SIDE STREET
1949, Warner Bros., 93 min, Dir: Anthony Mann

Naive postman Joe Norson (Farley Granger) takes a dangerous shortcut to securing a nest egg for his pregnant wife (Cathy O’Donnell) - stealing thirty grand from the office of a shady shyster. When Joe tries to give himself up he only gets in deeper, careening for his life through the treacherous streets of Manhattan, pursued by cops and crooks at every deadly turn. Boehm’s script is a much more noir version of Naked City, and Anthony Mann pulls out all the stops, directing this headlong thriller with incredible punch, abetted by Joe Ruttenberg’s stunning cinematography (with an opening sequence shot from a blimp over Manhattan). A top-tier noir, featuring favorites Jean Hagen, Paul Kelly, James Craig and Charles McGraw.


ROPE
1948, Universal, 80 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

This startling Alfred Hitchcock film was doubly daring for 1948: First, it risked depicting the Leopold & Loeb-like tale of homosexual lovers committing murder solely for the thrill. If that wasn’t enough, it told the tale in a series of long, 10-minute takes, unlike anything any director had previously attempted. Having passed over the heads of most audiences when originally released, the film is a revelation by today’s standards. With James Stewart, Farley Granger and John Dall (GUN CRAZY).


STRANGERS ON A TRAIN
1951, Warner Bros., 101 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

A chance encounter between tennis champion Guy (Farley Granger) and psychopath Bruno (Robert Walker) on a train triggers an unstoppable race toward double murder. Hitchcock’s classic thriller is a finely-tuned engine of suspense, taking barely a breath as it steams through a spine-tingling story of fate, coincidence, guilt and psychopathology - favorite themes of noir writer Patricia Highsmith, whose novel was adapted by the great Raymond Chandler. With Ruth Roman.


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