The Burglar (1957)

Dir. Paul Wendkos. Nat (Dan Duryea) is the head of a small gang of thieves he refers to as ‘the organisation’, including two nervous loudmouth lookouts, and his adoptive sister, Gladden (Jayne Mansfield). Like many of the best heist films, The Burglar is as interested in the consequences of, as the actual mechanics of the…… Continue reading The Burglar (1957)

Nightfall (1956)

Dir. Jacques Tourneur. Aldo Ray is Jim, a freelance commercial artist with a secret. Laying low in Los Angeles, he makes friends with fellow lonely soul Maire (Anne Bancroft), when circumstances conspire to complicate both of their lives. A charming noir mystery, relying heavily on flashback to reveal a series of narrative altering turns. Aldo…… Continue reading Nightfall (1956)

Oh… Rosalinda!! (1955)

Dir. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. A retelling of the Johann Strauss operetta, Die Fledermaus, “brought up-to-date” and set in post-war Vienna, then occupied by the four Allied countries. Many familiar faces for fans of Powell and Pressburger, including the wonderful Anton Walbrook as the black-market operator who puts the entire farce into motion to…… Continue reading Oh… Rosalinda!! (1955)

Johnny Guitar (1954)

Dir. Nicholas Ray. Joan Crawford stars as Vienna, the owner of a saloon on the outskirts of an Arizona border town. Vienna dreams of founding a new community when the railroad makes its way across the landscape and recruits an old flame (Jonny Guitar) to play some tunes, and if trouble comes knocking, to provide…… Continue reading Johnny Guitar (1954)

Bitter Rice (Riso Amaro) (1949)

dir. Giuseppe De Santis. In northern Italy, the annual rice planting and picking season has arrived, and as is tradition, only women with their “small and fast hands” are capable of the backbreaking labour. However, the men are well suited to counting the money, and barking orders. The women start their journey to the rice…… Continue reading Bitter Rice (Riso Amaro) (1949)

Portrait of Jennie (1948)

dir. William Dieterle. During a snowy winter’s night in Central Park, struggling artist Eben Adams (Joseph Cotton) meets Jennie (Jennifer Jones), a young girl playing in the snow. They become friends, with Jennie as his muse, and Eben as her hope for a more promising future. A strange, surrealistic, and very sentimental romance, best watched…… Continue reading Portrait of Jennie (1948)

Born to Kill (1947)

dir. Robert Wise. Helen Brent (Claire Trevor) returns to San Francisco after finalising her divorce. On the journey, she has a chance encounter with an imposing, intense man called Sam, played by real life violent lunatic Lawrence Tierney. Sam becomes entwined in Helen’s complicated family circle, and her attraction to Sam is only strengthened as…… Continue reading Born to Kill (1947)

The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (虎の尾を踏む男達) (1945)

dir. Akira Kurosawa. 12th century feudal Japan, Lord Yoshitsune is on the run after a falling out with his brother, the Shogun. Yoshitsune is escorted by six loyal samurai, disguised as monks, as they trek through the mountains towards freedom. The screenplay by Kurosawa is based on a popular Kabuki play. The theatrical origins are…… Continue reading The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (虎の尾を踏む男達) (1945)

Murder, My Sweet (1944)

dir. Edward Dmytryk. Private detective Philip Marlowe (Dick Powell) is engaged by series of shady clients to variously track down former lovers, negotiate with blackmailers, and provide a soft shoulder to lean on. This is the first film appearance of Raymond Chandler’s famous detective. Made during the golden age of film noir, there is some…… Continue reading Murder, My Sweet (1944)