1941-1950

William Berke – Deputy Marshal (1949)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

synopsis:
A few minutes before he is killed by an unseen gunman using a split-butt rifle, in a saloon in Tumult, Wyoming, railway employee Harley Masters
(Wheaton Chambers) gives a secret map to Deputy Marshal Ed Garry (Jon Hall.) Garry is questioned about the murder by Master’s niece Janet
(Frances Langford); her cousin Bill Masters (Russell Hayden); the town big-shot, Joel Benton (Dick Foran) and Doc Vinson (Clem Bevans).
Garry meets Claire Benton (Julie Bishop) when her brother and his henchman Eli Cressett (Joe Sawyer) question Garry about the map.
Garry accuses Cressett of being one of the two wanted men he is seeking. Cressett, aided by Benton,mescapes from jail. Garry and Janet find
a split-butt rifle near where one of her hands was killed in a rustling raid. They take it to town and Garry telegraphs the Winchester Arms Company
and asks the name of the purchaser based on their serial number records. Cressett meets with Bill Masters, the real leader of the gang, and is
offered more money if he will kill Benton. He agrees, but intends to double-cross Masters. Read More »

Roberto Rossellini – Germania, anno zero aka Germany Year Zero (1948)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

In the third and final film of Rossellini’s WWII trilogy, the director shifts his focus from his native Italy to the bombed-out ruins of Berlin, where 12-year-old Edmund Koehler struggles for survival. Among the nine people he lives with are: a father, who is suffering from malnutrition and a fatal illness; a brother, who is a former Nazi soldier hiding to avoid arrest; and a sister, who has turned to prostitution. Scouring the rubble-strewn city for food, money, and cigarettes, he comes upon a former teacher, Herr Enning (Erich Guhne), who evinces a barely restrained sexual attraction to the boy while providing him with records of Hitler’s speeches that can be bartered on the black market. He also drums into the boy a classic piece of Nazi propaganda about the importance of having the courage to let the weak be destroyed. Under his influence, the confused young protagonist heads down a tragic path.
~ Michael Costello, AMG Read More »

Bernard Vorhaus – Lady from Louisiana (1941)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Plot:

Northern Lawyer John Reynolds (John Wayne) goes up against the lottery racket in 1880 corrupt Louisiana.
While on the riverboat to New Orleans, he meets and falls in love with Southern Belle, Julie (Ona Munson), General Anatole Mirbeau’s beautiful daughter. The General (Henry Stephenson) and his right-hand man Blackburn ‘Blackie’ Williams (Ray Middleton) run the popular Louisiana State Lottery Company, which support illegal activities and brothels while corrupting judges and other city officials. The battle between the men are complicated with Reynolds’ love for the General’s daughter and interrupted by torrential rain storms that breaks the levees, floods the city and threatens to destroy the city of New Orleans.

Stylishly directed by Bernard Vorhaus who had previously directed John Wayne in the memorable drama, Three Faces West. Includes an early performance by Dorothy Dandridge (Carmen Jones). Read More »

Roberto Rossellini – Roma, città aperta AKA Rome, Open City [+Extras] (1945)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Review from the Criterion website :
This was Roberto Rossellini’s revelation, a harrowing drama about the Nazi occupation of Rome and the brave few who struggled against it. Though told with more melodramatic flair than the other films that would form this trilogy and starring some well-known actors—Aldo Fabrizi as a priest helping the partisan cause and Anna Magnani in her breakthrough role as the fiancée of a resistance member—Rome Open City (Roma città aperta) is a shockingly authentic experience, conceived and directed amid the ruin of World War II, with immediacy in every frame. Marking a watershed moment in Italian cinema, this galvanic work garnered awards around the globe and left the beginnings of a new film movement in its wake. Read More »

Roberto Rossellini – Paisà AKA Paisan [+Extras] (1946)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
SYNOPSIS: Roberto Rossellini’s follow-up to his breakout Rome Open City was the ambitious, enormously moving Paisan (Paisà), which consists of six episodes set during the liberation of Italy at the end of World War II, and taking place across the country, from Sicily to the northern Po Valley. With its documentary-like visuals and its intermingled cast of actors and nonprofessionals, Italians and their American liberators, this look at the struggles of different cultures to communicate and of people to live their everyday lives in extreme circumstances is equal parts charming sentiment and vivid reality. A long-missing treasure of Italian cinema, Paisan is available here for the first time in its full original release version. Read More »

Sam Newfield – Money Madness (1948)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Money Madness (1948)
link

‘Money Madness’ (1948) Hugh Beaumont (Steve) Frances Rafferty (Julie) Cecil Weston (Aunt Cora) Harlan Warde (Attorney)

Leave it to Ward Cleaver. With a few deft strokes, he can ; stash the 200K he stole from a bank (and his cohorts) ; land a low-key hack job ; woo and marry a lovely and unsuspecting young soda jerk ; and manipulate his way to financial freedom – all in the few short weeks following his arrival in town on the noon bus (and a very ill wind).

In this lean and efficient programmer from the middle of the cycle, Beaumont impresses as moody crook-on-the-lam Steve Clark (an alias). Desperate to construct a front that will deceive the authorities and disgruntled fellow thugs alike – he blows into a strange town and rapidly spins the tangled web he deems necessary.
Read More »

Lewis Seiler – Whiplash (1948)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Plot:

Michael Gordon never intended to be a boxer. But after he decks a burly brawler at a nightclub, a ring promoter encourages him to give the fight game a shot. Gordon, whose career as an artist is going nowhere, agrees. Besides, it will bring him closer to the woman who has KO’d his heart – the promoter’s wife. The corrupt world of boxing was a staple of postwar Hollywood in well-known works like Body and Soul, The Set-Up and Champion and in lesser yet admirable works like Whiplash. Romantic melodrama and noirish atmospherics combine in this tale starring Dane Clark, Alexis Smith, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden and other reliables. Future The Mickey Mouse Club host Jimmie Dodd has an uncredited role as a piano man. From Warner Brothers!
Read More »