For a limited time, Phil Karlson's 1967 film A Time for Killing will remain available for viewing via Netflix's Instant Watch feature. While it may have been available on VHS or TV airings, to me this is a rarity that has not appeared on DVD, to my knowledge. Phil Karlson has always proved an interesting director, especially in his film noirs: Kansas City Confidential (1952), 99 River Street (1953), Tight Spot (1955), The Phenix City Story (1955), 5 Against the House (1955) and The Brothers Rico (1957). (Some of those are less noirish than others.)
His IMDB entry seems to indicate some tumult at this point in his career (bouncing around to TV, getting involved in the Dean Martin "Matt Helm" light entertainments), so I am not sure this 1967 film will have something special in it, but when a director proves so thoroughly interesting over so many movies, I hope he will deliver, even in what looks like a very mainstream studio release.
Karlson's films often featured real locations to great effect (Reno in 5 Against the House and I believe Alabama locations in The Phenix City Story) and frequently presented very gritty plots, especially 99 River Street, which made a strong impression on me.
Join me in checking out a rarity from this director, and let's write some reviews of what we find in this film and make some general comments on his overall value as a director. Is he merely a stooge doing the studio's bidding in this major release? Or is there a special artistic value, some insight into human nature or politics or history...? We'll see!
I've invited Dennis Cozzalio of Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule to join me in this endeavor, and feel free to jump in. But the clock is ticking. This not-on-DVD film is only available for Instant Watch on Netflix until April 1, 2009. Don't miss this chance!! (No excuses if it's panned-and-scanned. Suck it up!)