Much of this gripping crime drama takes place in a remote New England farm house owned by the brother of a bank robber. The crook is mortally wounded during his last heist and suddenly shows up seeking shelter. The brother reluctantly harbors the fugitive and his henchmen. Time passes and the henchmen are anxious to move on; unfortunately, their leader is healing. He is also still in love with his brother’s wife with whom he had an affair. More trouble ensues when it is revealed that the woman’s son was fathered by the crook, not her husband. Meanwhile, a farmhand manages to escape. He tries to alert the cops and this causes the criminals to flee. To help them through the woods the robber takes the boy to guide him. The boy is devastated when his heretofore decentuncle shoots his father. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide Continue reading
Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre make a marvelous team in this exhilarating and atmospheric Film-Noir that Daily Variety hailed as “one of the most brilliant crime dramas yet filmed.” When the body of Dimitrios Makropoulos (Zachary Scott) washes ashore in Istanbul, there is cause for celebration all across Europe. The devious sociopath has left as his legacy an array of crimes including blackmail, thievery, murder and high treason. Interested in chronicling the dead man’s unscrupulous exploits, mystery writer Cornelius Leyden (Lorre) takes up his trail, aided by a mysterious man named Peters (Greenstreet). But as Leyden zeroes in on the truth about Dimitrios, he finds that his new associate has an ulterior motive in helping him – with Leyden as the unwitting accomplice! As suspenseful and riveting as the Eric Ambler novel on which it is based, The Mask of Dimitrios is “an exceptional picture” (Los Angeles Times) that delivers nonstop, pulse-quickening excitement! Continue reading
The Well is a modest but generally effective plea for racial tolerance. Based loosely on a real incident, the film tells of the disappearance of a little African-American girl in a small, segregated community. Caucasian Claude Packard (Harry Morgan, the nephew of the town’s richest man (Barry Kelley), is the last person seen with the little girl. Sensing a coverup when Morgan is not immediately charged, the black community is on the verge of a riot. But when it’s discovered that the little girl has fallen down a well, all racial differences are forgotten as black and white neighbors work shoulder to shoulder to rescue the child. The Well tries very hard to be equitable by 1951 standards, and is heartfelt enough to overcome its occasional lapses into stereotype and condescension. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi Continue reading
Pauline ‘Paulie’ Nevins is cheating on her husband Ralph Nevins, a land developer, with his sales manager E.V. ‘Marsh’ Marshall. When Paulie and Marsh meet up for a secret rendez-vous in a lovers’ lane they manage to overhear three criminals planning a jewelry heist. They hatch a plan to rob the thieves and run away together but Ralph starts to get suspicious of them. Continue reading
After his father is gunned down by four thugs, a young boy spends time in an orphanage. There he meets other problem children and learns how to survive. Ultimately his life degenerates into a series of trips in and out of jail cells.
But these experiences at least teach him how to thrive amid the living urban debris of gangsters, on-the-take cops, and fleeting women. He still has one big score to settle, though. It seems the four men who murdered his father currently have cushy positions within the gangland hierarchy.
Now he has a bullet reserved for each killer. Continue reading
Sebastien Grenier (Lino Ventura), a former French spy, is working as a financial analyst in Zurich and cultivating an on-going relationship with Anna Gretz (Krystyna Janda), a German teaching at the university. Then his peaceful existence starts to disintegrate when he is recruited by a top French intelligence operative (Michel Piccoli) to discover how one of their own secret agents was found out and executed in broad daylight by a gang of terrorists. Sebastien starts to work but is immediately put off by the fact that his contacts are being murdered before he can reach them. As he gets deeper and deeper into the case, he comes to realize that he is being used in an elaborate political scheme, a scheme that leads to the death of Anna and a vow to get the killers who have now ruined what is left of his life. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide
Money Madness (1948)
‘Money Madness’ (1948) Hugh Beaumont (Steve) Frances Rafferty (Julie) Cecil Weston (Aunt Cora) Harlan Warde (Attorney)
Leave it to Ward Cleaver. With a few deft strokes, he can ; stash the 200K he stole from a bank (and his cohorts) ; land a low-key hack job ; woo and marry a lovely and unsuspecting young soda jerk ; and manipulate his way to financial freedom – all in the few short weeks following his arrival in town on the noon bus (and a very ill wind).
In this lean and efficient programmer from the middle of the cycle, Beaumont impresses as moody crook-on-the-lam Steve Clark (an alias). Desperate to construct a front that will deceive the authorities and disgruntled fellow thugs alike – he blows into a strange town and rapidly spins the tangled web he deems necessary.