Stuart Heisler

  • Stuart Heisler – I Died a Thousand Times (1955)

    Stuart Heisler1951-1960CrimeFilm NoirUSA

    After aging criminal Roy Earle is released from prison he decides to pull one last heist before retiring – by robbing a resort hotel.Read More »

  • Stuart Heisler – Among the Living (1941)

    Stuart Heisler2011-2020250 Quintessential Film NoirsDramaFilm NoirUSA

    A mentally unstable man, who has been kept in isolation for years, escapes and causes trouble for his identical twin brother.

    Letterboxd review
    ★★★½ Rewatched by DopeAssGhost 26 Aug 2019


    Casting shadows of Southern Gothic overtones and sending shivers of noir through the body, Among The Living is a mix of subgenres including social drama, suspense thriller, and even a bout of horror. It’s a short 67 minute black and white picture that offers a simplistic story- mentally unstable twin brother of an affluent man breaks out of his mansion room prison, kills a couple of people on the outside, and becomes manipulated by an attractive dame. It’s an enjoyable looking film that kept me entertained for the most part, but it doesn’t really have any impact in thematic scope or rewatchability. Plus besides a slightly suspenseful on-foot chase sequence, I didn’t really get any suspense vibes.Read More »

  • Stuart Heisler – The Burning Hills (1956)

    1951-1960Stuart HeislerUSAWestern

    This beautifully-filmed CinemaScope western spins the familiar plot of a greedy cattle baron taking the law into his own hands to monopolize a rich valley before legal claims can be filed on the land. Tab Hunter and Natalie Wood are the headliners here and their chemistry works well. Hunter is okay as a cowboy who wants to square matters for his brother’s murder. However, Ms. Wood is not very convincing as a Mexican girl, in spite of her fetching looks. Predictably, romance blooms, and Hunter and Wood team up to battle the bad guys who trail them like bloodhounds. The action is spotty but a solid cast of familiar character actors nudges the story along. The film has a fine climax, a derring-do affair in the spirit of the old west. The movie was based on a good Louis L’Amour novel and nearly measures up to this great storyteller’s work.Read More »

  • Stuart Heisler – Chain Lightning (1950)

    Drama1941-1950ActionStuart HeislerUSA

    Former World War II flying ace Matt Brennan (Humphrey Bogart) takes a position as a test pilot for a commercial aircraft corporation and bumps into his old girlfriend, Jo Holloway (Eleanor Parker), who now works as a receptionist for the company. As daredevil Matt tries to rekindle his once passionate romance with Jo, he courageously takes the most dangerous assignment of his career when he consents to use an unorthodox, unproven ejector seat while flying at death-defying speeds.Read More »

  • Stuart Heisler – Storm Warning (1951)

    1951-1960DramaFilm NoirStuart HeislerUSA

    Marsha Mitchell, a traveling dress model, stops in a southern town to see her sister who has married a Ku Klux Klansman. Marsha sees the KKK commit a murder and helps District Attorney Burt Rainey in bringing the criminals to justice.Read More »

  • Stuart Heisler & Mark Sandrich – Blue Skies (1946)

    1941-1950ClassicsMark SandrichMusicalStuart HeislerUSA

    Jed Potter looks back on a love triangle conducted over the course of years and between musical numbers. Dancer Jed loves showgirl Mary, who loves compulsive nightclub-opener Johnny, who can’t stay committed to anything in life for very long.Read More »

  • Stuart Heisler – Tokyo Joe (1949)

    1941-1950DramaStuart HeislerThrillerUSA

    An American returns to Tokyo try to pick up threads of his pre-WW2 life there, but finds himself squeezed between criminals and the authorities.Read More »

  • Stuart Heisler – The Glass Key (1942)

    1941-1950CrimeFilm NoirStuart HeislerUSA


    This is a solid remake of the 1935 film of the same name about big-city political corruption, and it starred Edward Arnold as the corrupt political boss and George Raft as his loyal lieutenant. Stuart Heisler directs this film noir in a workmanlike manner (though, the changed hard-edged ending from the novel is a copout). It is similar themed but less effective than The Maltese Falcon, which was also based on a Dashiell Hammet novel. The Glass Key was supposedly the inspiration for Kurosawa’s Yojimbo. The title refers to the political boss backing a candidate based on the expectation of being rewarded with the key to the governor’s house if all goes according to plan, but is breakable if there’s a betrayal. For Paramount this was a big box-office film because of the star team of Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd, who sparkled as lovers with opposite personalities.Read More »

  • Max Ophüls, Stuart Heisler, Mel Ferrer, Preston Sturges, Paul Weatherwax – Vendetta (1950)

    1941-1950DramaMax OphülsPreston SturgesRomanceStuart HeislerUSA


    Max Ophuls’ first American film. Fired by Howard Hughes after falling behind schedule, Ophuls was replaced by Preston Sturges, who had written the script. Sturges was then fired also. Over the next four years, Hughes tinkered incessantly with the project, and an array of writers and directors had their way with it. Finally editor Don Siegel attempted to put the thing together and make sense of it.

    So the movie is messy but with stunning sequences. Most sources credit Mel Ferrer with directing the ending, but it’s clear he only shot the leaden coda. The actual climax is a beautifully orchestrated, stunningly lit stalking scene with the principal characters hunting each other through a misty wood. Absolutely beautiful, and if this is what made Ophuls go over schedule, as seems likely, he was right to take the time to get it looking this amazing.Read More »

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