Tag Archives: 1940s

Alfred Hitchcock – Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

Synopsis:
Charlotte “Charlie” Newton is bored with her quiet life at home with her parents and her younger sister. She wishes something exciting would happen and knows exactly what they need: a visit from her sophisticated and much travelled Uncle Charlie Oakley, her mother’s younger brother. Imagine her delight when, out of the blue, they receive a telegram from Uncle Charlie announcing that he is coming to visit them for awhile. Charlie Oakley creates quite a stir and charms the ladies’ club, as well as the bank President where his brother-in-law works. Young Charlie begins to notice some odd behavior on his part, such as cutting out a story in the local paper about a man who marries and then murders rich widows. When two strangers appear asking questions about him, she begins to imagine the worst about her dearly beloved Uncle Charlie. Read More »

Jules Dassin – Brute Force (1947)

William K Everson writes:
Brute Force was touted as being by far the toughest and most violent prison film Hollywood had ever made. Many European censors felt the same way and scenes were shortened for overseas release. Actually, the violence is essentially surface violence, and earlier prison films had been rougher in a psychological sense. Nevertheless, with all of those noir icons in the cast and behind the camera (especially Miklos Rosza’s music) the film made a welcome break in the increasingly formularized cycle of big-city crime noir films. Read More »

Charles Vidor – Gilda (1946)

Synopsis:
Johnny Farrell has just arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he is making a living cheating in gambling, primarily in informal street games. He begins a more stable life when, upon a chance meeting, he convinces Ballin Mundson, the violent and less than scrupulous owner of the local illegal casino, to hire him on the premise that it is better for Ballin to have the “enemy” on his side. Besides the casino, which the local authorities are aware of, Ballin is involved in an international illegal tungsten cartel. Johnny quickly rises to be Ballin’s trusted right hand man. Read More »

Henry Hathaway – Call Northside 777 (1948)

Synopsis:
When a woman places an ad in the Chicago Times offering a $5,000 reward for information that will exonerate her son, the newspaper assigns reporter P.J. McNeal to look into the case. He learns that eleven years earlier, Frank Wiecek was convicted of killing an on duty police officer in a speakeasy and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. McNeal is quite skeptical as to his innocence and only slowly comes to realize that there was a miscarriage of justice. The real question is whether he can find evidence that would convince the pardon board and obtain Wiecek’s release. Read More »

John Huston – In This Our Life (1942)

Plot Summary: A young woman (Stanley Timberlake) dumps her fiancée (Craig Fleming) and runs off with her sister’s (Roy Timberlake) husband (Peter Kingsmill)… Read More »

Jean Yarbrough – The Devil Bat (1940)

Dr. Carruthers feels bitter at being betrayed by his employers, Heath and Morton, when they became rich as a result of a product he devised. He gains revenge by electrically enlarging bats and sending them out to kill his employers’ family members by instilling in the bats a hatred for a particular perfume he has discovered, which he gets his victims to apply before going outdoors. Johnny Layton, a reporter, finally figures out Carruthers is the killer and, after putting the perfume on himself, douses it on Carruthers in the hopes it will get him to give himself away. One of the two is attacked as the giant bat makes one of its screaming, swooping power dives. Read More »

Edgar Neville – Domingo de carnaval AKA Carnival Sunday (1945)

The same morning that carnival begins, a serene finds in Madrid the corpse of a rich and greedy lender who has been murdered. The main suspect is a seller of watches that owed much money ​​to the old woman, but her daughter, not content with the arrest of his father, begins to investigate on their own … Read More »