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The Big Heat

1953

 

Fritz Lang's most celebrated American film, is a chilling and

violent tale of corruption, vengeance, and loss. Dave Bannion,

played by distinguished Film Noir actor Glenn Ford, is an

upright but unscrupulous cop on the trail of a vicious gang he

suspects holds power over the police force.

 

Kiss Me Deadly

1955

 

Hard-hitting detective Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) takes

on thugs and atomic secrets in Robert Aldrich's fast-paced

thriller. Kiss me Deadly, an adaptation of the Mickey

Spillane novel. The night goes awry for Hammer soon after he

picks up a scantily clad hitchhiker (Cloris Leachman).

 

The Big Combo

1955

 

Police Lt. Leonard Diamond is on a personal crusade to bring

down sadistic gangster Mr. Brown. He's also dangerously

obsessed with Brown's girlfriend, the suici

 

Violent Saturday

1955

 

Directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Victor Mature, Lee

Marvin, Richard Egan and Stephen McNally. The film, set in a

mining town, depicts the planning of a bank robbery as the

nexus in the personal lives of several townspeople. Prominent

actors Sylvia Sidney and Ernest Borgnine are in supporting

roles. Violent Saturday was filmed in color .

 

The Hitch-Hiker

1953

 

The only true "film noir" ever directed by a woman, this tour

de force thriller (considered by many, including Lupino herself,

to be her best film) is a classic, tension-packed, three-way

dance of death about two middle-class American homebodies

(Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy) on vacation in Mexico on

a long-awaited fishing trip. Suddenly their car and their very

lives are commandeered by psychopathic serial killer Emmett

Myers (William Talman - Perry Mason)

 

D.O.A

1950

 

D.O.A. is a film noir drama film directed by Rudolph Maté

, considered a classic of the stylistic genre. The

frantically-paced plot revolves around a doomed man's quest

to find out who has poisoned him – and why – before he dies.

 

The Dark Corner

1946

 

Private investigator Bradford Galt has moved to New York from

San Fransisco after serving a jail term on account of his lawyer

partner Tony Jardine. When he finds someone is tailing - and

possibly trying to kill him, Galt believes Jardine is behind it.

As he finds there is rather more to it, he is increasingly glad to

have his attractive new secretary Kathleen around, for several

reasons .

 

 

Scarlet Street

1945

 

When a man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her

venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of some of the

fortune she thinks he has.

Directed by Fritz Lang Stars Edward G. Robinson,

Joan Bennett

 

Odd Man Out

1947

 

Johnny McQueen (James Mason), leader of a clandestine Irish

organization, has been hiding in the house of Kathleen and

her mother, planning a hold-up that will provide his group with

the funds needed to continue its activities. During the hold-up,

things go sour: Johnny is wounded, cannot make it back to

the hideout, and disappears in the back-alleys of Belfast

. Immediately, a large-scale man-hunt is launched, and the

city is tightly covered by the constabulary, whose chief is

intent on capturing Johnny and the other members of the

gang.Directors: Carol Reed Stars: James Mason, Robert

Newton and Cyril Cusack

 

PBS documentary

on film noir

 

Detour

1945

 

Piano player Al (Tom Neal) is bitter about having to work in

a New York nightclub. After his girlfriend Sue (Claudia Drake)

leaves to seek fame in Hollywood, he decides to join her. With

little money, he has to hitchhike his way across the country.

The Hollywood Production Code did not allow murderers to get

away with their crimes on film at the time, so the orginal

ending had to br changed .

 

Destination Murder

1950

 

 Laura Mansfield's father is killed, apparently by a telegraphic

messenger. She spots Jackie Wales in a police lineup, but

can't identify him positively. Later, she arranges to meet him,

and is convinced he was the killer, but he was acting for

someone else. She gets to know Jackie to find out who the

boss is, taking a job in the Vogue Club, owned by a man

named Armitage. Meanwhile, Alice, Armitage's greedy mistress,

goes after Jackie and lures him into blackmailing the nightclub

owner. Armitage discovers the betrayal, and kills the two, but

Laura schemes to get closer so she can prove him guilty.

 

Beat the Devil

1953

 

Beat the Devil  On their way to Africa are a group of rogues

who hope to get rich there, and a seemingly innocent British

couple. They meet and things happen. Directed by John

Huston , screenplay written by Huston and Truman Capote .It

was intended by Huston as a parody of The Maltese Falcon .

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida,

Robert Morley, Peter Lorre, and Bernard Lee . Roger Ebert, who

included the film in his "Great Movies" list, notes that the film

has been characterized as the first camp movie.

 

My Gun is Quick

1957

 

Robert Bray, best known to baby-boomers as "Ranger Corey"

on TV's LASSIE, is cast as Mickey Spillane's rough-edged

private eye Mike Hammer in MY GUN IS QUICK. Mike's mission

this time out is to solve a murder and a jewel robbery. He

faces opposition from two warring criminal gangs, but when

has that ever stopped him in the past? Co-starring as a

typically Spillanesque cool blonde is Whitney Blake, who like

Bray later gained TV fame in a more sedate role on the weekly

sitcom HAZEL (incidentally, Ms. Blake is the mother of actress

Meredith Baxter). Not quite as accomplished as Robert

Aldrich's classic Mike Hammer yarn KISS ME DEADLY, MY GUN

IS QUICK works well within its modest limits.

 

Kiss of Death

1947

 

Two bit thief (Mature) puts his family in untold danger when

the district attorney convinces him to squeal on a fellow

inmate at Sing Sing: the homicidal psychopath  (and the

ruthless, violent Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark) will stop at

nothing to gain revenge. Academy Award Nominations: Best

Supporting Actor--Richard Widmark, Best Original Story.

 

Notorious

1946

 

Alfred Hitchcock's classic romantic espionage thriller, with

passionate, brilliant performances by Cary Grant and Ingrid

Bergman, featuring one of the most famous screen kisses in

film history. At the end of World War II, American military

intelligence drafts the alluring daughter (Bergman) of a

convicted Nazi to infiltrate a band of nefarious Germans who

have fled to Brazil. She is teamed with a dashing but chilly

agent (Cary Grant) with whom she falls deeply in love.

 

Raw Deal

1948

 

 

 

In this film noir classic, a revenge-seeking gangster (Dennis

O'Keefe) is sent to prison after being framed for a crime he

didn't commit. After seducing a beautiful young woman, he

uses her to help him carry out his plot for vengeance, leading

him to the crazy pyromaniac (Raymond Burr) who set him up.

 

The Chase

1946

 

A chauffeur falls in love with the boss's wife but the boss is a

mafioso and the two elope to Cuba with hitmen on their trail.

The Chase is the best cinematic equivalent of the dark,

oppressive atmosphere that characterizes most of Cornell

Woolrich's best fiction.

 

Night and the City

1950

 

 In NIGHT AND THE CITY, director Jules Dassin brilliantly fuses

two styles of filmmaking, crossing the expressionist lighting

and framing of film noir with the almost documentary location

shooting he used for THE NAKED CITY (1948). Dassin treats

NIGHT AND THE CITY's central London locations as strange

exotic places. As the movie opens, it is nighttime and

small-time hood Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) is running

from almost unseen pursuers.

 

Too late for tears

1948

 

When a bag of money is thrown into the car of a young

couple, she murders him for the money and will murder

anybody else who tries to get in he

 

Blonde Ice

1948

 

 Blonde Ice is a 1948 American crime film noir directed by

Jack Bernhard and starring Leslie Brooks, Robert Paige and

Michael Whalen. It was based on the 1938 novel Once Too

Often by Whitman ChambersA ruthless newspaper woman

resorts to murder while clawing her way to the top.

 

Vicki

1953

 

Directed by Harry Horner and based on the novel I Wake

Up Screaming, written by Steve Fisher. The film features

Jeanne Crain, Jean Peters, Elliott Reid and Richard Boone.

Vicki is a remake of the 1941 film I Wake Up Screaming

starring Betty Grable, Victor Mature, and Carole Landis

 

Framed

1947

 

Directed by Richard Wallace and featuring Glenn Ford,

Janis Carter, Barry Sullivan and Edgar Buchanan.

Mike Lambert takes to driving a truck when he falls on hard

times. When his rig brakes stop working in a small town he

meets Paula Craig (Janis Carter) at the La Paloma Cafe and is

quickly drawn into a criminal plot devised by the seductive

femme fatale.The B movie is generally praised by critics as an

effective crime thriller despite its low budget.

 

The Woman In The Window

1944

 

When a conservative middle-aged professor engages in

a minor dalliance with a femme fatale, he is plunged into a

nightmarish quicksand of blackmail and murder.

Directed by Fritz Lang starring Edwar

 

Moonrise

1948

 

Danny Hawkins has been tortured his entire life because

he is the son of a killer who was hanged. In a state of insanity

Danny kills Jerry Sykes. When the body is discovered Danny

flees from his true love Gilly Johnson and the law but is able

to reach salvation by coming to grips with his identity and by

turning himself in to the police.Directed by Frank Borzage and

starring Dane Clark, Gail Russell and Ethel Barrymore.

 

The File on Thelma Jordon

1950

 

Stanwyck plays Thelma Jordon, a woman who late one night

shows up in the office of married Assistant district attorney

Cleve Marshall (Wendell Corey) with a story about prowlers

and burglars. Before Cleve can stop himself, he and Thelma

are involved in a love affair. But Thelma is a mysterious

woman, and Cleve can't help wondering if she is hiding

something. Directed by Robert Siodmak

 

Jigsaw

1948

 

The title refers to a jigsaw puzzle and the story begins with

the murder of a print shop owner that is quickly labeled a

suicide. But newspaper columnist Charlie Riggs is convinced

that it was a murder related to a white neo-Fascist

organization called the Crusaders and imparts this suspicion

to Assistant District Attorney Howard Malloy.

The film stars Franchot Tone, Jean Wallace, and Marc

Lawrence and has cameo appearances by Marlene Dietrich,

Henry Fonda, John Garfield, Burgess Meredith, Marsha Hunt,

Doe Avedon, Everett Sloane, newspaper columnist Leonard

Lyons, and the director Fletcher Markle

 

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