Mystery

Lambert Hillyer – Extortion (1938)

The story takes place on a college campus, where a distinctively unpopular professor is murdered. When her physics-teacher father falls under suspicion, co-ed Betty Tisdale turns to campus newspaper editor Larry Campbell. Dissatisfied with the slowness of police procedure, Betty, Larry and their fellow students conduct their own investigation, unearthing a hotbed of scholastic intrigue and double-crossing. Read More »

Kurt Neumann – Ellery Queen, Master Detective (1940)

Ralph Bellamy made the first of four appearances as fictional sleuth Ellery Queen in Columbia’s “Ellery Queen, Master Detective”. For reasons that defy logic, the studio elected to transform the brilliant, analytical Queen into a hopeless bumbler, who seems incapable of tying his own shoes, much less solving a murder. Set at a posh health resort, the story gets under way when wealthy physical culturalist John Braun (played by former director Fred Niblo) is killed after threatening to cut all his heirs out of his will. Read More »

Edward A. Blatt – Between Two Worlds (1944)

Synopsis:
Passengers on an ocean liner can’t recall how they got on board or where they are going yet, oddly enough, it soon becomes apparent that they all have something in common. Read More »

Alfred Hitchcock – Stage Fright (1950)

A 1950 British crime film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock starring Jane Wyman, Marlene Dietrich, Michael Wilding and Richard Todd. Others in the cast include Alastair Sim, Sybil Thorndike, Kay Walsh, Hitchcock’s daughter Patricia Hitchcock in her movie debut and Joyce Grenfell in a humorous vignette.
The story was adapted for the screen by Whitfield Cook, Ranald MacDougall and Alma Reville (the director’s wife), with additional dialogue by James Bridie, based on the novel Man Running by Selwyn Jepson. Read More »

Andrés Baiz – La cara oculta AKA The Hidden Face (2011)

Synopsis:
Adrián, a talented orchestra conductor, receives a video message from his beloved Belén, telling him with tears in her eyes that she is leaving him, and that she cannot carry on with him anymore. Shattered by the unexpected news of their irreversible break-up and puzzled by Belén’s inexplicable decision, Adrián gets help from the local police to solve this mysterious case of disappearance; however, as there is still no news of Belén, a new woman will appear in his life. In the end, with no progress at all in Belén’s baffling case, who would think to look beyond the facts, as truth often lies hidden in the most unusual of places? Read More »

Barbet Schroeder – Reversal of Fortune [+ Commentary] (1990)

Wealthy Sunny von Bülow lies brain-dead, husband Claus guilty of attempted murder; but he says he’s innocent and hires Alan Dershowitz for his appeal.

Letterboxd review by chavel ★★★★★
An aerial shot that opens is like no other, it starts overlooking over the exclusive Easton Bay and then turns upwards, with the shot swooping over estate after estate in ritzy Rhode Island for nearly a minute. In an overhead shot, these are the richest looking houses you’ve ever seen, property after property, perfectly, lushly landscaped. Read More »

Karen Shakhnazarov – Gorod Zero AKA Zero City (1988)

An engineer in charge of the production line of a factory in Moscow is sent to a small town to try to specify the distributor the new dimensions of a mechanic part they need. But in this town everybody seems to be crazy (a secretary who works naked, a group of people take the engineer as a rock & roll player, etc) and, in addition, this man is witness of a suicide, so he is trapped inside the town. Read More »