‘Lifeboat’ 1944, by Alfred Hitchcock

John Hodiak and Tallulah Bankhead in Alfred Hitchcock’s Lifeboat. Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive Lifeboat opens with the fog over the North Atlantic parting and a solitary Connie Porter (Talluah Bankhead) appearing in a lifeboat – the setting for the remainder of the film. Following an attack on a civilian ship by a German U-Boat, drifting […]

“M” directed by Fritz Lang, 1931.

Photo: Peter Lorre played the serial killer in “M”. M is supposedly based on the real-life case of serial killer Peter Kürten, the “Vampire of Düsseldorf”, whose crimes took place in the 1920s, although Lang denied that he drew from this case. “At the time I decided to use the subject matter of M there […]

Quicksand,1950.

Quicksand is a 1950 American film noir. It is a crime film starring Mickey Rooney and Peter Lorre. It is a story about a young garage mechanic’s descent into crime after he steals $20 to take his girlfriend on a date. It was directed by Irving Pichel shortly before he was blacklisted by McCarthy’s House […]

‘They Live by Night’ 1948 directed by Nicholas Ray.

Nicholas Ray’s astonishingly self-assured, lyrical directorial debut opens with title cards and lush orchestrations over shots of a boy and a girl in rapturous mutual absorption: “This boy … and this girl … were never properly introduced … to the world we live in …” A shriek of horns suddenly obliterates all other sound – […]

Laura, a classic whounnit (1944).

I’ve seen Otto Preminger’s “Laura” three or four times, but the identity of the murderer doesn’t spring quickly to mind. That’s not because the guilty person is forgettable but because the identity is so arbitrary: It is not necessary that the murderer be the murderer. Three or four other characters would have done as well, […]

‘A Bullet for Joey’ with Edward G. Robinson 1955.

Edward G. Robinson in “A Bullet for Joey” by Kino Lorber.  Newly restored in high definition Directed by Lewis Allen.  Cast: Edward G. Robinson, George Raft, Audrey Totter, George Dolenz, Peter van Eyck. Released April 15, 1955. Edward G. Robinson and George Raft last appeared together in the 1941 Warner Brothers feature “Manpower” on which, […]

Deadline USA with Humphrey Bogart 1952.

 Here Bogey is talking to a Stone Hand in the Comp Room about what explosive content to sub into the final page. DEADLINE USA (1952): Is the best crime movie I’ve seen about the newspaper industry as well as being an exciting and gripping yarn. The movie features Humphrey Bogart, Ethel Barrymore and Kim Hunter, […]

Dark Passage, 1947.

Dark Passage (1947) is a Warner Bros. film noir directed by Delmer Daves and starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The film is based on the novel of the same name by David Goodis. It was the third of four films real-life couple Bacall and Bogart made together. The film is notable for employing cinematography […]

‘Double Indemnity,’ 1944.

By Alasdair Bayman Photo: Paramount Pictures What happens when you get a femme fatale, a life insurance firm, and a detached member of The American Dream? Double Indemnity, of course. Made within the reign of the Hay’s Production Code, Billy Wilder’s 1944 film noir is arguably one of the genres finest—a true gem in the […]

Alfred Hitchcock’s real-time ‘Rope’ 1948.

Rope is a 1948 American psychological crime thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, based on the 1929 play of the same name by Patrick Hamilton, and adapted by Hume Cronyn and Arthur Laurents. The film was produced by Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein as the first of their Transatlantic Pictures productions. Starring James Stewart, John Dall […]