Film Noir

Carol Reed – Odd Man Out (1947)

Plot synopsis:
Johnny McQueen, 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… Read More »

Gerd Oswald – A Kiss Before Dying (1956) (HD)

Synopsis
A ruthless college student resorts to murder in a futile attempt to marry an heiress. Read More »

Hark Tsui – Die bian aka The Butterfly Murders (1979)

From “HK New Wave Cinema”

Against Tradition, Against the System, Against Society

After Golden Blade Sentimental Swordsman, Tsui joined the film industry. His debut
work was The Butterfly Murders (1979). Set in Shen’s castle, the plot focuses on an
investigation of the ‘butterfly killers’, who have committed a string of murders. Valiant
men from various places have also been killing each other. A writer-reporter, Fang
Hongye, is writing about all of these incidents to anthologize them in a book entitled
Diary of Hongye. In the process, Fang discovers that all of the killings have been
initiated by the master of the castle, as part of his plan to become the king of wulin
(the martial arts world). Read More »

Anatole Litvak – The Long Night (1947)

Synopsis:
Shortly after a violent encounter with magician Maximilian (Vincent Price), Joe Adams (Henry Fonda) is shot by police. As he lies dying in his apartment, he reflects on his past. The flashbacks follow Joe as he falls in love with young Jo Ann (Barbara Bel Geddes), who is also being courted by Maximilian. Jo Ann begins to favor the compassionate Joe over the possessive magician, and Maximilian heads to Joe’s apartment intending to kill him, resulting in a dramatic standoff. Read More »

Don Siegel – The Verdict (1946)

Synopsis:
Mr. Grodman was a respected superintendent at Scotland Yard until a mistake in an investigation caused the execution of an innocent man. He takes the blame and is dismissed, replaced by the obnoxious, gloating Buckley. Feeling vengeful, Grodman would like nothing more than to see Buckley look foolish on the job. His friend Victor Emmric, an artist with macabre tastes, wouldn’t mind either and soon a mysterious murder occurs that may provide them with the chance. Read More »

Joseph H. Lewis – The Undercover Man (1949)

“The Inside Storyo of a Great U.S. Criminal Investigation”
Frank Warren is a treasury agent assigned to put an end to the activities of a powerful mob crime boss. The agent struggles to put together a case but is frustrated when all he finds are terrified witnesses and corrupt police officers. Although most informants end up dead, Agent Warren gets critical information about the mob from an unlikely source.

The film was based on an article entitled “He Trapped Capone,” the first part of the autobiography Undercover Man by Federal Agent Frank J. Wilson, which was serialized in Collier’s in 1947. (Wikipedia) Read More »

Anthony Mann – Side Street (1950)

Joe Norson, an expectant father and a New York City postman of modest means is chased by both cops and crooks when he steals a shipment of dirty money.

New Crime Story
The respectable but somewhat tedious formula of M-G-M’: “Crime Does Not Pay” shorts has been used by that studio for “Side Street,” a feature-length drama of crime and its profitless consequences, which came to the Palace yesterday. The story is semi-documentary, being a detailed account of the fearful adventures of a young mail carrier who recklessly steals a wad of money that is “hot,” and it is played for considerable realism against the actuality background of New York. In the principal role, Farley Granger makes a vividly terrorized lad, and James Craig, Paul Kelly and Edmon Ryan stand out as assorted thugs and cops. Read More »