Lewis Allen

  • Lewis Allen – Suddenly (1954)

    1951-1960250 Quintessential Film NoirsFilm NoirLewis AllenUSA
    Suddenly (1954)
    Suddenly (1954)

    For a small film, Suddenly has a lot of baggage. Even after many years, it remains tainted by its eerie foreshadowing of President Kennedy’s assassination nine years following the film’s release—an association made all the more sinister by the oft-repeated (and now disputed) assertion that Lee Harvey Oswald watched the film shortly before the President was gunned down in Dallas. Then there’s the claim that star Frank Sinatra ordered the film withdrawn from circulation after Kennedy was killed, an order Sinatra had no power to give, although he did protest when a TV station aired the film shortly after the 35th President’s death. In the Nineties, the film was the victim of a botched colorization effort that turned Sinatra into Old Brown Eyes, and the failure to renew the film’s copyright caused it to become available through multiple public domain distributors in inferior versions that were painful to watch.Read More »

  • Lewis Allen – Chicago Deadline (1949)

    1941-1950Film NoirLewis AllenUSA

    Ladd is as hardboiled as ever in this minor film noir classic. He is a tough reporter in Chicago (though he is never shown working at a typewriter) who first appears at a run-down south side rooming house, attempting to talk a runaway girl into returning home. In the next room he finds the emaciated but beautiful body of a girl who has died of tuberculosis (Reed). Before the police arrive Ladd pockets her address book and then systematically begins to look up the various venal people in her life who tell her story in flashbacks. There is Kroeger, a vicious gangster; Muir, a nervous banker; Freeman, an invalid writer; Lees, an addled boxer; Havoc, a call girl; Hervey, a gangster’s moll; and, in a startling performance, Strudwick, as a melancholy mobster. Read More »

  • Lewis Allen – The Unseen (1945)

    1941-1950Film NoirLewis AllenMysteryUSA

    A secretive widower hires a governess for his children, a willful boy and impressionable girl. Strange occurrences and the governess’s curiosity lead her to unlock the secrets of the mysterious and uninhabited brownstone next door.Read More »

  • Lewis Allen – So Evil My Love (1948)

    1941-1950Film NoirLewis AllenUSA

    Berkeley Art Museum – Pacific Film Archive writes:
    Ray Milland is both repellent and compelling in this Victorian thriller, directed with bleak panache by Lewis Allen (The Uninvited). Milland plays a charming thief, forger, and all-around blackguard who spots a prime mark in Ann Todd, a missionary’s widow and proprietor of a boarding house where Milland takes up residence. Under the influence of Milland’s advances, the straitlaced Todd abandons her inhibitions, eventually becoming complicit in larceny and blackmail—but her seducer will learn that a woman’s passion, once unleashed, can be difficult for even the most calculating con artist to control. A carefully drawn backdrop of British respectability heightens the drama of Todd’s decline: as so many English mysteries have proven, crime can be all the more thrilling when draped in crinoline.Read More »

  • Lewis Allen – At Sword’s Point (1952)

    1951-1960ActionAdventureLewis AllenUSA

    France, 1648: Richelieu and Louis XIII are dead, the new king is a minor, and the Duc de Lavalle is in virtually open rebellion, scheming to seize power. As a last resort, Queen Anne summons the heirs of the original Musketeers to her aid…including Claire, daughter of Athos, who when she chooses can miraculously pass as a boy, and wields as fine a sword as any. All their skills will be needed for a battle against increasing odds. One for all and all for one! Written by Rod CrawfordRead More »

  • Lewis Allen – Desert Fury (1947)

    1941-1950CrimeFilm NoirLewis AllenQueer Cinema(s)USA

    Fritzi Haller is a powerful casino owner in Chuckawalla, Nevada. Her daughter Paula (having quit school) returns at the same time as racketeer Eddie Bendix, who left under suspicion of murdering his wife. Paula and Eddie become involved; each for their own reasons, Fritzi, Paula’s old beau Tom, and Eddie’s pal Johnny try to break up the relationship. Then Eddie’s past catches up with him in an unexpected way.Read More »

  • Lewis Allen – The Perfect Marriage (1947)

    1941-1950ClassicsComedyLewis AllenScrewball ComedyUSA


    Jenny and Dale Williams have been married ten years and parents of a
    nine-year-old daughter, “Cookie” Williams. They live well, have
    separate careers, are surrounded by sophisticated friends, and are
    afflicted with overattentive in-laws on each side. Celebrating their
    tenth anniversary,this, of course, means it is time to tell each other
    they want a divorce from each other. They talk about it. They talk to
    their friends about it. The friends and in-laws talk to them and to
    each other and to anyone who will listen about it.Read More »

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