DVD Review “Black Hand”

Directed by: Richard Thorpe
Starring: Gene Kelly, J. Carroll Nash, Teresa Celli
Distributed by: Warner Archive
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 92 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

When you think of Gene Kelly you think of singing and dancing.  “Black Hand” was one of the first films to really showcase Kelly’s dramatic chops.  It is a real change of pace for him and pays off.  It is honestly surprising how suspenseful this film really is.  It leaves you sitting on the edge of your chair biting your nails.  Warner Archive scores again for finally releasing the remaining, unreleased Gene Kelly films from the Warner Bros. vaults.  The other film recently released is “The Devil Makes Three”, read review here. Fans of Gene Kelly’s work will not want to miss this opportunity to finally own this film on DVD.

For a film from 1950 that has been stuck in a vault and never before released.  It looks damn good. Of course there is the grain and age spots but this newly restored DVD really delivers the goods.  “Black Hand” is presented in black and white in full frame and the original aspect ratio of 1.37:1.  The audio track presented is mono and works perfectly with this release. Even though this film solely consists of just the film no special features.  You still feel like you are getting your money’s worth.  When I think of Warner Archive, I just feel comfort with quality.

Synopsis: Johnny Columbo was just a boy in 1900 New York when a gang of extortionists known as the Black Hand murdered his father. Now Johnny’s a grown man eager for vengeance. His switchblade and his anger are the weapons he intends to use but he ultimately realizes there’s a better way. He can use the legal system to deport the Black Hand terrorists by proving they are in the U.S. under false identities. but brining that proof to light will put Johnny and the people close to him in great peril. Movie-musical great Gene Kelly plays the change-of-pace role of Johnny in this suspenseful tale directed by the prolific Richard Thorpe (more than 180 IMDb credits). Kelly had played an Italian-American before in Pilot #5. He would portray a Greek-American in It’s a Big Country.

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