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)

Cat People (1942)

dir. Jacques Tourneur. Originally from Serbia, Irena Dubrovna is a fashion illustrator with a cat obsession, filling her apartment with feline imagery. Irena’s obsession stems from her belief that she is descended from Satan worshipping witches, banished from Serbia hundreds of years ago. Irena fears that if she makes love, or even kisses, she will transform into a…… Continue reading Cat People (1942)

High Sierra (1941)

dir. Raoul Walsh. Roy Earle (Humphrey Bogart) is fresh out of prison thanks to his underworld pal, Big Mac, who needs his expertise to pull off a hotel jewellery heist. Roy embarks on a road trip through the Sierra Nevada mountain ranges to meet up with some small-time crooks, and their dame, Marie (Ida Lupino).…… Continue reading High Sierra (1941)

Foreign Correspondent (1940)

dir. Alfred Hitchcock. On the eve of World War II, New York City crime reporter John Jones (played by Joel McCrea) is dispatched to London for an exclusive interview with a Dutch diplomat to get the scoop on the likelihood of war breaking out in Europe. Jones becomes entangled in a secret plot, and must…… Continue reading Foreign Correspondent (1940)

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)

dir. Alfred L. Werker. The dastardly Professor Moriarty, jubilant after his not guilty verdict for murder, teases an irritated Sherlock Holmes that his next job will be the crime of the century!  Preying on Holmes’s intellectual curiosity, Moriarty plots to distract him with an escalating series of deadly mind games. Absolute delight of a film.…… Continue reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939)