When you start talking about film noir, eventually you have to talk about Fritz Lang's seminal The Big Heat. The film comes on like a bare-knuckled sucker punch to the body. Hard, direct, and mean. This is the real deal. It doesn't get any better than this. At times, The Big Heat plays like a '50s version of a James Ellroy novel. The bad guys are tough, the women are tough, but the cops are even tougher. And all of it looking the way that real film noir should look: in glorious black-and-white. Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment's DVD presents the film in its full screen theatrical aspect ratio (1.33:1) and with an English mono soundtrack. The picture is sharp, crisp, and perfectly balanced, but frankly it's not in the best of shape. There are lines, scratches, and other picture artifacts present throughout. It would be nice to see a more careful and thorough clean-up job given to the print for future releases. The disc contains an alternate French mono soundtrack, multiple subtitle options, vintage advertising (lobby cards), and theatrical trailers for this and other Columbia/TriStar DVDs.