SHADOW ON THE WALL
1950, Warner Bros. , 84 min, Dir: Patrick Jackson

A young girl (Gigi Perreau) witnesses the murder of her stepmother, but represses all memory of it. Her father is charged and faces the hot seat. Her doctor tries to coax out the truth. The culprit wants to wipe out her memory forever. A stunning character shift for Ann Sothern, beloved star of MGM’s popular MAISIE film series, highlights this suspenseful adaptation of “Death in the Doll’s House.” British documentarian Pat Jackson was clearly liberated by noir’s expressionistic flourishes, concocting an overlooked gem. Co-starring Zachary Scott, Nancy (Davis) Reagan and Kristine Miller.


THE WHALES OF AUGUST
1987, Alive Films, 90 min, USA, Dir: Lindsay Anderson

Bette Davis joins another screen legend, Lillian Gish, for this lovely tale of two sisters spending the summer, as they have for 60 years, on a picturesque island off the coast of Maine. Anderson displays a deep love for Hollywood's past, casting not only Davis and Gish but veterans Vincent Price, Harry Carey Jr., and Ann Sothern, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role. A profound meditation on aging, this is perhaps the best of Davis' later films, and won Lillian Gish the Best Actress award from the National Board of Review.


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