HELL ON FRISCO BAY REVIEWED
“Hell on Frisco Bay” is one of those films I read about in college, but never got to see. The home video life of the film was complicated due to botched rights and WB seemingly never having the best source materials for a transfer. Luckily, Warner Archive manages to pull another Hail Mary and put this together. Shot in brightly colored Cinemascope by Noir famous cinematographer John F. Seitz, the movie looks like a million bucks. Unfortunately, the film is a shaky two-parter.
Once our hero finds his mob boss villain, the film tends to get a little cliche. It’s neat to see Fay Wray show up in a later role, but I don’t totally buy her as a mobster’s girlfriend. The finale also strikes a weird comparison to the ending of “Face/Off”. I’m not sure if John Woo was a fan, but I stopped this movie and then threw on that one to check out the similarities. Was Cage purposefully channeling Robinson in this movie? I might be reading too much into it, but wow.
While it’s a harder film for our younger readers, I still recommend picking it up.
- 2.55:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 2.0 MONO