Based in part on a true story, Kiss of Death is given a veneer of reality by being filmed on location in New York, with a bare minimum of studio work. In one of his best performances, Victor Mature plays a cheap crook who is sent up the river for 20 years for robbery. District attorney Brian Donlevy, out of sympathy for Mature’s two young daughters, gives him a chance to go free—if Mature will blow the whistle on his accomplices. Stubbornly adhering to the “code” of thieves, Mature refuses to do so, until his wife kills herself and his kids are placed in an orphanage. Once paroled, Mature is prevailed upon to extract additional information from sadistic mob torpedo Richard Widmark (in his chilling screen debut). Continue reading
Eric Stanton, a penniless drifter, falls in love with Stella, who works in a small-town coffee shop. She refuses to marry him because of his poor financial condition. Desperate for money, Eric marries a wealthy local spinster to bilk her inheritance, and then run off with Stella. Continue reading
ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW, a crackling crime caper with an undercurrent of racial tension, combines the desperation of three men–two of whom hate each other–and the culmination of that desperation in the form of a robbery. The film, which includes a fantastic jazz score by pianist John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet, is a film noir gem. David Burke (Ed Begley), a former policeman who once served a prison sentence, has asked bigoted southerner Earl Slater (Robert Ryan) to rob an upstate bank with him, promising him $50,000 in small bills if the robbery is successful. Burke also recruits Johnny Ingram (Harry Belafonte, who also helped produce the film), a nightclub entertainer who doesn’t want the job but who is hopelessly addicted to gambling and is in debt. At first Slater, who is supported by his girlfriend, Lorry (Shelley Winters), finds out Ingram is black and refuses the job but, realizing he needs the money, decides after all to join Ingram and Burke in the venture. When they embark on the robbery, however, all hell breaks loose as danger–and the tension between Ingram and Slater–mount. Continue reading
The story concerns a couple of ex-servicemen who engineer a robbery, only to run afoul of professional criminals.
Dick et Tony, parachutistes rapatriés d’Indochine ont accepté de rendre un petit service au Maltais. Pour une commission de deux millions de francs, ils ont fait transiter 25 millions, mais au moment de rendre l’argent, le Maltais n’est pas là. Ils investissent alors cet argent dans une boîte de nuit.
In his mesmerizing debut feature, twenty-four-year-old director Louis Malle brought together the beauty of Jeanne Moreau, the camerawork of Henri Decaë, and a now legendary score by Miles Davis. A touchstone of the careers of both its star and director, Elevator to the Gallows is a richly atmospheric thriller of murder and mistaken identity unfolding over one restless Parisian night. Continue reading
Pete and Ellen have reared Meg as their own, ever since she was a baby and her parents took off. Now a teen, Meg convinces her friend Nath to come help with chores on the farm: Pete isn’t getting around on his wooden leg like he used to. When Nath insists on using a short cut home through the woods, Pete gets quite agitated and warns him of screams in the night, of terrors associated with the red house. Curious, Meg and Nath ignore his warnings and begin exploring. Meg begins falling in love with Nath, but his girlfriend Tibby has other plans for him. Meanwhile they all get closer to real danger and the dark secret of the red house. Continue reading
Young model Leonora Eames (Bel Geddes) marries multimillionaire Smith Ohlrig (Ryan). Ohlrig though is deranged and did not marry for love. Eames insists several times that she married for love, but the film suggests that she is deluding herself. When Ohlrig becomes too abusive, she leaves him, penniless, to find a job at a medical clinic in a poor neighborhood and eventually falls for Dr. Larry Quinada (Mason). Continue reading