SALOME (1953)
1953, Sony Repertory, 103 min, USA, Dir: William Dieterle

Rita Hayworth shines in the title role of this biblical epic, as the woman whose Dance of the Seven Veils bewitches King Herod (Charles Laughton) and costs John the Baptist (Alan Badel) his head. The film takes some liberties to paint Salome in a more sympathetic light but doesn’t skimp on spectacle, with costumes and production design befitting the glory days of Technicolor. With Judith Anderson, Cedric Hardwicke and Stewart Granger.


THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
1944, Warner Brothers, 95 min, Dir: Jules Dassin

This fantasy-comedy, adapted from Oscar Wilde’s first published short story, features one of Charles Laughton’s most delightful performances in the title role. When U.S. servicemen are stationed at the Canterville estate during WWII, one of them (Robert Young) learns he is a distant relative of the ghost that haunts the castle – and may be able to put him to rest with an act of bravery. With Margaret O'Brien.


THE SUSPECT
1944, Universal, 85 min, USA, Dir: Robert Siodmak

Timid tobacconist Philip Marshall (Charles Laughton) develops a friendship with a poor young woman (Ella Raines), igniting his wife’s shrewish jealousy. Despite the Edwardian-era decorum, THE SUSPECT is a classic noir - one of Siodmak’s best - featuring Laughton’s memorable portrait of a repressed and lonely man who will do anything to protect the unexpected joy he’s found too late in his life. Costarring Stanley Ridges and Rosalind Ivins.


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