1941-1950

Elia Kazan – Panic in the Streets [+Extras] (1950)

Synopsis from AMG:
Filmed entirely on location in New Orleans, Panic in the Streets stars Richard Widmark as a city medical officer, racing against time to stop a plague epidemic. The carrier was an illegal alien, who has been murdered by criminals Jack Palance and Zero Mostel. At first facing opposition from rule-bound police captain Paul Douglas, Widmark is finally able to work hand-in-glove with Douglas in tracking down Palance and Mostel, who have themselves become plague carriers. Many of the actors in Panic in the Streets are local nonprofessionals, selected by director Elia Kazan because of their “rightness” within the framework of the story; the rest of the cast is peopled by such film veterans as Barbara Bel Geddes, Tommy Cook, Emile Meyer and H.T. Tsiang. Widmark’s son is played by an uncredited Tommy Rettig, four years before he starred on the Lassie TV series. Though Elia Kazan liked to claim that much of Panic in the Streets was improvised, there was a script, adapted by Richard Murphy and Daniel Fuchs from a story by Edward Anhalt and Edna Anhalt. — Hal Erickson Read More »

Arthur Crabtree – Dear Murderer (1947)

When a wealthy man discovers that his wife is having an affair, he murders her lover, committing the perfect crime. Read More »

Mikhail Kalatozov – Nepobedimye aka The Invincible (1943)


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Summary:
The autumn of 1941. Leningrad is besieged by the Nazis. A new model of tank is being developed at a large defense plant. Built in the shortest possible time combat vehicles are tested directly on battlefields, fighting with fascists in the outskirts of the city.
The first feature film about the heroic everyday life of city defenders was shot directly in assembly shops of plants and in the streets of Leningrad when the city was fighting against the enemy Read More »

George Waggner – Gunfighters (1947)


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Quote:
After being forced to shoot a friend in a duel, fast-gun Randolph Scott swears to take off his gunbelt forever but finds himself drawn to the middle of a range war when he’s blamed for the murder of his best friend. Now Scott must prove to the dead man’s kid brother (John Miles) that he’s innocent. Naturally, Scott is forced to strap on guns once more to bring an end to the tyranny of local land baron Griff Barnett, his devious foreman Bruce Cabot, hired gunslinger Forrest Tucker (in a really underwritten, wasted role) and mean, crooked deputy Grant Withers. To complicate matters, Scott becomes involved with the land baron’s two daughters, nice girl Dorothy Hart and conniving Barbara Britton who is in love with Cabot. Alan Le May’s script from Zane Grey’s TWIN SOMBREROS seems to need a bit more “polish”, but Scott is terrific as always, plus the gorgeous Sedona locations (abetted by Vasquez Rocks, Jauregui Ranch and Monogram Ranch) in Cinecolor are enough to recommend this one. Read More »

Robert Hamer – Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)


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Synopsis:
Director Robert Hamer’s fiendishly funny Kind Hearts and Coronets stands as one of Ealing Studios’ greatest triumphs, and one of the most wickedly black comedies ever made. Dennis Price is sublime as an embittered young commoner determined to avenge his mother’s unjust disinheritance by ascending to her family’s dukedom. Unfortunately, eight relatives—all played by the incomparable Alec Guinness—must be eliminated before he can do so. Read More »

Michael Curtiz – Mildred Pierce (1945)


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Quote:
Mildred Pierce (1945) is a classic, post-war film noir mixed with typical soap-operish elements of the woman’s melodramatic picture or “weeper,” including a strand of a typical murder mystery often told by flashback. The family melodrama was significantly modified from its original source due to pressures of the Production Code regarding its sordidness – namely, the incestual behavior of the dissolute playboy character named Monte. Read More »

Ingmar Bergman – Törst AKA Thirst (1949)



A couple traveling across a war-ravaged Europe. A disintegrating marriage. A ballet dancer’s scarred past. Her friend’s psychological agony. Meanwhile, a widow resists seductions from two different persons – her psychiatrist and a lesbian friend. Told in flashbacks and multiple narrative threads, Ingmar Bergman’s Thirst shows people enslaved to memory and united in isolation. Read More »