Henri Decoin – Les Inconnus dans la Maison aka Strangers in the House (1942)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
Since his wife left him, almost twenty years ago, the once brilliant lawyer Loursat has slumped into a life of despondency and drunkenness. He lives in a vast empty house with his teenage daughter, Nicole, with whom he hardly communicates. One fateful day, something happens which pulls Loursat back from the abyss: he discovers a dead body in his house. When his daughter and her group of rebellious young friends are charged with the murder, Loursat decides to take charge of the case.
— scarabus Continue reading

Henri-Georges Clouzot – L’assassin habite… au 21 aka The Murderer Lives at 21 [+extra] (1942)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Eureka, Masters of Cinema wrote:
One of the most revered names in world cinema, Henri – Georges Clouzot, made a remarkably self – assured debut in 1942 with the deliciously droll thriller The Murderer Lives at 21 [L ‘ Assassin habite au 21].

A thief and killer stalks the streets of Paris, leaving a calling card from “Monsieur Durand” at the scene of each crime. But after a cache of these macabre identifications is discovered by a burglar in the boarding house at 21 Avenue Junot, Inspector Wenceslas Vorobechik (Pierre Fresnay) takes lodging at the infamous address in an undercover bid to solve the crime, with help from his struggling – actress girlfriend Mila (Suzy Delair).

Featuring audacious directorial touches, brilliant performances, and a daring tone that runs the gamut from light comedy to sinister noir, as well as a subtle portrait of tensions under Nazi occupation, this overlooked gem from the golden age of French cinema is presented in a beautiful new high – definition restoration. Continue reading

Wayne Ewing – When I Die – The Gonzo Monument (2005)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

IMDB: “When I Die” is about the making of the Gonzo Monument to Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, and the blasting of his ashes into the heavens. The infamous outlaw journalist described his funeral plans in a clip from a 1978 BBC documentary which opens “When I Die.”. Hunter wanted a 150 foot obelisk built in his backyard from which his ashes would be shot five hundred feet into the air and explode over his beloved Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colorado. That is exactly what happened in August, 2005, six months after Dr. Thompson committed suicide. In “When I Die” the trials, tribulations and triumphs of this elaborate funeral production are inter cut with 35mm time-lapse photography and the final pyrotechnics are in breath-taking high speed 35mm. Continue reading

Max Nosseck – Dillinger (1945)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
Willie Sutton robbed banks during the Depression because, he explained, “That’s where the money is.” Former Indiana farmboy John Dillinger also knew where the money was. And his string of early-1930s heists, murders and daring jailbreaks were so bold and notorious he became Public Enemy #1. Dillinger, Oscar-nominated* for its screenplay, is the bullet-paced story of the man whose crimes captivated and terrified the nation. Lawrence Tierney plays the title role, breaking free of screen anonymity and moving into a 50-year tough-guy career that would include 1947’s Born to Kill and 1992’s Reservoir Dogs. Perhaps it was a brutal early prison stretch that turned Dillinger from kid to killer. Perhaps he was a murderous thug to his core. Either way, Dillinger presents his story with Film noir style and lets you decide.

— dvdbeaver Continue reading

Herman Shumlin – Confidential Agent (1945)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
In pre-World War II London, Spanish agent Denard struggles to close a high-level business deal that will strike a blow against fascists in his native country. But industrialists not yet alert to the threat of fascism reject him. A teenage ally caught up in his efforts is murdered. And the mission itself seems a failure. Yet neither the story nor Denard will stop there. Charles Boyer plays Denard and Lauren Bacall is a jaded industrial heiress who assists him in this intricate spy drama. For her second screen appearance, Bacall took a critical thumping, yet her presence smolders. The film itself still satisfies, thanks in no small measure to James Wong Howe’s atmospheric cinematography and the story craft of source novelist Graham Greene. Continue reading

Manoel de Oliveira – Aniki Bóbó (1942)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
The story takes place in the old streets of Porto and by the banks of the Douro River. A gang of very young kids has just accepted a new member, Carlitos, a shy boy who has “played it tough” by stealing a doll in a shop. Carlitos soon develops a crush on Terezinha,the only girl of the group. The trouble is that Eduardo, the “boss”, is also in love with the pretty little girl. And he will not allow any rival to challenge him… Continue reading

Richard Wallace – The Fallen Sparrow (1943)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
A former Spanish Civil War prisoner, John McKittrick arrives in New York to find the truth behind the death of his friend Louie Lepetino. He finds himself being chased by Nazi agents who want an item he has brought back from Spain and cannot give up. When another of his friends is murdered, McKittrick realizes that he cannot trust anyone around him – not anyone.

— Jim Beaver (IMDb) Continue reading