THE FALLEN SPARROW
1943, Warner Bros., 94 min, USA, Dir: Richard Wallace

Scripted by Warren Duff, from the novel by Dorothy B. Hughes. This convoluted but compelling story, told in creepy Val Lewton style, stars John Garfield as a Spanish Civil War veteran being driven crazy by stateside fascists. Is porcelain-gorgeous Maureen O’Hara his only ally … or his enemy? Stunning photography by RKO’s in-house noir master, Nicholas Musuraca. With Walter Slezak, Patricia Morison and Martha O’Driscoll.


HOLLYWOOD CANTEEN
1944, Warner Bros., 124 min, USA, Dir: Delmer Daves

Some of Warners’ biggest stars turn out to do their part for the war effort in this delightful romantic comedy inspired by the nightspot created to entertain servicemen during WWII. Robert Hutton plays a GI on leave in L.A. for a week with a fellow soldier; when he becomes the club’s millionth customer, he wins a date with the actress of his dreams, Joan Leslie. The Andrews Sisters, Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra and Roy Rogers (with Trigger in tow) are among the musical performers, Jack Benny, Joe E. Brown and Eddie Cantor supply comic relief, and an army of movie greats like Bette Davis and John Garfield (who together founded the real-life Hollywood Canteen) play themselves. They really don’t make ‘em like this anymore!


THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE
1946, MGM/Park Circus, 113 min, USA, Dir: Tay Garnett

Lana Turner and John Garfield literally scorch the screen as a pair of murderous lovers, in director Tay Garnett’s much imitated but never-equaled dark romance, one of the high points of 1940’s film noir. Based on the novel by the great James M. Cain (the title famously refers to Cain’s own postman, who would ring twice when delivering rejection notices from publishers).


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