Film-Noir

The Long Night (1947) Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Anatole Litvak, Henry Fonda, Barbara Bel Geddes, Vincent Price

The Long Night (1947)
The credits fade onto a blind man tapping his way down the sidewalk,he enters a dingy boarding house and hears a shot fired in one of the upstairs bedrooms. A door opens from audience POV. A man tumbles out of the door and falls, slides and slithers down two flights of stairs and is dead when he hits the bottom. Then follows nearly 100 minutes of flashback and flashbacks-within-flashbacks about a veteran returing from the war, tired and disillusioned, only to find that he girl he loves has lied to him about her relationship with another man, and that man is sadistic, boastful and tauntful.

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Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) Fritz Lang, Dana Andrews, Joan Fontaine, Sidney Blackmer, Crime, Film-Noir, Drama

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)
Investigative reporter Tom Garrett is on leave from his newspaper job to work on his second novel. As Tom is having problems writing that second book, his boss and future father-in-law, newspaper publisher Austin Spencer, suggests he write a non-fiction book on capital punishment in their state instead. Both Austin and Tom have long believed that the state district attorney, Roy Thompson, has been able to manipulate juries into rendering wrongful guilty verdicts leading to the deaths of innocent people on death row. The plan would be to plant evidence leading to a guilty verdict of an innocent person in a murder case, Tom to be that innocent person. Austin and Tom would document all that planted evidence, and make it public after the rendering of the guilty verdict to reverse that wrongful verdict and hopefully lead to discussion of the merits of abolishing capital punishment.

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Born to Kill (1947) Robert Wise, Claire Trevor, Lawrence Tierney, Walter Slezak, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Born to Kill (1947)
In Reno a man kills a girl he likes and her boyfriend out of jealousy; it may not be the first time. A woman whose divorce has just come through finds the bodies but decides not to become involved. The two meet next day on the train to San Francisco unaware of this link between them. They are attracted to each other, and the relationship survives his marriage to her half-sister for money and status. It even survives the woman discovering that he was the murderer, though she may not realise how easily someone who has killed this way before can do so again.

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The Steel Trap (1952) Andrew L. Stone

The Steel Trap (1952)
A Bank officer discovers a flaw in the U.S. extradition treaty with Brazil and decides to take advantage of it. On Friday, he steals a million dollars from the bank, knowing it won’t be missed until the bank opens on the following Monday. He and his wife, who doesn’t know what he has done, then take a flight to Brazil. After some difficulties, they get as far as New Orleans, where his wife discovers the reason for their flight and what he has done. She leaves him and returns home. He is now alone with his conscience, and doesn’t know if he can get back and return the money to the bank’s vault before the start of business on Monday.

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The Tattered Dress (1957) Jack Arnold

The Tattered Dress (1957)
After a wild night, wealthy Michael Reston’s adulterous wife Charleen comes home with her ripe young body barely concealed by a dress in rags; murder results. Top defense lawyer J.G. Blane, whose own marriage exists in name only, arrives in Desert View, Nevada to find the townsfolk and politically powerful Sheriff Hoak distinctly hostile to the Restons. In due course, Blane discovers he’s been “taken for a ride,” and that quiet desert communities can be deadly…

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Nora Prentiss (1947) Vincent Sherman

Nora Prentiss (1947)
Quiet, organised Dr Talbot meets nightclub singer Nora Prentiss when she is slightly hurt in a street accident. Despite her misgivings they become heavily involved and Talbot finds he is faced with the choice of leaving Nora or divorcing his wife. When a patient expires in his office, a third option seems to present itself.

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Highway Dragnet (1954) Nathan Juran

Highway Dragnet (1954)
Mrs. Cummings, a free-lance magazine photographer and a recent widow after her husband committed suicide, and her model, Susan, are on an assignment to cover resorts California and Nevada. Driving west from Las Vegas they pick up Jim Henry, a recently-discharged Marine, who is hitchhiking to the home of a friend near the Salton Sea. Meanwhile, back in Las Vegas, a blonde known casually by Jim, is found murdered. Jim becomes the object of a manhunt directed by Police-Lieut. White Eagle of the Las Vegas police.

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Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) Roy Ward Baker

Don't Bother to Knock (1952)
Airline pilot Jed stays at the New York hotel where girlfriend Lyn is a singer. He sees Nell in a window opposite his and they get chummy. When the girl she’s baby-sitting, Bunny, enters Nell goes crazy and sends her to her room. She fantasizes that Jed is her long lost fiance. Jed comes to realize that Nell is more than a little whacko.

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The Underworld Story (1950) Cy Endfield

The Underworld Story (1950)
Mike Reese, yellow journalist and antihero, prints a story that leads to a gang killing, and is blacklisted from the city papers under suspicion of ties with racketeer Carl Durham. So, with a shrug, he makes the suspicion come true, then elbows his way into the editorship of the local paper in a small town where, opportunely, a sensational murder case threatens to destroy the family of newspaper magnate E.J. Stanton. When a black servant is made the patsy for this killing, Reese helps himself by helping her…but proves a dangerous ally.

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