Mathieu Amalric – La chambre bleue (2014)

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A man and a woman, secretly in love, alone in a room. They desire each other, want each other, and even bite each other. In the afterglow, they share a few sweet nothings. At least the man seemed to believe they were nothing. Now under investigation by the police and the courts, what is he accused of? Continue reading

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Maurice Cazeneuve – Cette nuit-la… AKA That Night (1958)

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Synopsis:

‘Jean, who is the artistic director of a fashion magazine, is married to a very pretty cover girl, Sylvie. They both work for André Reverdy, a very cynical man, who openly covets Sylvie. Jean, awfully jealous, can’t put up with the situation. Persuaded that his young wife has given herself to his rival he goes and waits for Reverdy outside his bachelor flat. When the hated man goes out, he kills him…’
– Guy Bellinger Continue reading

Henry Hathaway – Kiss of Death [+Extras] (1947)

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Quote:
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

Robert Wise – Odds against tomorrow (1959)

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SYNOPSIS
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

Michel Deville & Charles Gérard – Une Balle dans le Canon AKA A Bullet in the Gun Barrel (1958)

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Synopsis
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.
Continue reading

Louis Malle – Ascenseur pour l’échafaud AKA Elevator to the Gallows [+extras] (1958)

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Synopsis:

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

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