Crime

Love That Brute (1950) Alexander Hall, Paul Douglas, Jean Peters, Cesar Romero

Love That Brute 1950
In 1928, Big Ed Hanley, boss of a gang of Chicago racketeers, has money and power, but he is bored. Watching some kids play in the park, he sees Ruth Manning and is interested at once. He tells her he has a couple of kids and gives her the job of taking care of them. He moves Mamie in as a housekeeper, but the best he can scrape up as a son is Harry, a pint-sized monster. A couple of henchmen sent by to rub Big Ed out by his rival, Pretty Willie, are relieved of their hardware by Quentin, Ed’s butler, and Bugs, his right-hand man. They march them downstairs, supposedly to drop in the river, but actually leave them in a very nice jail maintained by Ed for gangsters who drop by to rub him out. Ed’s problems include keeping Ruth, who has begun to like him, from finding out about his activities, increasing his family and keeping uninvited guests from dropping by.
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A Man Betrayed (1941) John H. Auer, John Wayne, Frances Dee, Edward Ellis

A Man Betrayed (1941)
Country lawyer Lynn Hollister comes to the city to investigate the murder of a friend found shot after spending the evening in The Inferno, a night club that fronts for an illicit gambling operation. It is covertly run by an affable but corrupt politician, ‘Boss’ Tom Cameron, who uses voter fraud to maintain influence on city hall and the governor’s mansion. Hollister learns that his friend was a winner in a dice game on the night of the murder and threatened exposure of Cameron’s vice racket. Complications arise when other underworld forces vie to take over Cameron’s operation, and Holister falls in love with Cameron’s beautiful daughter.
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Junai Monogatari / The Story of Pure Love (1957) Tadashi Imai, Shinjirô Ehara, Hitomi Nakahara, Eiji Okada

Jun'ai Monogatari (1957)
Junai Monogatari AKA Story of Pure Love is about two poor youths, Mitsuko and Kando, rebelling against society in various ways, who are desperately trying to be together despite tortuous circumstances. The film depicts their lives as thieves, menial laborers who can get little pay, society outcasts, and of course, lovers. Junai Monogatari depicts, mostly, their struggles within the Japanese reformatory system and Mitsuko’s worsening sickness.
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The Public Defender (1931) J. Walter Ruben, Richard Dix, Shirley Grey, Purnell Pratt

The Public Defender 1931
Rich playboy Pike Winslow dons the mantle of ‘The Reckoner’, a mysterious avenger, when he learns that his lady friend Barbara Gerry’s father has been framed in a bank embezzlement scandal. Using meticulous planning and split-second timing, Pike, along with his associates, the erudite ‘Professor’ and tough-guy scrapper ‘Doc’, attempt to find proof that will clear Gerry and identify the real culprits.
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Wong gok ka moon (1988) Kar Wai Wong, Andy Lau, Maggie Cheung, Jacky Cheung

Wong gok ka moon (1988)
A low-level triad “big brother” has a hot-tempered “little brother” who can’t keep out of trouble, and consequently is in constant need of being bailed out by his protector. The “big brother” is super cool, but lacks the ambition to rise in the ranks of the triad societies – and once he meets his cousin from Kowloon and falls in love with her, he even thinks about leaving “the life”.
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Young Adam (2003) David Mackenzie, Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Peter Mullan

Young Adam (2003)
Joe, a rootless young drifter, finds work on a barge travelling between Glasgow and Edinburgh, owned by Les and his wife Ella. One afternoon they discover the corpse of a young woman floating in the water. Accident? Suicide? Murder? As the police investigate and suspect is arrested, we discover that Joe knows more than he is letting on. Gradually we learn of Joe’s past relationship with the dead woman. Meanwhile an unspoken attraction develops between Joe and Ella, heightening the claustrophobic tensions in the confined space of the barge.
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Street Smart (1987) Jerry Schatzberg, Christopher Reeve, Kathy Baker, Mimi Rogers

Street Smart (1987)
Magazine reporter Jonathan Fisher, in danger of losing his job, promises to write a factual hard-hitting story of prostitution. But when he tries to get information from the subjects, he is ignored. So he ends up faking a well received story of a pimp, describing his life and crimes. But police think the story is of a real life pimp who is wanted for murder and start pressuring him to reveal the identity of subject in his story, and all he knows. The pimp the police suspect, also thinks the story is about himself, and wants to know what Jonathan knows, and who told him.
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City of Hope (1991) John Sayles, Vincent Spano, Tony Lo Bianco, Stephen Mendillo

City of Hope (1991)
City of Hope is a portrait of a typical middle-sized American city of the present day. The crux of the story is an old apartment block which stands in the way of a major commercial development. Joe Rinaldi is the building contractor who owns the buildings, and is being pressured to torch them to permit the development to occur. His estranged son, Nick, soon becomes a pawn in the power politics of the city. Corrupt Mayor Baci and policeman O’Brien are determined to push the development, while idealistic city councilman Wynn soon finds himself torn between what he knows is right and what his black constituents want.
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Black Market Babies (1945) William Beaudine, Ralph Morgan, Kane Richmond, Jayne Hazard

Black Market Babies (1945)
This George Morris story was based on an article that appeared in “Woman’s Home Companion” and later reprinted in “Reader’s Digest.” Eddie Condon, a two-bit racketeer, teams up with an alcoholic doctor, Judson, to set up a maternity home with free facilities to expectant mothers, with the proviso that the women sign away all rights to their newborns. The babies are then offered for adaptation to couples willing to make a substantial “contribution” to the home. Things go well for this borderline within-the-law business until a baby is still-born. Conden had already sold the baby for $5,000 and has no intention of returning the money, so he substitutes the child of the sister of his wife. There is a slip-up on the filing of the certificates and the District Attorney’s office gets involved.
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Hebi no michi / Serpent’s Path (1998) Shô Aikawa, Teruyuki Kagawa, Shiro Shitamoto, Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Hebi no michi AKA Serpent's Path (1998)
Serpent’s Path and its companion piece Eyes of the Spider (Kumo No Hitomi) both start from the same premise: a man taking revenge for the murder of a child. Kurosawa used this premise as the jumping-off point for the two films rather than their definition, resulting in a pair of works which are not so much occupied with revenge, but with the mental processes of human beings in situations that have placed them outside everyday life.
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The Mysterious Miss X (1939) Gus Meins, Michael Whalen, Lynne Roberts, Chick Chandler

The Mysterious Miss X (1939)
Keith Neville and Dan Casey, two small-time stage actors, are traveling by bus back two New York City, and have an overnight stay in a small town. They take a room in a local hotel and a murder is committed in an adjoining room to Keith. The latter hears the gunfire, goes to investigate and is there when the local police arrive. He and Casey are both held on suspicion of murder and jailed.
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The Big Boss (1941) Charles Barton, Otto Kruger, Gloria Dickson, John Litel

The Big Boss (1941)
The Big Boss is Jim Maloney (Otto Kruger), who pulls all the political strings in an unnamed major metropolis. Maloney’s chief antagonist is scrupulously honest “reform” governor Bob Dugan (John Litel). The fact that Maloney and Dugan are actually brothers, orphaned in childhood and raised separately, adds both texture and poignancy to their current adversarial relationship. Intending to reveal his fraternal ties to Dugan at a crucial moment in the latter’s anti-corruption campaign, Maloney is ultimately defeated by the forces of Righteousness. Outside of the always dependable Otto Kruger and John Litel, the film’s best performance is delivered by the underrated Gloria Dickson as a fairly realistic newspaperwoman.
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