Tag Archives: Edward G. Robinson

Billy Wilder – Double Indemnity [Criterion 4K] (1944)

Has dialogue ever been more perfectly hard-boiled? Has a femme fatale ever been as deliciously wicked as Barbara Stanwyck? And has 1940s Los Angeles ever looked so seductively sordid? Working with cowriter Raymond Chandler, director Billy Wilder launched himself onto the Hollywood A-list with this epitome of film-noir fatalism from James M. Cain’s pulp novel. When slick salesman Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) walks into the swank home of dissatisfied housewife Phyllis Dietrichson (Stanwyck), he intends to sell insurance, but he winds up becoming entangled with her in a far more sinister way. Featuring scene-stealing supporting work from Edward G. Robinson and the chiaroscuro of cinematographer John F. Seitz, Double Indemnity is one of the most entertainingly perverse stories ever told and the standard by which all noir must be measured. Read More »

Howard Hawks – Tiger Shark (1932)

Mike is a great tuna fisherman though he lost a hand to a shark years earlier saving Pipes Boley. Now Mike is happily married to Quita and doesn’t notice that Pipes and Quita are falling for each other. Read More »

Anatole Litvak – The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)

Plot:
A wealthy society doctor decides to research the medical aspects of criminal behaviour by becoming one himself. He joins a gang of thieves and proceeds to wrest leadership of the gang away from it’s extremely resentful leader. Read More »

Orson Welles – The Stranger (1946)

The Stranger is often considered Orson Welles’ most “traditional” Hollywood-style directorial effort. Welles plays a college professor named Charles Rankin, who lives in a pastoral Connecticut town with his lovely wife Mary (Loretta Young). One afternoon, an extremely nervous German gentleman named Meineke (Konstantin Shayne) arrives in town. Professor Rankin seems disturbed–but not unduly so–by Meineke’s presence. He invites the stranger for a walk in the woods, and as they journey farther and farther away from the center of town, we learn that kindly professor Rankin is actually notorious Nazi war criminal Franz Kindler. Read More »

Frank Tuttle – Hell on Frisco Bay (1955)

Synopsis:
When ex-cop Steve Rollins is released from San Quentin after five years, his only thoughts are of revenge on the men who framed him for manslaughter. Back in San Francisco, his quest for the truth brings him up against ruthless waterfront gang boss Victor Amato. Read More »

John Ford – The Whole Town’s Talking (1935)

Synopsis:
Ordinary man-in-the-street Arthur Ferguson Jones leads a very straightforward life. He’s never late for work and nothing interesting ever happens to him. One day everything changes: he oversleeps and is fired as an example, he’s then mistaken for evil criminal killer Mannion and is arrested. The resemblance is so striking that the police give him a special pass to avoid a similar mistake. The real Mannion sees the opportunity to steal the pass and move around freely and chaos results. Read More »

Michael Curtiz – The Sea Wolf (1941)

Synopsis:
Humphrey van Weyden, a writer, and fugitives Ruth Webster and George Leach have been given refuge aboard the sealer “Ghost,” captained by the cruel Wolf Larsen. The crew mutinies against Larsen’s many crimes, and though van Weyden, Ruth, and George try to escape Larsen’s clutches, they find themselves drawn inexorably back to him as the “Ghost” sails toward disaster. Read More »