CHILDREN OF PARADISE (Marcel Carne)
Perhaps the classic French film, beloved by many. Filmed on sets always just one step ahead of the Nazis, who wanted to control the industry in their occupied country. A story of the theater and of love, as only the French could tell it.
DETOUR (Edgar G. Ulmer)
Shot on an ultra-low budget for a poverty row studio, this “cult classic” clocks in at barely over an hour. Despite its limitations (or maybe because of them) it delivers the perfect Hollywood film noir, tight and to the point.
THE LOST WEEKEND (Billy Wilder)
Hollywood tackles alcoholism. Thanks to Billy Wilder and Oscar-winning Ray Milland, things stay on track. Good stuff.
DEAD OF NIGHT (Various Directors)
A British compilation of supernatural stories that somehow establish a good creep level. The best is with Michael Redgrave and a rather dominating ventriloquist’s dummy. Quite unique. Not essential.
LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (John Stahl)
Gene Tierney is beautiful and disturbed, in gorgeous Technicolor. She has issues. Maybe she just loves too much. At least she thinks so. Or maybe she doesn’t really have a clue what love is at all. Either way, it leads her to murder and righteous self-destruction. Intrigued?
Bathed in color and dressed in striking sets, this unusual drama ably guided by John Stahl’s steady direction, is quite captivating. Tierney is terrific (getting an Oscar nomination for it), and Vincent Price reminds us that he had quite a career going, even before he became the go-to guy for William Castle and Roger Corman in the horror years of the 50’s and 60’s.