Beautiful Mary returns to her small hometown after many years from Chicago wearing a mink coat and carrying an expensive cigarette case. Her arrival causes long standing enmities to surface between two of her old boyfriends, Kenny Veech, a loafing gambler, and debonair Lew Lentz, owner of a local nightclub. Their deep-seated animosity repeatedly results in antagonism and fights as they compete for Mary’s affections. Kenny’s friend Gitlo, a bartender in Lentz’ club, enlists Kenny in an aborted plan to rob Lentz of $15,000 in profits from sponsoring a local carnival. Lentz retaliates by framing both men for murder.
Vice Squad (1953) Arnold Laven, Edward G. Robinson, Paulette Goddard, K.T. Stevens, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
When a police officer is shot arresting a car thief, Captain Barnaby uses his skills and contacts to track down the culprits and uncovers a bank heist plan in the process. Barnaby has no qualms about bending the law to achieve his ends, including trumped up charges to persuade his only witness to cooperate or detaining some call girls to coerce their madam to help him. In the meantime he deals with everyday police business, juggling seemingly trivial matters with more serious ones.
Dead Reckoning (1947) John Cromwell, Humphrey Bogart, Lizabeth Scott, Morris Carnovsky, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Rip Murdock and Johnny Darke are en route to Washington when Johnny disappears and then turns up dead. Rip learns that Johnny had been accused of murder and sets out to find out what he can. He falls in love with Coral whose husband Johnny is supposed to have killed.
Underworld Beauty (1958) Seijun Suzuki, Michitarô Mizushima, Mari Shiraki, Shinsuke Ashida, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
The moment he’s released from prison, the honorable gangster Miyamoto recovers the stolen diamonds he had stashed before getting pinched. When he returns to his haunt to make good by friend who took a bullet for him, he is diverted by the greedy boss Oyane and his insatiable taste for Miyamoto’s precious stones. Replete with film noir style, “Underworld Beauty” is one of Suzuki’s best nods to the American gangster genre.
Guns, Girls and Gangsters (1958) Edward L. Cahn, Mamie Van Doren, Gerald Mohr, Lee Van Cleef, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Chuck Wheeler gets out of the Pen and sets up an elaborate heist of Vegas casino money travelling by armored truck. He enlists the help of shady club owner Joe Darren and his ex-cellmate’s wife, Vi. Vi’s husband Mike is a trigger happy and jealous hothead and will not grant her a divorce. Mike escapes from prison right before the armored truck job goes into motion and promises trouble as he tries to locate his associates and his wandering wife.
The Return of the Whistler (1948) D. Ross Lederman, Michael Duane, Lenore Aubert, Richard Lane, Film-Noir, Mystery
On the eve of his marriage, a young man’s fiance disappears. He hires a private detective to help him track her down, but soon finds himself entangled in a web of lies, intrigue and murder revolving around his fiance’s dead ex-husband and his wealthy, corrupt family.
You Can’t Get Away with Murder (1939) Lewis Seiler, Humphrey Bogart, Gale Page, Billy Halop, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Johnnie learns crime from petty thug Frank Wilson. When Wilson kills a pawnbroker with a gun stolen from Johnnie’s sister Madge’s fiance Fred Burke, Fred goes to Sing Sing’s death house. Wilson uses all the pressure can to keep Johnnie silent, even after he and Johnnie themselves wind up in the big house.
Deadline at Dawn (1946) Harold Clurman, Susan Hayward, Bill Williams, Paul Lukas, Film-Noir, Mystery, Romance
Alex, a sailor on leave, recovers from a drink-induced blackout with a large sum of money belonging to Edna Bartelli, a b-girl who invited him home to “fix her radio.” He tries to return it with the reluctant aid of June Goth, a sweet but oh-so-tired dance hall girl; they find Edna murdered. Not quite sure he didn’t do it himself, Alex and June have four hours in the dead of night to find the real killer before his leave ends. Their quest brings them into contact with a sleazy kaleidoscope of minor characters; clues get more and more tangled…
Chicago Calling (1951) John Reinhardt, Dan Duryea, Mary Anderson, Gordon Gebert, Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller
Bill Cannon (Dan Duryea) loses everything to alcohol: his job, his family, his self-respect. Soon after his wife and daughter leave him, he receives word his little girl has been injured in a car accident outside Chicago. His wife will call later with news, but Bill’s short the $53 he needs to keep his phone from being disconnected. Filled with anguish, he heads out onto the Los Angeles streets to find some way to come up with the cash. As his character encounters expected cruelty and unexpected kindness, Duryea takes what might have been mere melodrama and turns it into a perceptive examination of one shattered soul.
A young girl is raped while coming home from work. The trauma of the attack turns her away from her parents and her fiancé, and, unable to face society, she runs away and, using an assumed name, takes a job on an orange ranch. A young clergyman takes an interest in her, although she won’t confide in him. When a ranch hand tries to kiss her, she relives her terrifying experience and nearly kills him. She is arrested but when her identity is established and the facts of her case are brought forth, the clergyman convinces the court that it is society that should shoulder the blame. He helps rebuild her faith and send her back to her parents and fiancé.