Tag Archives: 1940s

Richard Fleischer – Trapped (1949)

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Secret Service agents make a deal with a counterfeiting inmate to be released on early parole if he will help them recover some bogus moneymaking plates, but he plans to double cross them. Read More »

Bernard Vorhaus – The Amazing Mr. X (1948)

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On the beach one night, Christine Faber, two years a widow, thinks she hears her late husband Paul calling out of the surf…then meets a tall dark man, Alexis, who seems to know all about such things. After more ghostly manifestations, Christine and younger sister Janet become enmeshed in the eerie artifices of Alexis; but he in turn finds himself manipulated into deeper deviltry than he had in mind… Read More »

Delmer Daves – Pride of the Marines (1945)

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Pride of the Marines is a stirring, powerful, hard-hitting World War II drama. Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say it’s a post-War drama, as the real meat of the picture concerns a wounded soldier’s return to civilian life. While Pride is undeniably patriotic, it also is not afraid to ask some serious, hard questions or to present war as less than a grand adventure. It really features only one battle sequence, which lasts some ten minutes; it’s an amazing, gripping sequence, but it doesn’t glorify battle as many similar films do. The men involved are fighting for their lives, and they react exactly as people really do react in such a situation. Similarly, the discussion about what life will be like when they return home dares to present the possibility that things will not be all roses, a rather bold suggestion for a 1945 film. Finally, the anguish, torment, and bitterness that the lead character experiences is striking and affecting. Read More »

James W. Horne – The Shadow (1940)

The Shadow battles a villain known as The Black Tiger, who has the power to make himself invisible and is trying to take over the world with his death ray. Read More »

Giuseppe De Santis, Luchino Visconti, Marcello Pagliero, Mario Serandrei – Giorni di Gloria AKA Days of Glory (1945)

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Giorni di Gloria has been called “the first documentary on the Resistance” (Antonio Vitti) and “the most revolutionary film in existence” (Paolo Gobetti). I prefer the film’s own dedication:

«A tutti coloro che in Italia hanno sofferto e combattuto l´oppressione nazifascista è dedicato questo film di lotta partigiana e di rinascita nazionale»

“For all those in Italy who have suffered and fought Nazi oppression, this film is dedicated to the partisan struggle and national rebirth.”

The film is raw, brutal, humane, outraged and unflagging in its celebration of resistance in the service of political justice. The photography – credited to a dozen cinematographers, including Gianni Di Venanzo’s first film credit – is starkly beautiful. Read More »

James W. Horne – The Iron Claw (1941)

A fabulous fortune is at stake! The Iron Claw is hot on the trail! He lurks in the dark! He strikes in the back! Murder! Intrigue! Horror! Destruction! Brother against brother! Friend against friend! Who is this man who holds them all at bay? Who is this man who laughs at the law and the underworld alike?
WHO IS THE IRON CLAW? Read More »

Bodil Ipsen & Lau Lauritzen – Afsporet (1942)

Afsporet (English: Derailed) is a 1942 Danish thriller directed by Bodil Ipsen and Lau Lauritzen Jr.. Starring Ebbe Rode and Illona Wieselmann, the psychological drama revolves around the intense erotic relationship between a wealthy married woman suffering from amnesia and a paroled petty thief entangled with organized crime. Afsporet was Ipsen’s directorial debut and is considered the first true Danish film noir. Read More »