“Blind Alley” on DVD

Ann Dvorak made three films with Columbia in the late 1930s, none of which were ever released on VHS. Now through the Columbia Screen Classics by Request program (similar to the Warner Archive), Blind Alley is available for purchase.

I spoke about Blind Alley on a recent post when it played at the annual San Francisco Noir Festival last month, so I won’t rehash my take on it now, only to say that it’s worth a watch.

What I will talk about briefly is the box art, which uses the one-sheet for the film. Please note Ann Dvorak’s top billing on the poster and yet she is no where to be found. When I first saw this, I figured Joan Perry was the dame depicted on the poster, and did not feel so bad because she became Mrs. Harry Cohn a couple of years later. However, I later realized that it’s Rose Stradner looking so forlorn next to Ralph Bellamy and Chester Morris, and that just makes me mad. It’s one thing if the studio’s main squeeze makes it onto the advertising, but Ann getting bumped for someone so low in billing just seems wrong. I have nothing against Miz Stradner personally, I’m sure she was lovely, and I merely bear the mark of  frustration after being a disgruntled Ann Dvorak fan for so many years.

Aside from my anger over advertising decisions made more than seventy years ago, I am pleased Blind Alley is being made readily available and look forward to Ann’s other two Columbia films, Cafe Hostess and Girls of the Road being released through Screen Classics by Request.

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