Film Noir

Ida Lupino – The Hitch-Hiker (1953)


29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

The Hitch-Hiker is the most well-known movie in Kino on Video’s “Ida Lupino–Queen of the B’s” video series. In the past, The Hitch-Hiker has been available in poor video transfers from small video companies. Now thanks to this pristine print, this taut, suspense-filled film noir can be better appreciated. The only film noir directed by a woman, The Hitch-Hiker tells the story of two buddies (Edmund O’Brien and Frank Lovejoy) on a fishing trip. Unbeknownst to them, however, the police are pursing a psychotic killer who hitches rides and then kills the occupants of the cars. (This character is based upon drifter William Edward Cook and the news coverage that followed his 1950 murder spree in the Southwest.) Emmet Meyers (played by William Talman) becomes a forerunner of the killer in Henry–Portrait of a Serial Killer. Without any remorse, he kills and then moves on to the next victim. O’Brien and Lovejoy make the mistake of stopping to pick up a hitchhiker and soon find themselves looking into the barrel of a .38 caliber revolver. Read More »

Andrew L. Stone – Cry Terror! (1958)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Plot:
A wife, a daughter, a steady job. Yesterday Jim Molner was an ordinary guy. Today he’s a desperate man, frantically trying to save himself and his family, held hostage by a demented terrorist who’s demanding $500,000 not to detonate a bomb he’s planted on a domestic airliner. James Mason and Rod Steiger head an “A” cast in a jolting, psychology-driven thriller that, like The Desperate Hours, Suddenly and other 1950s films, turns home sweet home into the tense site of a family held hostage. Cry Terror! adds a sweaty layer of sexual tension as well, provided by Angie Dickinson as the terrorist’s sinuous moll and Neville Brand as his benny-addled henchman, salivating over Molner’s distraught wife (Inger Stevens). From Warner Brothers! Read More »

Andrew L. Stone – The Night Holds Terror (1955)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Plot:
A group of escaped convicts take over a suburban home to evade the ongoing police manhunt, making the lives of the family living there a nightmare. The longer the men stay there, the more the tensions build and the more likely it becomes a tragedy will occur. Based on a real-life hostage-taking. Read More »

Otto Preminger – The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Description: Frankie Machine is a skilled card dealer and one-time heroin addict. When he returns home from jail, he struggles to find a new livelihood and to avoid slipping back into addiction. Read More »

William Keighley – The Street with No Name [+extra] (1948)

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/5953/streetwithnoname.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
In Center City, a housewife is murdered in a night-club by a gang of thieves. When a security guard of a bank is killed by the same gun during a heist, the crime becomes a federal offense under FBI jurisdiction. When the prime suspect is released and executed in the same night, FBI Inspector George Briggs recruits the rookie agent Gene Cordell to follow the last paths of the victim undercover in the identity of George Manly. Gene meets the powerful gangster Alec Stiles in a gymnasium, and later he is invited to join his gang. Working with his also undercover liaison Cy Gordon, Gene finds evidences to incriminate Stiles. However, he discovers also that somebody from the precinct is feeding Stiles with classified information. Read More »

Alexandre Rockwell – In the Soup (1992)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Soup’ Dreams

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Essentially a retread of The Freshman (1990) on a much lower budget, In the Soup concerns a young wannabe filmmaker, Adolfo Rollo (Steve Buscemi) who becomes mixed up with a gangster-type, Joe (Seymour Cassell) in the name of financing his first film.

Very little filmmaking occurs, though. What really happens is the old story of the life-loving older guy teaching the high-strung younger fellow a thing or two about living.

Yes, it’s an old story that has been told a thousand times before and since, but Alexandre Rockwell’s little film has a home movie charm and a streetwise wit that make it a must-see sleeper. Read More »

John Huston – The Maltese Falcon (1941)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
‘Spade and Archer is the name of a San Francisco detective agency. That’s for Sam Spade and Miles Archer. The two men are partners, but Sam doesn’t like Miles much. A knockout, who goes by the name of Miss Wanderly, walks into their office; and by that night everything’s changed. Miles is dead. And so is a man named Floyd Thursby. It seems Miss Wanderly is surrounded by dangerous men. There’s Joel Cairo, who uses gardenia-scented calling cards. There’s Kasper Gutman, with his enormous girth and feigned civility. Her only hope of protection comes from Sam, who is suspected by the police of one or the other murder. More murders are yet to come, and it will all be because of these dangerous men – and their lust for a statuette of a bird: the Maltese Falcon.’
– J. Spurlin (IMDb) Read More »