Otto Preminger – Daisy Kenyon (1947)

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Daisy Kenyon stars Joan Crawford as the eponymous heroine, a Manhattan commercial artist. Daisy is torn between two men: a handsome, married attorney (Dana Andrews) and an unmarried Henry Fonda. Deciding to do the “right thing”, Daisy marries Fonda, but carries a torch for the dashing Andrews. When the lawyer divorces his wife, he calls upon Daisy and tries to win her back. She is very nearly won over, but her husband isn’t about to give up so easily. Both men argue over Daisy, who is so distraught by the experience that she nearly has a fatal automobile accident. In the end, Daisy realizes that she truly loves Fonda, and gives Andrews his walking papers. Daisy Kenyon is given a contemporary slant with a subplot about child abuse (in a Joan Crawford film!); and, in one scene set at New York’s Stork Club, several celebrities (Walter Winchell, Leonard Lyons, John Garfield) make unbilled cameo appearances. Continue reading Otto Preminger – Daisy Kenyon (1947)

Otto Preminger – Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)

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Dana Andrews is brutal metropolitan police detective Dixon, who despises all criminals because his father had been one. When the cops pick up two-bit gambler Ken Paine (Craig Stevens) as a murder suspect, Dixon subjects Paine to the third degree—and accidentally kills him.

In disposing of the body, Dixon inadvertently places the blame for the killing on cab driver Jiggs Taylor (Tom Tully). Having fallen in love with Jigg’s daughter (Gene Tierney), Dixon tries to clear the cabbie without implicating himself, but ultimately he becomes trapped in a web of his own making; luckily Tierney promises to stand by him.

Where the Sidewalk Ends was adapted from a novel by William A. Stuart; its director was Otto Preminger, who’d previously put Andrews and Tierney through their paces in Laur (1944). Continue reading Otto Preminger – Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)

Helmut Käutner – Schwarzer Kies AKA Black Gravel (1961)

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In 1960, in a rural part of West Germany, an American military base is set up in a small village of 250 inhabitants. Now, 6000 soldiers are living in the region, and although no one really likes them, everybody is doing business with them. Some turn old barns in “typically American bars” where GIs can spend their pay for drinks; numerous prostitutes are visiting the region regularly to allow the Americans to forget about their homesickness for several costly minutes; others benefit from the construction of a military air base. Continue reading Helmut Käutner – Schwarzer Kies AKA Black Gravel (1961)

Joseph Losey – M (1951)

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Martin W Harrow (David Wayne) is a compulsive child-murderer who is tracked down and then placed on trial by the criminal underworld in Los Angeles. Syndicate chieftain Marshall (Martin Gabel) organizes his fellow crooks in order to bring “M” to justice, thereby keeping the police off their own backs. Found guilty by his “peers” and sentenced to death, “M” makes an impassioned plea for his life, explaining that he is unable to stop himself from committing his unspeakable crimes. Continue reading Joseph Losey – M (1951)

Gordon Douglas – I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. (1951)

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Synopsis:
The FBI infiltrates one of their agents in the US Communist Party. This causes big problems in the normal life of the agent. Nobody knows that he is with the FBI, neither his family. Continue reading Gordon Douglas – I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. (1951)

Robert Montgomery – Lady in the Lake (1947)

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Synopsis:
The camera shows Phillip Marlowe’s view from the first-person in this adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s book. The detective is hired to find a publisher’s wife, who is supposed to have run off to Mexico. But the case soon becomes much more complicated as people are murdered.
Continue reading Robert Montgomery – Lady in the Lake (1947)