When Mike Sarno (Kane Richmond) out-cheats Fay Benton (Bernadene Hayes) in a crooked poker game, the two gamblers bury the hatchet and agree to become partners in crime. Posing as brother and sister, the pair finally hits the big time when Mike runs into a gambler (Phil Van Zandt) who owes him a debt and takes over his casino to square it. So as the high-rollers’ dough starts pouring in and Mike eventually tires of Fay, he dumps her to get his hands on a gorgeous heiress (Gloria Warren) and her cash, a double-cross that will lead to murder and a shocking surprise when the cops reveal the killer’s name. Continue reading
Michael Gordon never intended to be a boxer. But after he decks a burly brawler at a nightclub, a ring promoter encourages him to give the fight game a shot. Gordon, whose career as an artist is going nowhere, agrees. Besides, it will bring him closer to the woman who has KO’d his heart – the promoter’s wife. The corrupt world of boxing was a staple of postwar Hollywood in well-known works like Body and Soul, The Set-Up and Champion and in lesser yet admirable works like Whiplash. Romantic melodrama and noirish atmospherics combine in this tale starring Dane Clark, Alexis Smith, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden and other reliables. Future The Mickey Mouse Club host Jimmie Dodd has an uncredited role as a piano man. From Warner Brothers!
Plot Synopsis: Though he doesn’t speak his first line of dialogue until the film’s final ten minutes, Peter Lorre spiritually dominates the fascinating RKO melodrama Stranger on the Third Floor. The plotline is carried by John McGuire, playing Ward, a newspaper reporter whose courtroom testimony sends the hapless Briggs (Elisha Cook Jr). to the death house. Ward is certain that he saw Briggs leaving the scene of a murder, but as the days pass, he is tortured by guilt and doubt — especially during the film’s surrealistic knockout of a nightmare sequence. When another murder is committed, Ward finds himself as much a victim of circumstantial evidence as the unfortunate Briggs. The reporter’s girlfriend (Margaret Tallichet) tries to clear Ward….and that’s when she first makes the acquaintance of Lorre, who is heard ordering a pound of raw meat! Stranger on the Third Floor was a “film noir” long prior to the genesis of that cinematic movement. Long ignored or trivialized by film historians, this 7-reel quickie has in recent years graduated to classic status.
– Hal Erickson, AMG Continue reading
Very weird piece of mystic low-life exotica, with perennial foreigner Valery Inkijinoff as Eastern sage dispensing strange wisdom and Viviane Romance looking stunning in Betty Page fringe as a prostitute and femme fatale. Lots of Third Manic running around in a sort of non-specifically-exotic soukh set, crime, atmosphere and Marcel Dalio. Quite peculiar by Raymond Bernard’s standards, but VERY diverting. Continue reading
“A U.S. Air Force pilot becomes the logical suspect after his wife is shot and killed. The thirty-six hours he has to clear himself are filled with twists and turns culminating in an exciting climax.”
“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!” Continue reading
‘J.J. Hunsecker, the most powerful newspaper columnist in New York, is determined to prevent his sister from marrying Steve Dallas, a jazz musician. He therefore covertly employs Sidney Falco, a sleazy and unscrupulous press agent, to break up the affair by any means possible.’
- David Levene (IMDb) Continue reading