Film Noir

Don Siegel – The Verdict (1946)

Synopsis:
Mr. Grodman was a respected superintendent at Scotland Yard until a mistake in an investigation caused the execution of an innocent man. He takes the blame and is dismissed, replaced by the obnoxious, gloating Buckley. Feeling vengeful, Grodman would like nothing more than to see Buckley look foolish on the job. His friend Victor Emmric, an artist with macabre tastes, wouldn’t mind either and soon a mysterious murder occurs that may provide them with the chance. Read More »

Joseph H. Lewis – The Undercover Man (1949)

“The Inside Storyo of a Great U.S. Criminal Investigation”
Frank Warren is a treasury agent assigned to put an end to the activities of a powerful mob crime boss. The agent struggles to put together a case but is frustrated when all he finds are terrified witnesses and corrupt police officers. Although most informants end up dead, Agent Warren gets critical information about the mob from an unlikely source.

The film was based on an article entitled “He Trapped Capone,” the first part of the autobiography Undercover Man by Federal Agent Frank J. Wilson, which was serialized in Collier’s in 1947. (Wikipedia) Read More »

Anthony Mann – Side Street (1950)

Joe Norson, an expectant father and a New York City postman of modest means is chased by both cops and crooks when he steals a shipment of dirty money.

New Crime Story
The respectable but somewhat tedious formula of M-G-M’: “Crime Does Not Pay” shorts has been used by that studio for “Side Street,” a feature-length drama of crime and its profitless consequences, which came to the Palace yesterday. The story is semi-documentary, being a detailed account of the fearful adventures of a young mail carrier who recklessly steals a wad of money that is “hot,” and it is played for considerable realism against the actuality background of New York. In the principal role, Farley Granger makes a vividly terrorized lad, and James Craig, Paul Kelly and Edmon Ryan stand out as assorted thugs and cops. Read More »

Jean Delannoy – Maigret tend un piège AKA Maigret Sets a Trap AKA Inspector Maigret (1958)

Synopsis:
For some time now, women coming home at night have been savagely murdered by a mysterious serial killer. Inspector Lagrume thinks he has found the culprit in the person of Barberot, a local butcher. But Maigret, who takes over the investigation, is not convinced. Deep inside himself, he knows the murderer is still at large. But how to trap him ? Read More »

John Farrow – Where Danger Lives (1950)

Faith Domergue, the latest of Howard Hughes’ protegees, made her film debut in 1950’s Where Danger Lives. Domergue plays Margo Lannington the wife of Frederick Lannington (Claude Rains), an elderly millionaire possessed of a sadistic streak. Robert Mitchum co-stars as Jeff Cameron, a poor soul who falls in love with Margo without knowing that she’s married. During a violent confrontation with the jealous Frederick, Cameron knocks the older man out and stumbles out of the room. Upon his return, he discovers that Frederick is dead. Margo had smothered her husband during Cameron’s absence, but she insists that Cameron is the killer. Read More »

Edward Dmytryk – Crossfire (1947)

Quote:
Homicide Capt. Finlay finds evidence that one or more of a group of demobilized soldiers is involved in the death of Joseph Samuels. In flashbacks, we see the night’s events from different viewpoints as Sergeant Keeley investigates on his own, trying to clear his friend Mitchell, to whom circumstantial evidence points. Then the real, ugly motive for the killing begins to dawn on both Finlay and Keeley… Read More »

Shôhei Imamura – Hateshinaki yokubô AKA Endless Desire (1958)

Synopsis:
On 15 August 1955 at noon, on the anniversary of Japan’s surrender, five people gather outside a train station, each of them wearing the emblem of the former imperial army on their chest. On the day of the surrender, an army general had hidden a can of priceless morphin in an air-raid shelter. It had been agreed then that the general and his three soldiers would meet ten years later to share their loot. Outside the station there is now one person too many. What’s more, one of them is a woman who claims she was married to the now dead general. The four men and the woman hire a house, aiming to turn it into a real estate agency. They start digging the ground to reach the spot where the can was buried. As their work progresses, each of them becomes a victim of their own selfishness, distrust and greed. Read More »