Crime

Normal Life (1996) John McNaughton, Ashley Judd, Luke Perry, Bruce A. Young

Normal Life (1996)
Chris is young idealistic cop who falls in love and gets married to Pam, a beautiful but emotionally unstable woman who suffers from alcoholism and drug addiction. While Chris is trying hard to have a normal life and some money, Pam is big spender and their marriage is constantly troublesome with the financial situation getting worse and worse. The biggest blow comes after Chris loses his job. In the desperate situation Chris decides to use his police skills to rob banks.
Read More »

Le trio infernal / The Infernal Trio (1974) Francis Girod, Michel Piccoli, Romy Schneider, Mascha Gonska

Le trio infernal (1974)
Marseilles, 1919. Georges Sarret is a distinguished and respected lawyer, recently honoured for his services in the First World War. He takes as his lover Philomène Schmidt, a young German woman, who has just lost her job and home. To enable Philomène to remain in France, Georges finds her a husband – who dies conveniently of natural causes a month after the wedding. Georges repeats the trick with Philomène’s sister, Catherine – marrying her off to an old man who dies suddenly so that the scheming trio can profit from his life insurance. When an accomplice in the scheme, Marcel Chambon, threatens to blackmail them, Georges and his two lovers have no option but to kill him and his mistress. Having dissolved the bodies in sulphuric acid, Georges hires another man to pose as Chambon so that he can secure his assets. Flush with the success of this venture, Georges proposes his most ambitious scam: he will insure Catherine’s life with five separate insurance companies; a young orphan woman who is dying from tuberculosis will provide Catherine’s death certificate when the moment comes. Unfortunately, the scheme does not go quite as planned…
Read More »

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.
Read More »

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.
Read More »

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.
Read More »

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.
Read More »

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.
Read More »

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.
Read More »

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.
Read More »

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.
Read More »

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.
Read More »