‘Devil in a Blue Dress’ Finally Coming out on Blu-Ray in October
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‘Devil in a Blue Dress’ Finally Coming out on Blu-Ray in October

nullJust last

month, I wrote an appreciation piece for Carl Franklin’s 1995 film adaption of

Walter Mosley’s "Devil in Blue Dress" which I still believe is a much under-appreciated

film.

As I said, it is truly a superior film that fires on all cylinders –

acting, direction, script, cinematography, editing art direction… but is also true to its film noirish roots, giving us a

complex, shadowy mystery story full of twists and turns with dubious characters

who lie to hide their true agendas.

But, as I also said, the film is not simply a Humphrey Bogart film in blackface. It very

accurately chronicles what like was like for black folks in this country during

the 1940’s. Racism and segregation weren’t just a Southern thing. It was

everywhere, from the Midwest to the East, to the so-called more liberal “Left

Coast" of Southern California. Black people faced insults, oppression and

degradation every day and yet persevered and endured. It wasn’t easy for sure.

Yet, somehow, when people talk about their favorite black films, "Devil" is rarely (if ever) on anyone’s list. It seems to have been overlooked.

Though I’m sure there are those who still remember it fondly. It’s a shame that

it didn’t do well at the box office since there are so many other wonderful Easy

Rawlins novels that would make great films.

The film has

been on the top of my “Wish List” of films I’ve been waiting to come out on

blu-ray. It’s a beautiful looking film, but in blu-ray it would be even sharper,

more detailed. However, since all the great film noirs were always in black and

white, and, for commercial reasons, "Devil" had to be shot in color, they did

the next best thing – photographing the film with a unique desaturated color palette.

In effect, they shot color film as if it was black and white.

But now,

finally, I can cross the film off my "Wish List" since the fantastic specialty DVD

label, Twilight Time, has announced that they will be releasing "Devil" on blu-ray on October 13th. And, no doubt, the new blu-ray will carry over

Carl Frankin’s fascinating commentary about the making of the film from the old

standard Sony DVD release of the film.

However, there is a catch of sorts. Being a specialty label, and knowing that most of their

titles could have limited appeal, Twilight Time only produces a limited

amount of 3000 copies of any title; unless the title quickly sells out, such as

their blu-ray of John Carpenter’s horror film "Christine," which actually sold out

in advance, before it was even officially released. As a result they later

had to issue 3000 more copies.

What this

means is that, if you love "Devil in a Blue Dress" like I do, and want the blu-ray version of it when it comes out this fall, be sure to get your order in early. If you

wait, you might be out of luck.

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

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