Arthur Maria Rabenalt – Martina (1949)

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Synopsis:

The young Martina gets towards the end of the war of World War II to a pimp and so she goes first to the juvenile court and then in the care. Here she meets her older sister Irene, who stretches out his friend Volker. First, they want to avoid the conflict and flees, then she comes back to reconciliation in the care. Her resolutions does not keep a long time and she goes back to prostitution. She becomes witness of a murder and gets to escape in an accident. Finally, Martina believes she has carried out the murder . Continue reading

Vittorio De Sica – Teresa Venerdì (1941)

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Plot Synopsis from allmovie.com

Doctor Beware was the U.S.-released title of Vittorio DeSica’s 1941 effort Teresa Venerdi. DeSica not only directed, but played the leading role of orphanage official Dr. Vignali. The thinnish storyline finds the good doctor becoming romantically involved with three women. It is up to orphaned girl Teresa Venerdi (Adriana Benedetti) to untangle all the plot lines–and, as a bonus, to come to the financial rescue of the improvident Vignali. When the film was released to the U.S. in 1951, supporting actress Anna Magnani, cast in a secondary role as one of Dr. Vignali’s amours, was given star billing. Continue reading

Edgar G. Ulmer – Detour (1945)

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Review
“Detour” is a movie so filled with imperfections that it would not earn the director a passing grade in film school. This movie from Hollywood’s poverty row, shot in six days, filled with technical errors and ham-handed narrative, starring a man who can only pout and a woman who can only sneer, should have faded from sight soon after it was released in 1945. And yet it lives on, haunting and creepy, an embodiment of the guilty soul of film noir. No one who has seen it has easily forgotten it.

“Detour” tells the story of Al Roberts, played by Tom Neal as a petulant loser with haunted eyes and a weak mouth, who plays piano in a nightclub and is in love, or says he is, with a singer named Sue. Their song, significantly, is “I Can’t Believe You Fell in Love With Me.” He wants to get married, she leaves for the West Coast, he continues to play piano, but then: “When this drunk gave me a ten spot, I couldn’t get very excited. What was it? A piece of paper crawling with germs.” Continue reading

Marcel L’Herbier – L’affaire du collier de la reine AKA Queen’s Necklace (1946)

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One of the most expensive French films of the immediate postwar years, L’Affaire du Collier de la Reine is primarily a vehicle for the formidable Vivian Romance. The star plays an aristocrat in the court of Louis XVI, who helps engineer a scheme to divest the Queen of her royal necklace. On the verge of success, the “heroine” is found out, and forced to submit to whipping and torture. Continue reading

Francesco de Robertis & Roberto Rossellini – La Nave Bianca aka The White Ship (1941)

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Quote:
La Nave Bianca is a movie about a group of firemen on a Italian battleship, that takes part in a sea battle. During the battle one of the heaters is wounded and brought to the hospital ship, where he meets a nurse…
The film is intercut with documentary scenes from the movie La battaglia dello Jonio and the cast is completely non-professional. There has been an argument ever since about who directed the movie (Rossellini or de Robertis). A dissertation from 2002 (here on the tracker torrent) seems to decide this question finally in favour of Francesco de Robertis, who is most likely the writer of the script, main director and supervisor, whereas Rossellini merely took part in the production as learning assistant director. Continue reading

Helmut Käutner – In jenen Tagen aka Seven Journeys (1947)

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Synopsis:

Told in seven chapters, Käutner’s first postwar film portrays the lives of average people overwhelmed and traumatized by the impact of fascism. Käutner uses the framing device of an automobile whose various owners serve as the film’s protagonists and initiate its episodic structure. The characters represent an interesting cross-section of the German people including a deserting soldier, a Jewish couple and a composer who has been labeled as subversive. During a time when most Germans wanted to forget the past, Käutner eschewed the controlled setting of the UFA studios and chose to film in the bombed out streets of Berlin, crafting a humanistic rendering of recent history. Continue reading