Film Noir

Charles Barton – Smooth as Silk (1946)

Lawyer Kent Taylor (Mark) helps writer John Litel (Steve) by defending his relative Danny Morton (Don) in a drink-driving case where he is guilty. Taylor manipulates witness accounts so that Morton goes free and he does this on the understanding that Litel will give his girlfriend Virginia Grey (Paula), the lead role in his new play. Well, after the court case, Litel goes back on his word and, understandably, Taylor is not happy, especially when Grey’s true character begins to reveal herself as she ruthlessly pushes her self-interest. Time for a murder…… Read More »

Seijun Suzuki – Jûsangô taihi-sen ori: Sono gôshô o nerae aka Take Aim At The Police Van (1960)

A sharpshooter kills two prisoners in a police van at night. The guard on the van is suspended for six months; he’s Tamon, an upright, modest man. He begins his own investigation into the murders. Who were the victims, who are their relatives and girlfriends, who else was on the van that night? As he doggedly investigates, others die, coincidences occur, and several leads take him to the Hamaju Agency, which may be supplying call girls. Its owner is in jail, his daughter, the enigmatic Yuko, keeps turning up where Tamon goes. Tamon believes he can awaken good in people, but has he met his match? Will he solve the murders or be the next victim? And who is Akiba? Read More »

Orson Welles – Touch of Evil [Restored Version] (1958)

Roger Ebert / September 13, 1998
Come on, read my future for me. You haven’t got any. What do you mean? Your future is all used up. So speaks a fortune-telling madam, played by Marlene Dietrich, to the drunken sheriff of a border town, played by Orson Welles, in “Touch of Evil.”

Her words have a sad resonance, because Welles was never again to direct in Hollywood after making this dark, atmospheric story of crime and corruption. Read More »

Bodil Ipsen & Lau Lauritzen – Café Paradis (1950)

From: Wikipedia:
Café Paradis (English Title: Paradise Cafe) is an award-winning Danish film made in 1950, directed by Bodil Ipsen and Lau Lauritzen Jr., and written by Johannes Allen. The film received the Bodil Award for Film of the Year, and Ib Schønberg, for what is regarded his finest performance, received the Bodil Award for Best Supporting Actor.
The story illuminates the problems of alcoholism as it follows the lives of two people: one is a common workman (played by Poul Reichhardt) who drinks too much beer, and the other is a company director (played by Ib Schønberg), who believes he just needs “a little one every now and then.” They both come to face the consequences of their addictions. Read More »

Terence Fisher – Wings of Danger (1952)

Quote:
“A former pilot suffering from blackouts discovers that a fellow flyer is suspected of being mixed up with a web of smugglers. While searching for his missing buddy, he unwittingly becomes entangled in a morass of suspicion!” Read More »

Edgar G. Ulmer – Detour (1945)

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. Read More »

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 »