THE BIG NIGHT
1951, Park Circus, 75 min, USA, Dir: Joseph Losey

George LeMain (John Barrymore Jr.) “celebrates” his 16th birthday by witnessing his father (Preston Foster) stoically absorb a dreadful beating from a mysterious local operator. The youngster seeks answers - and revenge - during an all night odyssey through downtown L.A., making this a truly noir coming-of-age tale. Losey abandoned the film during editing, fleeing to England after being subpoenaed by HUAC; co-screenwriters Hugo Butler and Ring Lardner Jr. adapted Stanley Ellin’s novel Dreadful Summit but were denied credit and blacklisted (along with supporting players Dorothy Comingore and Howland Chamberlain).


LADIES THEY TALK ABOUT
1933, Warner Bros., 69 min, USA, Dir: Howard Bretherton, William Keighley

Barbara Stanwyck stars as Nan Taylor, a tough dame busted for bank robbery and sentenced to San Quentin. Barbara Stanwyck shares the screen with Lillian Roth, Preston Foster, and Lyle Talbot. The film features outstanding period music – a mixture of classic blues and jazz tunes. Ladies They Talk About is a 1933 pre-code women in prison film based upon a play by actress, writer, and real life San Quentin inmate, Dorothy Mackaye. "I'm not 'fraid of nobody in this jail. I'm doin' life and that's all I got."


THE HUNTED
1948, Warner Bros., 66 min, USA, Dir: Jack Bernhard

Paroled after serving time for her part in a jewel heist, Laura Mead (Belita) returns to the city looking to reclaim her life. Waiting in the shadows is her former boyfriend, detective Johnny Saxon (Preston Foster) - who may have railroaded her into the pen out of jealousy. When Laura turns up in Johnny’s apartment, is she looking to forgive … or make good on her threat to kill the man who sent her up? A clever, ambiguous twist on the typical femme fatale story, this hypnotic Poverty Row noir from director Jack Bernhard (DECOY) has been resurrected from obscurity in a new print.


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