard-boiled past, and a forerunner of the exploitative future.

John Mills as the protagonist, brings an atypical energy, to this atypical, and surprisingly riveting British film. While eschewing a film commentary it does offer other enjoyable special features, the best of which being a 20 minute, detailed overview of the film and cast and crew by Barry Forshaw author of BRITISH CRIME FILM:SUBVERTING THE SOCIAL ORDER AND BRIT NOIR. He in addition to highlighting this film puts on my radar other tangential films (many of which I was unaware of) to be on the hunt for.

Highly recommended physical media release from Indicator Films; recommended for the film, the packaging (including two choices of cover artwork, my preferred one shown above), the special features and the included stellar 36 page booklet.

 

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