1948, Universal, 81 min, USA, Dir: John Farrow

Edward G. Robinson gives a doom-laden performance as a bogus carnival mentalist who suddenly becomes cursed with the ability to actually see into the future - and he sees a dreadful fate for his best friend's daughter. A flower crushed underfoot, a sudden wind, a clock striking 11, the paw of a lion ... what does it all mean? Director John Farrow, always at his most stylish in noir terrain, adapts from the novel by master of suspense Cornell Woolrich (REAR WINDOW). Costarring Gail Russell and John Lund, with darkly evocative camerawork by John F. Seitz.

1944, MGM/Park Circus, 107 min, USA, Dir: Fritz Lang

Gotham College professor Richard Wanley (Edward G. Robinson) becomes obsessed with a woman’s portrait in the window near his men’s club. While admiring the painting, he meets the flesh-and-blood subject (Joan Bennett) and is willingly lured up to her apartment for some Champagne. The woman’s boyfriend bursts in, gets the wrong idea, a lethal scuffle ensues, and before you can say “poor sap,” Wanley agrees to dump the body and cover up the death. Much like in SCARLET STREET, Robinson and director Fritz Lang make a great team, with Robinson perfectly evoking the dangerous pathos of a middle-aged man tempted by youth.

1944, Universal, 107 min, Dir: Billy Wilder

Billy Wilder’s cunning masterpiece helped to spawn Hollywood’s dark era of mordant murder thrillers and is one of the greatest noirs ever made. Fred MacMurray plays Walter Neff, the sardonic insurance salesman who is willingly seduced by slinky Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) into planning and executing the murder of her newly insured husband. Edward G. Robinson is Keyes, Neff’s sharp colleague and gruff friend, who smells a rat when Phyllis’ hubby has a fatal train "accident," qualifying the femme fatale for the lucrative double-indemnity payout.

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